EU Parliament Reiterates Concerns about Hong Kong

On 30 June, the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress adopted the National Security Law in Hong Kong, which came into effect that day, the 23rd anniversary of the city´s handover to China from British rule. Under the law approved by mainland China´s legislature in May, Beijing will have sweeping new powers to impose…

Illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol: EU renews sanctions by one year

The Council today decided to renew the sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation until 23 June 2021. The restrictive measures currently in place include prohibitions targeting the imports of products originating in Crimea or Sevastopol into the EU, and infrastructural or financial investments and tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol. Furthermore, the exports of certain…

Poland Accused by AI of Muzzling Protestors

Charges brought by Polish authorities against two activists who face possible prison sentences of up to 10 years for a poster campaign should be immediately dropped said Amnesty International (AI). The activists were detained and charged last week, after they put up posters in Warsaw accusing the government of manipulating COVID-19 statistics. They were charged with…

COVID-19: Twelve NGOs call upon UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion to address the scapegoating of a church in South Korea

As UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed, solicits submissions from NGOs for the upcoming Report on the Elimination of Religious Intolerance and Discrimination and the Achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16), 12 European civil society organisations have co-signed a document denouncing the scapegoating of the Shincheonji Church in…

The World Should Remember Kashmir This Eid

By John Grogan In the seventeenth century the Mughal Emperor and patron of the arts, Javangir, famously exclaimed when he saw the valley of Kashmir, “If there is a heaven on earth it is here, it is here.” Sadly this weekend as the majority Muslim population in the area celebrate the festival of Eid-Al-Fitr tensions…

Risks To Media Freedom In Algeria

Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) lists Algeria as a country where the media struggle to fulfil their role due to judicial harassment. The unstable political environment is increasing threats to the freedom of information in Algeria, and the authorities continue to step up their harassment of journalists. Reporters covering the “Hirak” protests that began in February…

Serbs’ Continued Fight for Property Rights in Croatia

By Willy Fautré Twenty-five years after the end of Croatia’s war for independence from Serbia, thousands of Serbs are still fighting for their property rights in that Western Balkan country which became a member state of the European Union (EU) in 2013 and is now chairing the EU.  Dalibor Močević, a Croatian citizen of Serbian…

Human Rights Violations in Nicaragua

Over the past months, no tangible advances have been made on democracy and human rights in Nicaragua. Repression by security forces and pro-government armed groups of political opponents, demonstrators, journalists, civil society organisations and members of the Catholic Church has continued. In light of this, the Council decided today to include six persons in the…

UK Public Opinion on the use of smart phones for contact tracing

A new opinion poll has revealed that an overwhelming majority of British citizens want any coronavirus contact-tracing app to take account of civil liberties and people’s privacy. The Survation poll for the Open Knowledge Foundation has found widespread support for the introduction of a contact-tracing app in the UK at 65 per cent, but 90…

World Press Freedom Day

3 May acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the…