PACE seeks greater protection for human rights defenders and NGOs

PACE has called on Council of Europe member states to do more to protect human rights defenders and to ensure an enabling environment for NGOs.

In a joint debate on reports by Mailis Reps (Estonia, ALDE) and Yves Cruchten (Luxembourg, SOC), the Assembly said it was deeply concerned about increased reprisals against human rights defenders in certain member states, including Azerbaijan, the Russian Frederation and Turkey.

The parliamentarians asked states to refrain from attacking, intimidating or harassing human rights defenders, and not to adopt laws that impose disproportionate restrictions on their activities.

They asked both Azerbaijan and Russia to amend their laws on NGOs to bring them into line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission.