Paivi Rasanen, a former Finnish interior minister has gone on trial for hate speech against gay people, for making derogatory comments based on the Bible. According to prosecutors, her statements violate the equality and dignity of homosexuals and therefore go beyond the limits of freedom of speech and religion. The court will have to decide whether citing the Bible can be considered a crime in some cases in Finland.
Forty years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the French National Assembly has passed unanimously a new law criminalising the use of so-called "conversion therapy" to attempt to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ people with fines of up to €30,000 and two years in jail.
The European Union condemned Russian authorities´ move to add Alexei Navalny, an imprisoned opposition leader, and some of his top allies to the registry of terrorists and extremists as "not acceptable" and part of "continued repression against the critical voices in Russian society". The decision by Russia's Federal Financial Monitoring Service means his bank accounts will be frozen under Russian law.
In 2019 and 2020, less than one in five people accused of a domestic violence offence were convicted and strike out/withdrawal applications were made in 65 per cent of cases, significantly more than other types of offences.
250 euros a month will be paid by the Spanish government to low-income youths to help them pay a rent and leave their parents‘ house given the large number of young adults in the country who cannot afford to move out.
Janez Janša and his far-right party (SDS) have repeatedly targeted the civic freedoms he previously defended. In June 2021, the country was placed on the CIVICUS Monitor Watchlist because of the rapid deterioration in civic freedoms, in particular those about environmental rights and culture. Independent journalism is also seriously undermined.
A video evidencing the abuse of inmates in prisons in Russia’s Omsk region has been released by Gulagu.net. It was obtained from the Omsk regional branch of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) and shows the quarantine cells for new arrivals and the way the inmates were abused and forced to work on weekends under threat of torture.
Poland wants the EU to approve the restriction of people's right to asylum if they enter from Belarus, among other "emergency" measures. Poland tried to add to an EU Commission proposal an article which may allow making asylum applications for people who illegally crossed the border with Belarus only at designated border crossing points.
The ruling comes amid growing backlash over secret surveillance in Bulgaria. A lack of regulations in Bulgarian law has led to a situation where data "could be used for nefarious purposes," the court said.
The Dutch wing of environmental group Friends of the Earth, which won a landmark court case against Royal Dutch Shell last year, demanded 30 corporations publish plans for big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the Interior Ministry, there are an estimated 4,500 stateless persons living in Russia today. Each of these people are eligible for a green “Temporary identity card of a stateless person in the Russian Federation.” Authorities in Moscow began issuing “non-citizen passports” in December 2021. Other Russian regions began issuing these identity documents even earlier, with roughly 600 people obtaining them last year.
A German court has sentenced a Syrian colonel to life in prison for crimes against humanity. Anwar Raslan, 58, was linked to the torture of over 4,000 people in Syria's civil war in a jail known as "Hell on Earth". The trial in Koblenz is the world's first criminal case brought over state-led torture in Syria.