Towards a Europe without political prisoners
A vision of a Europe with out political prisoners gathered activists and policy makers on 2 June in Berlin for a conference organised by European Stability Initiative (ESI). Senior European policy makers, parliamentarians, and human rights activists gathered to discuss what different institutions – the Council of Europe, the European Union and international human rights organisations – must do to realise the vision of a Europe without political prisoners in the near future. NHC was a supporter of the conference and secretary General Bjørn Engesland a speaker.
Among the speakers were Christoph Strässer, Federal Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid of the German Government. Strässer was the third rapporteur on political prisoners in Azerbaijan (2009-2013) in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Khadija Ismayilova, Azerbaijan's best-known investigative journalist, Michael McNamara, MP, member of PACE and human rights lawyer, Bill Browder, CEO Hermitage Capital and Magnitski campaign, former political prisoner in Azerbaijan Emin Milli and several others.
ESI and Norwegian Helsinki Committee prepared a Non paper ahead of the conference describing the problem and coming up with six suggestions for actions to be debated. Read the Non paper here: