Stockholm – Round Table Conference on Political Prisoners and the Council of Europe
On 10-11 June 2013, ESI and the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation organized a workshop "Round Table Conference on Political Prisoners and the Council of Europe" in Stockholm, Sweden. In addition to ESI's staff (Gerald Knaus, Alexandra Stiglmayer, Yana Zabanova and Ben Judah), the event was attended by leading experts from the Council of Europe (Piotr Świtalski, Director for Policy Planning, Andres Herkel, Chairman, Estonian Delegation to the of the Council of Europe), OSCE/ODIHR (Omer Fisher, Deputy Head of the Human Rights Department), and the Open Society Foundation (Iva Dobichina, Program Manager), as well as civil society activists (Emin Milli, Managing Director, Meydan TV), journalists (Sahin Alpay, Senior Lecturer, Bahcesehir University, Columnist, Today's Zaman), diplomats (Christian Strohal, Special Envoy for the Vienna +20 Conference) and Swedish diplomats and MPs (Olof Ehrenkrona, Senior Advisor to the Foreign Minister, Ulrika Karlsson, Swedish Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe), as well as representatives from the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation (Göran Lennmarker, Chairman, Eva Gustavsson, Managing Director, Thomas Gür, Senior Advisor), and many others, see the full list of participants.
Workshop participants debated mechanisms and tools that the Council of Europe could use to address the problem of political prisoners in its member states. They also focused on the role that civil society could play in this effort, as well as on the uses of different kinds of sanctions. ESI will draw on the insights gained from the workshop in its further research and advocacy work on the Council of Europe and the problem of political prisoners.