MINELRES: Minority Rights Information System (MIRIS): Newsletter no. 7

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sat Dec 4 09:31:52 2004

Original sender: Sergiu Constantin <Sergiu.Constantin@eurac.edu>

Dear colleagues and friends,

This is the seventh MIRIS newsletter which contains some of the most
relevant documents that have been stored recently in the Minority Rights
Information System (MIRIS). Please, open the attached file and click on
the blue titles of the documents in order to see the full text.

At the moment, almost 4000 documents on national minorities, from 35
European countries, are stored in MIRIS and can be easily accessed on
the website: http://www.eurac.edu/miris

The use of the database is free of charge. 

Any comments and suggestions from your side are very welcome! 

The MIRIS Team

Selection of recently added documents in MIRIS (Newsletter 7 - November
2004) - www.eurac.edu/miris 


Law regarding the use of Romanian language in public relations,
institutions and places - November 17, 2004 - In Romanian 

The law regulates the use of the official language, orally or written,
in the public sphere. Any text in a foreign language having 'character
of public interest' must be translated or adapted to Romanian language.
Are excepted from the scope of the law the publications in languages of
national minorities, the TV and radio programs in the languages of
national minorities and the texts in the minority languages grounded on
the legislation regarding the rights of national minorities to preserve,
develop and express their linguistic identity. 

Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance - November 2,
2004 - in English and Serbian 

Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance came into force
on November 13. It defines information of public significance as that in
possession of government bodies which the public has a justifiable
interest in knowing. The legislation defines exemptions in cases which
would endanger the lives, health or privacy of other people, interfere
with legal proceedings or endanger the defense of the country or public
security. Information requires should be be released with fifteen days
of submission of a written application, in accordance with a new

Law on the Public Use of the Slovenian Language - August 5, 2004 - in

The Slovenian Parliament adopted on August 5, 2004 the Law on the Public
Use of the Slovenian Language, aiming to protect the official language
from foreign languages' influences. The Law entered into force on 20
August. It establishes Slovenian as the language to be used in oral and
written form in public life situations. Minority Languages of the two
constitutionally recognized minorities (Italians and Hungarians) may
also be used in bilingual city councils. Public insignia and political
parties shall be in Slovenian language; as well as names of private
companies, premises and shops. All proceedings made by public and
private legal persons shall be carried out in Slovenian; and public
notices, conferences and press releases, announcements of public
statements, and product labeling and instructions are to be in

By-Law regarding Teaching in Different Languages and Dialects which are
used in Daily Life - September 20, 2002 - in English and Turkish 

Law on Broadcasting in Different Language and Dialects Traditionally
Used by Turkish Citizens in their Daily Lives - January, 2002 - in

Penal Code - September 26, 2004 - in Turkish 

Parliament adopted a new penal code on 26 September 2004 that brings
brought the country closer to EU candidate status. The Law enforces the
abolition of a ban on Kurdish language broadcasting and instruction, and
removes bureaucratic restrictions on non-Muslim religious communities.
The Law contains a controversial provision that prescribes a prison
sentences ranging from three to ten years for a citizen who demands the
withdrawal of Turkish soldiers from Cyprus or declares that the Armenian
genocide actually took place during the First World War (Article 306). 


Minorities in Turkey: Submission to the European Union and the
Government of Turkey - Minority Rights Group International Report, July
2004 - in English 

This report seeks to analyse the position of minorities in Turkey, to
assess the progress made so far in terms of constitutional and
legislative reform, and to identify the areas in which changes and
reforms are necessary. 

Shadow Report on the Implementation of the FCNM in the Republic of
Croatia for the implementation period 1999 - 2004. Report prepared by
the Center for Peace, Legal Advice and Psychosocial Assistance, Vukovar
and Community of Serbs, Rijeka - July 2004 - in English and Serbian 

This shadow report is using the following sources: reports and
statements by local and international non-governmental organisations;
reports, documents and information by relevant governmental
institutions; media information; relevant national legislation; reports,
opinions, statements and documents by international organisations.
Information provided by non-governmental organisations are based on data
they collected through their everyday activities or collected while
communicating with persons belonging to minority communities or their


Resolution ResCMN(2004)10 on the implementation of the Framework
Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Poland -
September 30, 2004 - in English 

Resolution ResCMN(2004)10 on the implementation of the Framework
Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Spain -
September 30, 2004 - in English 

Venice Commission - Opinion on human rights in Kosovo: possible
establishment of a review mechanism - October 12, 2004 - in English 

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe has proposed setting up a
Human Rights Court in Kosovo as part of a programme of measures designed
to improve human rights protection for its citizens. The Venice
Commission suggests setting up independent advisory boards for UNMIK and
KFOR, to complement the protection already offered, in particular by the
Kosovo Ombudsperson. Also, the Venice Commission proposes to establish a
special Chamber of the Supreme Court with the power to review individual
human rights cases with regard to the provisional institutions of self
government (PISG). 


Draft Law on Religious Freedom and Legal Status of Religious Communities
in Kosovo - November 2004 - in English, Serbian and Albanian 

The draft law on religious freedom and legal status of religious
communities in Kosovo will soon be discussed by Kosovo's government. It
foresees the organization of religious communities in the protectorate.
Some minority religious communities expressed concerns that the draft
inadequately assures their rights of religious freedom and claim that
the draft seriously contradicts international human rights commitments. 

STABILISATION AND ASSOCIATION - a 2003 paper by Snjezana Vasiljevic - in

The paper considers the protection of minority rights in Croatia since
independence in 1991 and it analyses some of the essential segments of
the protection of minorities in the international context as well as the
obligations of Croatia in this context. The analysis centers on the
Constitutional Law on the Rights of National Minorities adopted in
December 2002. The position of minorities before and after this law came
into force is compared. 


Political Integration of the Roma Minority in Postcommunist Slovakia and
Macedonia - a 2004 report by Eben Friendman - in English