Human Rights & Democracy

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On 3 July, four defendants were sentenced to prison terms in the Büyükada case against a group of human rights defenders and long-standing interlocutors of both the EU and many of its Member States, three years after they were temporarily taken into custody.

The decision by the Court is deeply regrettable and further deepens the EU’s serious concerns regarding Turkey’s backsliding in fundamental areas as expressed on numerous occasions, in the Commission’s annual reports and in Council conclusions.

Nationwide voting in the Russian Federation on constitutional amendments concluded on 1 July. Some amendments concern changes in the political system and the work of the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

The European Union regrets that, in the run up to this vote, campaigning both for and against was not allowed, thereby denying voters access to balanced information.

Torture denies the dignity of the human being. Its victims suffer both visible and invisible wounds. And this is still the horrifying reality today. On International Day in support of Victims of Torture, EU High Representative Josep Borrrell states “At a time when the world is joining efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, human rights must remain at the core of our battle. On this day, we give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.”

On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we pay tribute to the victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. At a time when the world is joining efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, human rights must remain at the core of our battle. On this day, we give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.

The Senior Officials of the International Contact Group (ICG) met today, through video conference, to discuss the latest developments in Venezuela. They were debriefed by the Special Adviser Enrique Iglesias on his recent contacts with national political actors, as well as main international stakeholders.

 

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The European Union and Turkmenistan held the twelfth round of their annual Human Rights Dialogue on 18 June 2020. The meeting took place by videoconference between Brussels and Ashgabat because of the travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, World Refugee Day comes at a time when the world is facing a global pandemic that has already cost the lives of thousands of people and is affecting the livelihood of millions more. The struggle is even harder for refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants and stateless persons. With limited or no access to medical care and protection mechanisms, these people are more vulnerable to the effects of this global crisis.

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Vulnerable populations, including refugees, are at the heart of the Team Europe response to the COVID-19 crisis. On World Refugee Day 2020, the EU reaffirms its commitment to a world where nobody would need asylum

Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer, Mr Yu Wensheng, was sentenced on 17 June 2020 to 4 years’ imprisonment, after more than 900 days of detention. His trial was held behind closed doors.

Under China's Criminal Procedure Law and international law obligations, defendants have the right to a fair trial, held without undue delay, to proper defence and to access to a lawyer of their choosing. Yu Wensheng’s rights were not respected.

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Joint Statement by the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

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