Human rights

Moral accountability and implicated subjects from Yugoslavia to Trump

06/08/2020 -  Jelena Subotić

War crimes, racism, xenophobia, political violence. Who is to blame for what happened in the former Yugoslavia or for what is happening in Trump's America today? What is the responsibility of individuals? What is the responsibility of states? What is the responsibility of societies? What is our responsibility? An analysis

Surrogate motherhood and exploitation in Ukraine

30/07/2020 -  Claudia Bettiol Kiev

Ukraine is one of the few countries where surrogate motherhood is legal and commercial. Private agencies and clinics offer these services, fuelling the so-called "rent-a-womb tourism". Many Ukrainian women do it for money, but at what price?

Donbas: the miners' protest

06/07/2020 -  Claudia BettiolMartina Napolitano

In Donbas, miners went on strike for unpaid wages. Local authorities responded with repression: isolation of strikers, telephone lines cut, arrests and fines. Meanwhile, the conflict continues, albeit in international silence

Croatia, police abuse is systemic

22/06/2020 -  Giovanni Vale Zagreb

While the world is outraged and protests after George Floyd's death to denounce institutionalised violence, migrants have been beaten and tortured on the Balkan route for years. A brutal practice often covered up, even by the EU itself

Turkey: an open call to release the Kurdish journalist Nedim Türfent

16/06/2020

Together with more than 40 ngos, we call to the Turkish authorities to free Kurdish journalist Nedim Türfent, who is in jail since May 2016 for false allegations of "terrorism": his only fault was to report on Kurdish issues and on the abuses of Turkish special forces. After almost 1500 days of detention, we invite everybody to sign this call

Lgbt in Albania, goodbye conversion therapy

24/06/2020 -  Christian Elia

Albania's Order of Psychologists has decided to ban so-called "conversion therapy", i.e. the attempt to change a person's sexual orientation. However, much remains to be done in Albania on LGBT issues

Ukraine: Slovo, from “house of the word” to nightmare

26/05/2020 -  Claudia Bettiol Kiev

"Slovo" is an apartment complex for Ukrainian writers, built in the 1920s in the former capital of Ukraine Kharkiv. Securing them a decent home was only a marginal concern: it soon turned into a nightmare of control, delations, and arrests

Armenia: don't talk about HIV

29/04/2020 -  Armine Avetisyan Yerevan

There are several thousands of HIV-positive people in Armenia today. Although information is becoming more accessible, for example that the disease is not airborne and that simple contact is not contagious, many avoid contact with them - "for safety". Because of that discriminatory attitude, HIV-positive people keep hiding

Turkey: 24 rights groups call for release of all those arbitrarily detained, now at risk of Covid-19

21/04/2020

The Turkish government continues to ignore international voices calling for justice and respect of human rights, and has excluded human rights defenders, journalists and politicians from the benefits of the recent law that allows 90,000 prisoners to go home. Together with other 23 international groups, OBCT urges the authorities to move now to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

Here the full text of the call we signed

Bosnia and Herzegovina: requiem for Dr. Pašagić

24/04/2020 -  Ahmed Burić Sarajevo

The death of well-known Sarajevo epidemiologist Šefik Pašagić is a tragic story that has its roots in Bosnian medical malpractice. In a final, bitter paradox, the deceased has been blamed for his own death

Croatia, journalists beaten up on a Ustasha Easter

15/04/2020 -  Giovanni Vale Zagreb

In Sirobuja, on the outskirts of Split, a clandestine mass was held on the day of Catholic Easter, in spite of all the prohibitions imposed by the coronavirus epidemic. The journalists documenting the fact were beaten up and verbally abused

Greece and COVID-19, in prisons isolation is not enough

09/04/2020 -  Elvira Krithari Atene

Greece's overcrowded prison system provides poor protection for prisoners against the coronavirus epidemic. At the moment, there are no cases reported in prisons, but late intervention is likely to prove useless and harmful

Journalism in times of COVID19: an update from Turkey

31/03/2020 -  Arzu Geybullayeva

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey persists in detaining and arresting new journalists. Calls by human rights organisations for the release of journalists and activists are multiplying

Turkey: Rights groups call for urgent release of imprisoned journalists, human rights defenders and others, now at risk of Covid-19

31/03/2020

Together with other human rights groups and organizations, OBCT calls on the Turkish government to include journalists and human rights defenders in the release of thousands of prisoners from overcrowded prisons: the novelist Ahmet Altan and the businessman Osman Kavala are among those who would not be released as they are detained for terrorism related crimes

Bulgaria, if coronavirus tests freedom of expression

25/03/2020 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

Fines and prison for spreading "false news" about coronavirus, police access to sensitive phone and web traffic data: some norms of the COVID-19 "emergency package" by the Bulgarian government have stirred a debate on freedom and rights in the pandemic

Media and COVID-19: the risk of restrictions on media freedom

24/03/2020

The Council of Europe and media freedom international organisations call on European States to defend independent journalistic work and not to exploit the Coronavirus crisis to further limit free access to information

COVID-19: no one is safe until all are protected!

19/03/2020

Dozens of activists from South Eastern European countries, under the name of "Transbalkan Solidarity Group", have launched an appeal to the European Union, the Commission, the governments of EU member states and the Balkan countries, in order to safeguard refugees and migrants without any discrimination or esclusion

The European Parliament must intervene to stop violence and human rights violations at the EU-Turkey border

12/03/2020

Many European organisations have made an appeal to the European Parliament in order to stop violence and the use of force against defenseless people at the EU-Turkey border and to restore legality and respect for human rights, including the right to asylum

Balkan route: fragile calmness on the Bulgarian front

06/03/2020 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

Good relations with Turkey and especially with president Erdoğan, at all costs: this is how prime minister Boyko Borisov has managed to protect Bulgaria from the new migration crisis. However, this strategy may be based on fragile foundations

Of the invisible and the disappeared. Notes from the Turkish-Greek border

09/03/2020 -  Deniz Şenol SertIlhan Zeynep Karakılıç

Two Turkish sociologists and journalists went to see with their own eyes what is happening on the border between Turkey and Greece. An intense reportage

Time to immediately act and to address humanitarian and protection needs of people trapped between Turkey and Greece

03/03/2020

The human rights situation at the border between Turkey and Greece where thousands of vulnerable men, women and children are trapped between borders without access to assistance or the possibility to seek international protection is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Urgent action is now needed to prevent the situation from getting even worse.

A Contested Attempt at Transitional Justice – the Kosovo Specialist Chambers

20/02/2020 -  Meris MušanovićArolda Elbasani

A "hybrid" institution – based in the Hague, but part of the judicial system of Kosovo, the new special court for the crimes of the UCK promises, among many criticisms, a new approach to transnational justice

Moldova: towards a new psychiatric care system

17/02/2020 -  Francesco BrusaAndrea Bonetti

Moldova is undergoing a radical reform of the psychiatric care system. The country is transitioning from the old model of psychiatric assistance to a new system, based on the establishment of so-called "community medical centres". A reportage

Azerbaijani elections, for Rasul Jafarov this time is different

16/01/2020 -  Claudia Ditel

Well-known human rights defender, lawyer, and former political prisoner Rasul Jafarov intends to run for the next parliamentary elections with the REAL party – only if the regime allows him to. An interview

The problem with refugee camps in Greece

14/01/2020 -  Eleni Stamatoukou Thessaloniki

More than 100,000 migrants and refugees are still present in Greece. Many of them live in refugee camps, which are not appropriate accommodation solutions because of their location in faraway, poory connected areas

Azerbaijan: 2019, year of make-up

13/01/2020 -  Arzu Geybullayeva

It was a rather hectic year in 2019 in Azerbaijan, President Aliyev decided on a series of changes, layoffs and replacements of senior officials. For some a wave of reforms, for others yet another make-up, in view of the early parliamentary elections of 9th February

Albania: the winter of representative democracy

09/01/2020 -  Gentiola Madhi

A new wave of protests is expected to mark the beginning of 2020 in Albania. With a fragmented opposition and a non-representative Parliament, civic protests may serve as a catalyst for further democratisation and freedom of speech

eQualitie supports OBCT and online press freedom

07/01/2020

Today we want to dedicate a post to the eQualitie team, that has been protecting Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa since 2013, when our website was subjected to repeated ddos attacks and hackers asked for the removal of "inconvenient" articles, threatening to completely obscure our service to the readers

Equality bodies in Europe

12/12/2019

Equality bodies are national institutions that tackle discrimination in society. Building on Equinet data, we have developed for EDJNet an Index to assess their effectiveness.

Greece: New Democracy pushes a tougher agenda on refugees

02/12/2019 -  Elvira Krithari Atene

After the victory in the last elections, New Democracy has given a new course to policies for migrants and refugees, which risks further weakening the protection mechanisms available to them