Human rights defenders’ work is vital for redress to victims of enforced disappearance

September 2nd, 2016 § 0 comments

Nils-Muižnieks

In his post of 29 August 2016, Commissioner of the Council of Europe for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks pointed out to the importance of human rights defenders work for redress to victims of enforced disappearance. According to the Commissioner, the absence of effective investigations into violations committed by state and non-state actors against human rights defenders, targeted because of their human rights work, remains a major problem in a number of European states. The situation of human rights defenders is negatively affected by various factors such as judicial harassment, threats and intimidation, abusive control and surveillance, confiscation and destruction of working materials, unlawful arrest or detention, ill-treatment, disappearance, and death. Among the issues mentioned in ‘The way forward’, the Commissioner notes that “law enforcement officials, judges and lawyers should be trained on the importance of combating impunity, as well as standards, legal obligations and good practices related to cases of enforced disappearances” and “that human rights defenders should continue interacting and exchanging experiences and help each other to work on cases of missing persons and enforced disappearances”.

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