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Prize – which honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights – has been awarded to the head of the Grozny office of the Memorial Human Rights Center in Chechyna, Oyub Titiev (Russian Federation). The prize was presented at a special ceremony today at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg, on the opening day of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Oyub Titiev, in detention since January 2018, is a prominent human rights defender and head of the Grozny office of the Memorial Human Rights Center in Chechyna. Mr Titiev has made a widely recognised contribution to the defence of human rights in the region by reporting on abuses by the local authorities. Mr Titiev being in detention, the prize was presented to Aleksandr Cherkasov, Chairman of the Memorial Human Rights Centre Board. 

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly, in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation, to reward outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights in Europe and beyond. Nominations of any individual, non-governmental organisation or institution working to defend human rights are taken into consideration. 

Source: http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/News/News-View-EN.asp?newsid=7218&lang=2&cat=37
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“Armenia’s peaceful transfer of power in May 2018 has been truly remarkable. However, popular expectations are high that there will be tangible improvements to people’s lives, and the government should devote its attention to upholding the long-neglected rights of those who are most vulnerable”, said Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, concluding a visit to Armenia from 15 to 20 September which focused on women’s rights, gender equality and domestic violence, the human rights of various disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, as well as questions related to accountability for past human rights violations.

The Commissioner devoted attention to the rights of women and their political participation: “Women’s participation in Armenia’s public life should be more effectively promoted – especially, at the highest levels of decision-making and at the local level, where it is particularly low.” Temporary special measures, such as mandatory quotas, can be helpful in levelling the playing field for women and men, and the Commissioner recommends that concrete and ambitious targets for women’s participation be pursued, including for local elections. “The authorities should also do more to encourage women and girls to become actively engaged in political life, to promote role models and champions – both male and female - of women’s equality, and to foster a gender-equal education environment free from discriminatory stereotypes”, said Commissioner Mijatović.

https://bit.ly/2OOBsYS

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Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2018

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Today, on 10 September, Warsaw hosted a meeting of OSCE participating States on human dimension. It was launched by a silent protest of the representatives of the Civic Solidarity Platform member organizations in support of the arrest of Oyub Titiev, the head of the “Memorial” Human Rights Center in Chechnya (see https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/oyub-titiev-detained-and-facing-criminal-investigation) and Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, who was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment as if organizing “terrorist acts” in Russia (details at https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2018/07/oleg-sentsov/).

The Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of OSCE participating States is Europe's largest annual human rights and democracy conference. It is organized every year by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) as a platform for the 57 OSCE participating States, the OSCE Partners for Co-operation, OSCE structures, civil society, international organizations and other relevant actors to take stock of the implementation of OSCE human dimension commitments, discuss associated challenges, share good practices and make recommendations for further improvement. (More on that at https://www.osce.org/odihr/hdim_2018)

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