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Friday 5 October

Autumn session: 1-5 October 2007
“Domestic violence against women, including marital rape, a criminal offence”, PACE says
[05/10/2007]  At the end of a debate on the mid-term assessments of the Council of Europe campaign “Stop domestic violence against women”, PACE called on national parliaments to reinforce their actions, adopt laws against violence against women or control their application, disseminate the information material of the campaign and set up a group of male parliamentarians committed to combating violence against women.  (more..)

President
Murder of Anna Politkovskaya : time to know the truth, says PACE President
[05/10/2007]  One year after the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, René van der Linden, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), made the following statement: “A year ago, on 7 October 2006, Anna Politkovskaya was shot in Moscow. A year later, light has still to be shed on this murder. (more..)

Autumn session: 1-5 October 2007
The Assembly calls for further resources for the Commissioner for Human Rights
[05/10/2007]  Since its establishment, the Commissioner for Human Rights has made brisk and steadfast progress and the hopes placed in the Commissioner are now considerable. The Assembly stressed the need to endow the Commissioner with the human and financial resources needed to enable him to live up to these expectations. (more..)

Bureau
Committee recommends no PACE monitoring of Italy ‘at this stage’ over media situation, but says new laws must tackle potential conflicts of interest
[05/10/2007]  The departure of Silvio Berlusconi from office has temporarily remedied the conflict of interest created by his position as both Prime Minister and owner of Mediaset, one half of the “duopoly” which dominates Italian television, but new laws are still needed to prevent such potential abuses of power in the future, according to PACE's Monitoring Committee. (more..)

President
Daniel Hoeffel – a great friend and supporter of the Council of Europe, says President
[05/10/2007]  “Senator Hoeffel is a major champion of the European project, and also of local democracy, which means so much to the Council of Europe”, declared Assembly President René van der Linden, when he presented Daniel Hoeffel with the Pro Europa Prize today. “It is in recognition of his work for both that he is deservedly receiving this award today, with our warmest congratulations”, he went on. “Daniel Hoeffel is one of the best-known politicians in Alsace – and a great friend and supporter of the Council of Europe.” 

Autumn session: 1-5 October 2007
Council of Europe states must ‘firmly oppose’ the teaching of creationism as a scientific discipline
[04/10/2007]  Parliamentarians from the 47-nation Council of Europe have urged its member governments to “firmly oppose” the teaching of creationism – which denies the evolution of species through natural selection – as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory of evolution. In a resolution passed by 48 votes to 25 during its plenary session in Strasbourg, PACE declared: “If we are not careful, creationism could become a threat to human rights.” (more..)

Autumn session: 1-5 October 2007
Serbian chairmanship of the Council of Europe a success, PACE President says
[04/10/2007]  “The Serbian chairmanship of the Council of Europe is a success not only for your country but also for our organisation,” President René van der Linden said in his welcome address to Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, Chairman of the organisation’s Committee of Ministers. He hailed the “landmark decision” that was reached by the Committee of Ministers under Serbian chairmanship to proclaim the European Day against the Death Penalty.  (more..)

Autumn session: 1-5 October 2007
Vuk Jeremic: ''From suspicion and antagonism to trust and co-operation''
[04/10/2007]  Addressing the Parliamentary Assembly on 4 October, Vuk Jeremic, Serbia’s Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, said: ''Never before in the history of South East Europe has there been such an opportunity to cement regional co-operation and overcome past differences.'' He added: ''We place great emphasis on transforming the relationship between Serbs and Albanians from one of historical suspicion and antagonism, to one of twenty-first century’s trust and co-operation. The way forward lies in forging a partnership under a common sovereign roof.''  

Autumn session: 1-5 October 2007
Towards decriminalisation of defamation
[04/10/2007]  While recalling that the press’s right to report and debate freely is a cornerstone of democracy, the Assembly regretted that in some member states – notably Albania, Azerbaijan and Russia, according to civil society – prosecutions for defamation are misused. According to parliamentarians, defamation laws should always be applied with the utmost restraint. States should abolish prison sentences for defamation altogether, and set reasonable limits to damages awards, they said.  (more..)

Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Vice-Chair of PACE Legal Affairs Committee visits Abdulhamid Hakkar
[04/10/2007]  Erik Jurgens, a Dutch Senator and Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of PACE, is to visit Abdulhamid Hakkar, an Algerian jailed for life in France in 1984 for murder and armed robbery who is still unable to apply for parole after 23 years in prison, despite a re-trial which handed down a minimum sentence of 16 years.  (more..)

Autumn session: 1-5 October 2007
Agung Laksono calls for growing cooperation with the Council of Europe
 

Europe Prize
European Diploma award ceremony 2007: 24 municipalities on the list
 

Autumn session: 1-5 October 2007
Zero tolerance for forced prostitution, child prostitution and trafficking in human beings
 

Autumn session: 1-5 October 2007
Europe should reject the principle of unilateral preventive war

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