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Calmy-Rey takes stock of human rights mandate

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has described the six-month chairmanship of Switzerland at the Council of Europe as a positive experience.

But Calmy-Rey added that she had been “disappointed” by the attitude of Belarus on the issue of the death penalty.

In an interview with the Basler Zeitung and Le Temps newspapers, she said one of the aims during the six months had been a rapprochement with Belarus, which required the introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty.

However, two people were executed in March by the authorities in Belarus at a time when discussions had been taking place.

Calmy-Rey said she was happy with the success of launching reforms at the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, noting that a conference in the resort of Interlaken in February had adopted a plan of action.

Reform had been considered paramount owing to a huge backlog of cases.

Switzerland hands over the chair of the Council of Europe to Macedonia on Tuesday. and agencies


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