Civil society

12/03/2020

Russia passes bill allowing Putin to stay in power past 2024

The Russian parliament has approved a significant constitutional reform that would, among other things, allow Vladimir Putin to run for president for two more terms after 2024 by resetting the number of terms that he has already completed. The Constitutional Court will review the reform before a national vote on the proposed amendments on April 22.

Source: Associated Press

12/03/2020

Turkey prepares human rights case over Greece’s treatment of migrants

Turkey announced last week that it is preparing a case about Greece’s treatment of migrants to bring before the European Court of Human Rights. On February 28, Turkey opened its frontiers, allowing refugees and migrants to travel towards Europe. Many of them have since been trying to enter Greece.

Source: Reuters

12/03/2020

Germany refuses to extradite Pole under European arrest warrant due to fair trial fears

For the first time in German history, a court has refused to extradite a Polish suspect to his home country because of doubts as to the future of the independence of the Polish judiciary and the guarantee of the right to a fair trial. These doubts have been spurred by the divisive law signed by Polish president Andrzej Duda last month. It allows judges to be punished for questioning and criticising the national judicial system.

Source: Euronews

12/03/2020

Women’s rights organisations fear eviction in Rome

Two women’s rights organisations in Rome, ‘La Casa Internazionale delle Donne’ (the International House of Women) and a shelter named ‘Lucha y Siesta’ are worried that they could soon be evicted. Activists in Italy’s capital accuse mayor Virginia Raggi of not taking enough actions to protect women.

Source: Euronews

02/05/2022

EU triggers rule of law procedure against Hungary

The EU has officially launched its rule-of-law mechanism against the Hungarian government, after the EU Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen slammed "corruption" in the EU country. The legal tool, which has never been used before, could see Hungary stripped of its EU funding for breaching the bloc's democratic standards.

Source: DW

02/05/2022

Moscow takes action against “foreign influence”

If adopted, a new law on foreign agents will allow Russian authorities to punish anyone that nurses contact with foreigners. According to the State Duma, the bill is designed to “enhance protection of national interests and security, and the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Source: The Barents Observer

02/05/2022

Congress clears bill to allow lending arms to Ukraine

The House overwhelmingly passed legislation that would allow President Biden to use a World War II-era law to quickly supply weapons to Ukraine on loan, sending the measure to Mr. Biden’s desk hours after he urged Congress to approve tens of billions of dollars’ worth of additional emergency aid for Kyiv.

Source: The New York Times

02/05/2022

Denmark accused of racism after anti-ghetto law adapted for Ukrainians

Denmark is facing fresh claims of racism after MPs changed the country’s controversial anti-ghetto law to allow Ukrainian refugees to move into social housing emptied of “non-westerners”.

Source: The Guardian

02/05/2022

Ukraine prepares war crimes charges against Russian military personnel

Three Russian pilots suspected of bombing civilian buildings in the Kharkiv and Sumy regions are among at least seven Russian military personnel that Kyiv is preparing war crimes charges against.

Source: Reuters

13/04/2022

European Commission launches rule-of-law disciplinary procedure against Hungary

After nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, won a fourth victory in parliamentary elections, the European Commission launched the new rule-of-law disciplinary procedure against Hungary. It aims to prevent the misuse of EU funds by countries backsliding on the rule of law and failing to meet democratic standards. This decision could make it harder for Hungary to borrow money.

Source: The Guardian

13/04/2022

Russia revokes registrations of pro-democracy, human rights groups

Russia has recently revoked the registration of 15 foreign organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW), due to "violations of the current legislation of the Russian Federation". HRW has been operating in Russia for 30 years, while AI has had a presence in the country since 1993. Human Rights Watch promised it will continue to work in Russia. Amnesty’s secretary-general said they will redouble “efforts to expose Russia's egregious human rights violations both at home and abroad”.

Source: RFE/RL

13/04/2022

EU chief promises speeded up process for Ukraine to seek membership

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, has promised to offer Ukrainian President Zelenskiy a speedier start to Ukraine's request to become a member of the European Union. Talking about a questionnaire she gave to Zelenskiy to decide on Ukraine's membership she added that "It will not as usual be a matter of years to form this opinion, but I think a matter of weeks” and that “Ukraine is marching towards the European future”.

Source: Reuters

13/04/2022

Ukraine to create special justice mechanism to investigate crimes of Russian invaders

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced he plans to create a special justice mechanism in Ukraine “to investigate and prosecute every crime of the occupiers on the territory of our state”. This mechanism will be based on the joint work of national and international specialists, such as investigators, prosecutors, and judges.

Source: Interfax

13/04/2022

U.N. General Assembly Votes to Suspend Russia from Human Rights Council

On 6th April 2022, the General Assembly of the U.N. voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council. For a country to be suspended from the HRC, a vote of two-thirds of the assembly members is required. In the case of Russia, 93 member states voted in favour of a resolution to suspend Russia, 24 voted against, and 58 abstained.


Source: nationalreview.com

05/04/2022

Dutch MPs call for Russian asset seizures after appeal by Ukraine’s Zelensky

After an appeal from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the Dutch parliament, Dutch lawmakers asked to speed up the implementation of sanctions against Russia, as the country was shamefully behind other countries in freezing targeted assets. Approximately 27 billion euros in Russian assets were registered in the Netherlands, often in shell companies.


Source: Reuters

05/04/2022

Germany to prosecute use of ‘Z’ symbol to support Russia’s war

The German interior ministry said there is a plan to prosecute people who display the "Z" symbol associated with support for Russia in the war in Ukraine. According to the criminal code, people in Germany could be fined or jailed for up to three years when using symbols of "unconstitutional organisations" such as the Nazi swastika. Many questioned how the measure could be implemented and accused the German government of tokenism.


Source: politico.eu