“On Monday 6 July, a Russian court found prominent journalist, Ms Svetlana Prokopyeva, guilty on charges of justifying terrorism after having stated in a radio programme that a terrorist attack at an FSB building was linked to the social and political situation in Russia, and that the incident was a result of the State’s ongoing restrictions on political and civil liberties. She has been ordered to pay a substantial fine, which we consider unjustified” reads the statement by a spokesperson of the European External Action Service on the sentencing of journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva in Russia.
“The prosecution of Ms Prokopyeva is testimony to the ever-shrinking space for independent journalism and civil society in the Russian Federation over recent years. Incidents of intimidation, threats and violence against journalists are frequently reported, while the fundamental freedoms of expression and freedom of the media in the country are repressed and severely curtailed, including through politically-motivated arrests and court proceedings such as the one against Ms Prokopyeva. Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democratic societies, which can thrive only if citizens have access to reliable information and can make informed choices. We expect the Russian Federation to uphold its international and domestic obligations and ensure that journalists are able to work in a safe environment without fear of reprisal”.
“The EU reaffirms its determination to defend press and media freedom, as well as all human rights, within its borders and worldwide”.
“The recent ruling of the German Constitutional Court put under the spotlight two issues of the European Union: the Euro system and the European legal system” reads the statement of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on decision of the German Constitutional Court.
“We take good note of the clear statement of the European Court of Justice of 8 May.
“In the same vein, the European Commission upholds three basic principles: that the Union’s monetary policy is a matter of exclusive competence; that EU law has primacy over national law and that rulings of the European Court of Justice are binding on all national courts.
“The final word on EU law is always spoken in Luxembourg. Nowhere else.
“The European Commission’s task is to safeguard the proper functioning of the Euro system and the Union’s legal system.
“We are now analysing the ruling of the German Constitutional Court in detail. And we will look into possible next steps, which may include the option of infringement proceedings.
“The European Union is a community of values and of law, which must be upheld and defended at all times. This is what keeps us together. This is what we stand for”.
Kazakhstan should not forcibly return two Chinese citizens fleeing Xinjiang or prosecute them for illegal border crossing while their asylum claims are pending, according to Human Rights Watch.
On January 6, 2020, court hearings against the two ethnic Kazakhs, Kaster Musakhanuly and Murager Alimuly, on charges of illegal border crossing began in the eastern town of Zaysan. The hearing was adjourned after only two hours, although dozens of witnesses and supporters had traveled there to testify on their behalf, and the case was postponed to January 21.
If returned to China, the men would almost certainly face detention and a real risk of torture.
“The government should immediately drop charges of illegal border crossing, halt these proceedings, and guarantee that these men will not be sent back to China as long as their refugee claims are pending,” said Laura Mills, Europe and Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“Kazakhstan can take this opportunity to demonstrate that, unlike in the past, it is a country that upholds its international legal obligations, respects refugee rights, and won’t return people to risk of torture.”
Catalan independence leader Oriol Junqueras(pictured)has been protected by the immunity as an Member of the European Parliament when he was jailed by the Spanish Supreme Court , and according the EU Court ruling should be fully restored in his rights, and subsequently given an opportunity to exercice his function.
“I call upon the competent Spanish authorities to align with the ruling. I have given a mandate to the services to evaluate its possible impact on the composition” the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli said.
Following the advice issued last month by Advocate General, Maciej Szpunar, the European Court of Justice said that Junqueras became an MEP from the moment the European election results were announced at the end of May and that he thus “enjoys the immunity guaranteed by Article 9 of the Protocol.
The ECJ also underlined that Junqueras also protected by “the immunity as regards travel” which applies “while they are travelling to the place of meeting of the European Parliament, including to that first sitting”.
Spanish courts prevented Junqueras to take an oath on the country’s constitution, which they say is necessary to become an MEP.
Junqueras, who had been in pre-trial detention since 2017 was elected to the EU Parliament in May 2019 for the Greens/European Free Alliance group.
The Netherlands is not obliged to help actively in repatriation of the young children and their mothers who left the country to join ranks of the Islamic State in Syria, an appeals court in The Hague said on November 22, overturning an earlier ruling.
Earlier this month the preceding court instance said the government must actively help to repatriate 56 children living in squalid conditions in camps in Syria.
All the children concerned have Dutch nationality and are under 12 years old. Most are younger than six.
The government appealed this ruling, citing national security and the risks it said Dutch officials would be exposed by entering the camps to find these women and children.
It said the ruling would negatively impact Dutch foreign policy and international cooperation. The mothers and children concerned are living in poor conditions which could rapidly deteriorate as winter arrives in the Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, their lawyer Andre Seebregts told the court, defending the need of repatriation.
In total, around 68,000 defeated fighters of the Caliphate and their families are being held in the camp, according to the Red Cross. They are under the custody of Syrian Kurdish forces after they took the jihadist group’s last enclave.
Government figures revealed that, as of October, some 55 Islamic State militants still based in northern Syria had traveled there from the Netherlands. There were also at least 90 children with Dutch parents or parents who had lived for a considerable time in the Netherlands as residents.
A German court has ruled that Catalan politician and former President Carles Puigdemont can be released on bail until a decision on his extradition to Spain is made. “The corruption charge against him is a potential basis for his return to Spain” – DW reports.
The state court in Schleswig-Holstein ruled on Thursday (5/04/2018) there was no reason to believe that Catalonia‘s former leader Carles Puigdemont risked persecution in Spain. It set bail at €75,000 ($92,000) while a decision was made on his possible extradition to Spain.
The court ruled that the main charge of ‘rebellion’ in the Spanish case against Puigdemont could not be used as the comparable German charge of treason specifies violence.
The court is to consider his extradition on the basis of misuse of public funds.