tv REV Deutsche Welle June 10, 2021 2:30am-3:01am CEST
with learning like global ideas, we will show you how climate change ended for your mental conservation is taking shape around the world and how we can all make a difference. knowledge grows through sharing, download it now, for me . on many occasions, i made some 5 powerful people, very angry, but you don't shame them into changing their behavior though. do you commission of human rights and my mandate is very clear. europe has almost nothing to teach the rest of the world about human rights. so that this is not like an advice. this is not easy. the council of europe has issued as late as verdict, human rights and democracy in europe. and it makes unpleasant reading. europe's democratic environment and institutions. it says are in neutrally reinforcing decline. we talked a lot about democracy and human rights on this program and spend
a good time holding politicians to account for actions for the peace when danger those rights. but the situation is not so critical. we decided to question a leading official just trying to protect human rights about why that protection is famous. junior me after which is commissioner for human rights with the council of europe, and she joins me now some stuff, but what is it gone so spectacularly wrong? the dounia may out of edge welcome to conflict zone. thank you. 2 months ago you press the emergency button on human rights in europe. you said 2020 had been a disastrous year for those rights on the continent. one of the bleakest assessments to be hard for a long time. do you think anybody is listening to your warning?
well, i hope so. it is something that is affecting, that's all, no matter which part of the world. and if this is not a moment for all government in europe and beyond, to take a long, hard look in the mirror and realize how important it is that we move forward in a different way than we be moving until now, before this unprecedented time, we are all facing what people are listening because plenty of your warnings in the past have fallen on deaf ears. one example the issue of migrant abuse in hungry as far back as 2019. you said this needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency. nothing was done, gary and continued pushing back, migrants across the border with serbia. my question is, why do you think you lack the personal authority to change the minds of people who
do these things? who commit these violations or is hungry a last cause? well, i would not say that the hungary is last cause, 1st of all because the area because the people that rely on the protection of the condition when it comes to my personal influence and the impact the time will tell, i cannot change the government. i cannot play to be in a position, but i can use something that is the most powerful tool in my, to the commissioner, which is my voice. giving my voice, the voiceless, making sure that human rights violations are documented. and this is something that is already, i would say extremely important. the impact can be measured in different ways, but many are indifferent. international organizations have been saying for years about various situation and also in situation of many other countries that are
moving in a very direction and say, so freedom of media, for example, comes to my mind already in 2010 in a different position. i warned about social media extra, and i said this is going to teach a bull mirror and it's happening right now. nevertheless, we should not give up. we should continue warnings and using all the tools that we have our disposal. and ultimately it will be a decision of variance and also the government that should comply with the international law and standard. well, it gives you just hungry is it? there are plenty of things that are involved in these violations. you often hear the claim that human rights must be sacrificed for the sake of protecting national or european boundaries. what do you tell those governments which, which advance that argument?
i totally disagree with this. i think this is a wrong path and wrong way. but equally up to everything that you wrote, that the continent experienced in the last decade, the 70 years ago when the organizational councils, europe was established. this is not the way to protect multilateralism. muslim them approved to be extremely important. not only for democratic countries, but also countries that are trying to move forward some democratic order. and you know, i come from from booking and had to go. and i know how it is important to move forward and recognize the international issues at the same time, of course, protecting culture tradition, but not using it as an excuse not to protect human rights. this is wrong. and because of this view, on many occasions, i made some 5 powerful people, very angry,
which in a ways part of mine, i don't make them angry, but you don't shame them into changing their behavior though. do you? well, i've tried to shame them and name them, but then at the end, you know, it really depends on the governments for date or do. as i said, i cannot, i'm not an opposition. political position. i'm commissioner book human rights. and my mandate is very clear. it was created by those states in order to be mine. it is quite a young institution, 20 years did the establishment, but it's also quite unique because it is the economist independence. and it is up to the commissioner to decide, in which direction to road your attention and to call for respect of human rights. of course, i really do. it is not black and white. this is not easy will don't like to see results either without commission. i understand the key to the effective functioning of the council is the binding commitment, supposedly,
of member countries to implement decisions of the european court of human rights. that too has been a significant failure. hasn't it? your own figures show it as of january this year, a staggering 45 percent of the leading judgments from the court, finalized in the last 10 years have not been implemented. that's a shocking figure, isn't it? it is shocking figure, but at a time we also need to recognize that many decision, you know, they were implemented and there are states that still do honor their commitments. this is quite extraordinary what we are facing at the moment. and here i can just mention cases that i've seen people i can really refer to the case of the man cabella who i visited the prison 2 years ago. he's still in prison, even though there is
a judgement from the court of human rights and took his government and not implementing extremely important judgment. nobody in russia is another. i want you to come on and i want to talk about russia and about in the, in, in a moment. but, but these rulings are your most important tool for correcting injustice. and governments are throwing huge numbers of them in the been. and my question is, if, if that doesn't work, and that's your major lever, your major mechanism for writing wrongs. what have you got left? i think it's not correct there. it's one of the mechanisms. of course, it is extremely important fun. i can always present a 3rd party intervention like i did in many of the cases that we already mention. but then it is ultimately, you know, with the states and also the committee of ministers, of the council of europe that is monitoring execution of the judgments of europe,
court of human rights. for me, there are other tools at my disposal bilateral discussions, but also seeking access to presents in order to really try to understand the situation that in some cases extremely complex. but i agree with you that there is a fusion of the judgment of the quote of human rights is a t. and that it's something that you're going to need to do more, more needs to be done. on the political level. we need more, you know, governments that are willing to, to name the space that are not really how they seem to be a document. they seem to be in short supply. those governments, you, you have pointed out the cove. it because the panoramic is accelerated, the decline of democracy in europe with governments acquiring special powers that have served to erode the checks and balances on them. but this process has been
under way for a long time, as you said on april 21st commitment to upholding human rights values has been faltering all over the continent for several years. so during those years, there should have been time to stop the slide. now, why wasn't the intervention done much, much earlier when the pattern was seen and identified? well, that is the question of ham dollar for all of us to answer and also lost our self by you facing this situation now. but just maybe one more should, should germany, france, u. k. i mean, they will claim to value human. right? i have done more of the should have done more. but when it comes to human rights protection, i would say, you know, based on my career and everything i did, i see it's not a sprint. is that it is american. i would say it is
difficult to to the result results required time. but i think that commitment is a p here, and i don't have time do they don't you me out of it's a lot of that i living in a pulling conditions a poorly human rights abuse. many visiting many but they also results only yesterday i learned about a decision by the check problem and to compensate roma. women that suffered sterilization in the ninety's, which was part of my work and engagement department. and the government justice is also very slow, but it is important that we see. and i agree with you. there are many, many parts of marginalized parts of the society that are waiting for impact and waiting for their health. for the help from isn't it, isn't it true,
commission of that business in a way is to blame for this faltering commitment that you've spoken about. this idea, for instance, that germany always pushes change through trade. you get the trade, but in terms of human rights, nothing changes. does it look at the deals with china and rough russia? no leverage human rights whatsoever. this was especially true of the controversial no stream to gas deal with russia. no human rights considerations were allowed to get in the way of that that this is, this is a lost opportunity, isn't it? the push human rights? of course, each time of human rights are not in the center of any kind of discussion. we fade and be moved backwards. but the same time, i think this should also be assigned to all parts of working in human rights area. not to really of the in
a way ignorance for these happenings. of course, the do follow everything but my work and my mandate gives me, you know, many opportunities to raise these questions with the governments, with society in many of the state. and for me, dialogue is a p as well. but also the same time, you know why diplomacy has to get from, with the dialogue has to get somewhere, doesn't it? and looking at your report, europe has almost nothing to teach the rest of the world about human rights. does it? you said in contemporary europe, human rights defenders are killed, abducted jail harris, the space for civil society when those democratic institutions are dismantled, independent judges removed. journalists are silenced by pointing, though that you've effectively demolished the idea that europe is some kind of beacon of human rights having to it isn't. it has many more than 5,
but i would still say that it, there are many things that we should not take for granted. and forgot that, you know, millions of people have become free from oppression, poverty, free to live there. one. so it's not in black and white, and you just portrayed europe much 15 years of steady decline, of observance of human rights and democratic principles. that's nothing to be proud of. is it? no, that's nothing to be proud of. but as i said, there are still examples of government, you know, really accepting refugees doing great things, vocal human right. you, you mentioned russia, take a state that doesn't appear to be committed to those rights like o member countries. russia agreed to be banned by the rulings of the european court of human rights. but in the case of the opposition leader saying the boundaries
which you mentioned earlier. russia has clearly felt that the orders of the court hasn't that the court said in february and nevada, and they should be temporary released from jail because the government couldn't provide sufficient safeguards for his life and health rushes. justice minister called the ruling unenforceable and threw it in the been where does that leave you? well, this is a clear disregard of human rights and international obligations about the case is emblematic case. this also shows that beneath, you know, there are many more problems like a lack of independent judiciary in russia. human rights abuses in chechnya, lack of investigation, repression of descent and harassment of human rights defenders. so it's not just about the case where we see that the russian federation is completely disregarding the decision of the board of human rights. but i still remain hopeful that you will
be soon free and the structure will show that importance. one member of the council of europe is based on commission and because the russian state also called the court ruling blatant and gross interference in the judicial affairs of a foreign state. now that one statement undermines the basis on which countries belong to the counselor, doesn't it? the fact is, if the council does nothing about this, then countless numbers of people in russia and elsewhere will conclude that you're simply not capable of enforcing the requirements of council membership. and standing up to tough and abusive governments is not right. not really. it is not that simple. it is up to the government to implement the judgment. it is up to the committee of ministers of the council of europe to push for the institution of the
judgment. we have to keep the dialogue with dorothy is also in difficult situation . and it is not because of difficulties that the give up. on the contrary, i think this is also a moment for the council of europe to do more than ever before and did all the institutions and all the mechanisms that we had disposal. i think at the end of the seat, this cannot happen overnight. at the same time, i completely agree with that. not as the teaching judgement of europe right, isn't acceptable. and all the countries that are really not doing it should be cold, obviously. and really, you know, we should try to do as much as we can in order to continue pushing for the release of people that are sitting in jail and commission. unacceptable. is, is an overused word internationally, isn't it?
it's normally meant to. busy cover things that we've already accepted, but wish we hadn't russia has faced credible allegations of attempting to murder, not only like santa valley, but a former intelligence officer said a script and his daughter in england in 2018. and they actually are accused of murdering another former officer, alexander, when you go in london in 2006, russia denies all these charges, but these are credible allocations and it still has its seat in the council aren't, isn't it the, despite these allegations, from a european body, it's still allowed to keep its seat in a body that promotes democracy and human rights. why is that? why is that? i mean, this is not really a question i can answer because not only russia, but all the states are teaching in international organizations. they have
a seat in the security council un be including council, if you wrote, my role is not to make a judgement to state, should you know, as a member or not is definitely out my mandate. but what is it in my mandate, is to remind those states to comply that commitments and to honor the values and that they agree on when they became members of different international organizations. nobody pushed russia or poor. russia will become a member of the council of europe or any other country. why do we see that? not russia. many other countries are simply taking the box and saying, we are proud member of this organization and not doing anything. it's a huge question. but this council of europe,
the problem is it gives many governments a cloak of respectability that they don't deserve. doesn't it? like as i said, you know, being member of the club, you know, always the honorable thing. but if you do not follow the rules of the club and you know, this is something that should be exposed then to seat in the counsel i think is important to say is to ensure the protection of the citizen, not the government. we work for, for the people, including people because governments behave badly, would leave people without protection, which is the last thing i would like to see a commissioner of human rights engaging with the ordinary people. marginalize people is the main issue for me when you are doing a lot of monitoring then protecting these days though on to you're not, you're not protecting the people in turkey. for instance, last year, nearly $26000.00 people were in jail awaiting trial on terrorism charges that
continue to be widely misused and used in fact to restrict free expression of association. they're not protected. i don't know. i mean, they, you know, you're wrong here. you know, protection means much more than just, you know, saying okay, i'm just going with this more than i'm going to protect all those people know, people in turkey do feel protected by my office and me personally, they see my office where they can complain and you know, seek protection and that's happened on on many occasions i was given access, as i already stated, to present to see an estimate please release now and i do try to engage in the government, the government on the issue of human rights defenders and journalist center numerous cases before the court, but it's not an easy task,
but at the same time, it is honorable and it gives me even more energy to, to engage, to try to help people helping one individual can also change a lot in any countries. you righty. stated the previously that at the moment we do not believe in a good time for human rights. human rights and collected, pushed under the carpet by many governments. ultra conservative groups are targeting civil society and human rights defenders. and this is a said why are facing this situation? as i already said, it's a question for this color. nevertheless, you need to continue working. well, it's also a question. you can just blame the governments, can you, what about the people who put them there? what happens when free elections empower politicians who then take away their
rights? what then? what then? well, the, the question is also the election over 3 unfair. it's not the case all the time. you have many reports from credible international organizations, including parliamentary assembly of the europe, stating that certain elections in certain states. but everything but not free and fair. so you end up with the governments, want to stay forever neglect human rights. and this is something we should not hello, i have the mandates for 47 members. dates of the council of europe and differences are huge, but no date is immune to violations of human rights. and documenting this and pointing out and working together with people can bring results not overnight, but the fact that the fact is the autocrat. so winning on fe when you look back
through the centuries, it's repression. that's the enduring constant, not democracy. and now that repression is back with a vengeance, and we have to face that fact. don't we? yes that's, that's true. but i would not say that the article be winning. there are examples and we should listen to different voices in the society. but these are not, you know, those voices that are reading like fake news targeting human rights defenders generally civil society in order to to win bowls. he should not use these as a excuse for not doing enough. but what i think is also important is that all international innovation should use the situation now and try to push for changes by putting human rights into the guy. and i understand that,
but very briefly, if you keep sounding the alarm bell and nothing improves and it hasn't been improving as we pointed out over the last 15 years, it's been a steady decline. the danger is that people are going to stop listening on fe. there was, i was trying to decline, but i disagree that there was no progress and there were no issues related to right . that's improved in many member states. if you look at the situation to judge b t i t, when it comes to women's rights, i mean we are still fighting. the struggle is present, but is the tradition changed for better? if you look at the rama community in many say they were examples of, of success and moving forward. so it's not just, you know, completely, you know, really great situation that we need to just accept it and say ok, the fail. no,
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the, the who's this is the w news lying from berlin rebuilding transatlantic ties still buys and begins his 1st foreign trip as us president and couple of the agenda mending relations which solid under the trump administration. also in the program are russian courts labels, alexis, these anti corruption networks, extremists as the kremlin sets up its clock down unopposed. ah.