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Foreign Minister Schallenberg meets the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Mijatović

AUSTRIA, December 16 - On 17 December 2021, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg welcomed Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, for a friendly exchange at the Foreign Ministry. The focus of this conversation was on freedom of speech, equal treatment and migration issues.

Close cooperation with the Council of Europe has always been a constant in Austrian foreign policy, which is why the Council of Europe's European Convention on Human Rights is also part of the Austrian constitution. In addition, the protection of human rights is a particular focus of foreign policy,

underlined Foreign Minister Schallenberg, referring to Austria's commitment as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The tense situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the unlawful detention of journalists in Turkey and the problematic understanding of rule of law in some EU countries was also discussed. Rule of law is one of the basic principles of the EU which is non-negotiable, claims Foreign Minister Schallenberg. On this issue, he relied on the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights. However, the situation at the EU external borders, particularly in Poland, where thousands of migrants are stranded whilst fleeing from Belarus and are relying on aid and protection, was discussed.

It is more important than ever that we do not tire of demanding that all states fully respect their obligations with regards to human rights. Human rights are not subject to a lockdown. We will not allow blatant human rights violations to be perpetrated under the shadow of the pandemic,

said the Foreign Minister.