EHRAC Bulletin

EHRAC Bulletin Winter 2016

In this issue of the Bulletin, we focus on two major issues arising in our target region and beyond: the quest for equal rights for minority and marginalised groups; and the weakening of protection for human rights.

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2016 Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

9.12.16: In his 2016 Report to the Human Rights Council, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT), Juan E. Méndez, assessed the applicability of the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in international law to the unique experiences of women, girls, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.


Domestic violence in Russia, Ukraine and the South Caucasus

9.12.16: In light of governmental inaction the article suggests that domestic violence should now be regarded as a state-sponsored form of torture against women in this region, where patriarchal norms and rules override the rights and freedoms of women formally guaranteed domestically and internationally.


The Rainbow Europe Index

9.12.16: This article outlines the situation for LGBTI people in Armenia, Georgia and Russia by examining their position on the Rainbow Europe Map’s country ranking and by analysing cases submitted to the European Court of Human Rights.


“Hate Speech” in Russia

9.12.16: The fight against hate speech, like any other fight, should be carried out according to clear rules. The lack of clarity around the rules of the fight in Russia, however, is a major cause for concern. This article will address several definitions used in Russian legislation on hate speech, which lead to chaotic and arbitrary prosecutions.


Criminalisation of incitement of hatred

9.12.16: In June 2015 Georgia criminalised incitement to hatred under its Criminal Code. However, its restrictive interpretation of the law falls short of Georgia’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).


Whither verkhoventsvo prava?

9.12.16: As we mark the third anniversary of the beginning of the Maidan demonstrations, lawlessness continues to reign in eastern Ukraine. A report released on 11 July 2016 by Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks shows that forced disappearances, ill-treatment, torture and impunity remain common.


The Supremacy of the Russian Constitutional Court?

9.12.16: According to the new law, a ruling from an international body – including the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) – can be declared “impossible to implement” if it is in conflict with the Russian Constitution.


Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Rule 9(2) submission on breakdown of international standards on post-conflict property restitution

1.11.16: On 1 November 2016 EHRAC made a submission to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, concerning the implementation of the European Court of Human Rights' June 2015 judgments in the two cases relating to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict


If Azerbaijan is a democracy, why were we imprisoned for our views?

14.7.16: The Azerbaijani authorities have released a number of imprisoned human rights defenders. However, with dozens of political prisoners still behind bars, their release cannot be interpreted as a sea change in government attitudes towards critical voices.


Moscow – Baku – Tashkent?

14.7.16: Kirill Koroteev (Legal Director, Memorial HRC) explores some of the parallels between Russia and Azerbaijan.


The frozen conflict in slow-motion

14.7.16: Monica Ellena (a journalist in Tbilisi) tells the story of those living in the breakaway region of South Ossetia now, in light of the International Criminal Court’s decision to launch an investigation into crimes allegedly committed during the 2008 armed conflict.


Double standards in applying the Venice Commission Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters

14.7.16: Lousineh Hakobyan (President of the Europe in Law Association, Yerevan) evaluates the extent to which the way the referendum complied with international standards.