EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for July, 2009

Russia: Crime Among Police Rises by 10%

Posted by Info on 31/07/2009

The head of the Interior Ministry’s internal investigation department, Oleg Goncharov, said that police officers committed 2,500 crimes in the first half of this year, or 10 percent more than a year earlier.Goncharov complained that police convicted of crimes were not receiving adequate sentences:

“Even though the majority of policemen commit crimes classified by lawmakers as serious, fewer than half of the officers convicted are sentenced to real imprisonment.”

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Ireland gives refuge to 2 Guantanamo Bay detainees from Uzbekistan

Posted by Info on 31/07/2009

The two Guantánamo Bay detainees being given refuge in Ireland are Uzbek nationals. One, 31-year-old Oybek Jabbarov, has been the focus of several months’ campaigning by Irish human rights groups seeking to bring him to Ireland.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, speaking after he met American Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney to confirm Ireland would take in the former inmates, said the Government had consistently called for the jail to be shut down.

“In making this decision, I am conscious of the intention of the United States to close the centre at Guantánamo Bay, in part by transferring detainees, no longer regarded as posing a threat to security but who cannot return to their own countries, to other countries willing to accept them,” he said.

Mr Ahern said the two men belong to a group of about 50 inmates who are “no longer regarded as posing a threat to security but who cannot return to their own countries”.

He declined to identify them, but other officials confirmed that both are from Uzbekistan and were seized in neighbouring Afghanistan in bitterly disputed circumstances. He said the men would receive permanent residency rights and would not be treated as refugees. They are expected to be transferred in the coming months.

Jabbarov’s case is widely cited as an example of how innocent people were branded terrorists by Afghan militiamen following the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, when US forces were offering lucrative cash bounties for the handover of alleged Taliban fighters.

Jabbarov says he, his wife and child were living as refugees near the Afghan-Uzbek border in October 2001 when heaccepted a lift in a car from soldiers of the National Alliance, a military faction long at war with the Taliban. He says the soldiers kidnapped him and delivered him to US troops to collect an easy bounty.

He was transferred to Guantánamo in 2002 and cleared for release in February 2007. He has been cleared for release from Guantánamo, but cannot return to Uzbekistan for fear of torture and persecution.

US President Barack Obama pledged to close Guantánamo Bay by January and his officials have been liaising with authorities around the world to persuade them to accept prisoners who cannot return home.

Posted in Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Uzbek journalist jailed for 12 years

Posted by Info on 31/07/2009

An opposition journalist Dilmurod Sayid was sentenced in Toylok district court in SamarkandUzbekistan  to 12 years in prison on blackmailing and forgery charges.

Abdurahmon Tashanov, a leader of the Ezgulik rights group said:”The sentencing of  province occurred today without the notification of his relatives and defense lawyer. The court official justified the closed session with security concerns.”

Earlier Sayid described the case against him as retaliation by local authorities and law-enforcement agencies, whose activity he had been criticizing for several years in local and online media outlets.

Sayid was arrested on Feb. 22 on suspicion of extorting money from an employee of an agricultural machinery firm in Samarkand region of Uzbekistan.Later the authorities added the additional charges of blackmailing the head of a collective farm and falsifying documents, according to Tashanov, who has been monitoring the trial.

Sayyid had been defending the interests of local farmers during the restructuring of the Uzbek agricultural sector and had a history of disputes with the authorities.

The journalist had been tried several times and had already served two previous jail sentences, totaling two-and-a-half years.He caused a stir in 2005 by publishing an article in the weekly newspaper Advokat that challenged official claims on the standard of living of Uzbekistan’s population.

After publication of the article, titledEssay on Nonexistent Things,” Sayid was sacked from his position and the newspaper was closed.

Uzbekistan is the leading jailer of journalists in Eurasia. The Government of Islam Karimov has shown an unrelenting hostility toward any independent reporting and illustrated it once again by these most recent arrests.”

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Peace Mission-2010 to focus on exercises combating “Eastern Turkestan” forces

Posted by Info on 31/07/2009

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) “Peace Mission-2010” military drill will be held in Kazakhstan next year, according to reports.

In response, Russian military commentator Vladimir Muhin pointed out that the separatism issue that emerged in Xinjiang also exists in Kazakhstan to some extent. The Kazakh government has cracked down on several separatist organizations set up by “Eastern Turkestan” activists. Some “Eastern Turkestan” armed terrorists have also appeared in Chechnya, Afghanistan and other Central Asian nations.

Therefore, it is not hard to understand why the “Peace Mission-2010” military drill, in which all SCO members will participate, is to be held in the Otar range near the border of China and Kazakhstan, reported Xinhua.

Posted in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, SCO, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan | 1 Comment »

Рябинина: антиэкстремистские законы поощряют бесправие на Северном Кавказе

Posted by Info on 31/07/2009

Антиэкстремистское законодательство РФ используется для подавления любых проявлений гражданской активности, в том числе и на Северном Кавказе. Об этом говорится в докладе “Российское общество под контролем (злоупотребления в ходе борьбы с экстремизмом и терроризмом)” международной миссии FIDH и комитета “Гражданское содействие”.

Доклад был представлен московским журналистам 23 июля этого года. Одним из аспектов документа является то, что на Северном Кавказе совершено множество нарушений прав человека в ходе антитеррористических операций или действий под предлогом антитеррористических мер.

“Суть доклада в том, что антитеррористическое, антиэкстремистское законодательство в том виде, в котором оно сейчас существует и действует, далеко от совершенства. Оно позволяет себе расширительное толкование. Этот закон можно использовать для подавления любых проявлений гражданской активности. Практика применения этого закона подтверждает эту мысль”.

Posted in Россия | Leave a Comment »

OSCE: Moldova elections in line with international standards

Posted by Info on 31/07/2009

Snap parliamentary elections in Moldova complied with international standards, the head of OSCE observers said at a news conference on Thursday.”The parliamentary elections were well organized and pluralistic, and in our opinion, they complied with international standards,” Petros Efthymiou said.

With 98% of the vote counted in Wednesday’s election, the ruling Communist Party received 45.1% of the vote (48 seats in parliament), the Liberal-Democratic Party of Moldova – 16.4% (17 seats), the Liberal Party – 14.4% (15 seats), the Democratic Party – 12.6% (13 seats) and the Our Moldova Alliance – 7.4% (eight seats).

Parliament will now have to elect a president, requiring a minimum 61 votes in the 101-seat chamber.

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Anti-Communists lead in Moldova election

Posted by Info on 30/07/2009

Four parties opposing Moldova’s ruling Communist Party are ahead in legislative polls and set to win five more seats than the Communists, results based on 97 per cent of the vote say.

The Communists – led by strongman President Vladimir Voronin who has ruled the country for the last eight years – polled by far the highest votes of a single party in the parliamentary polls, the official results said on Thursday.

But its share of 45.1 per cent of the vote was exceeded by that polled by four main opposition parties combined, including one led by a former leading Communist who defected in the run-up to the elections.

This would give the Communists only 48 seats in the new parliament and its opponents 53 seats, the central election commission said. The four parties do not have a formal coalition but have expressed a desire to work together.

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Мой суд – моя крепость

Posted by Info on 29/07/2009

Глава Минюста Александр Коновалов во вторник сделал сразу несколько важных заявлений. Он пообещал, что скоро в России появятся так называемые «цитадели правосудия» – закрытые анклавы, где будет обеспечиваться безопасность участников сложных процессов. Также он сообщил, что сообщество адвокатов пополнится «дореволюционными» стряпчими, и заверил, что новоприобретенное право силовиков без санкции суда читать частную переписку граждан не противоречит закону.

Posted in Россия | Leave a Comment »

B России 200 тысяч экстремистов (?)

Posted by Info on 29/07/2009

Министр внутренних дел России Рашид Нургалиев в статье о особенностях становления и развития МВД России, опубликованной сегодня в «Российской газете»«, сообщил, что по данным ведомства, на сегодняшний день в России находится 200 тыс. экстремистов.

«По данным МВД России, количество участников различных движений экстремистской направленности – от националистических организаций до фанатских группировок, находящихся в поле зрения криминальной милиции, – достигает 200 тысяч человек. Кроме того, организованные преступные группировки, расширяя сферы влияния, иногда сознательно придают банальным криминальным разборкам межэтническую окраску», – пишет Нургалиев.

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Turkmenistan Holds Elections For Local Councils /10% or 95.7% voters?

Posted by Info on 29/07/2009

Turkmenistan held nationwide elections for local councils on July 26.Turnout for the elections was reportedly low as residents did not have any information about the canditates and there was no campaigning for the council posts.

Exit polls conducted by RFE/RL in some parts of Ashgabat and in some parts of the Lebap and Mary provinces showed voter turnout varied between 5 and 10 percent, although state media reported that 95.7 percent of eligible voters took part in the elections throughout the country.

Since coming to office in late 2006, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has pledged to allow greater freedom and bring democratic changes to Turkmenistan.

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Russia: Two Policemen Accused Of Torture

Posted by Info on 29/07/2009

Two policemen in the Russian city of Korolev near Moscow were arrested for alleged torturing a prisoner.
The policemen are accused of beating and torturing a person who had no identification on July 1.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the victim, Armen Abdurakhmanov, was severely beaten and tortured with boiling water.

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Moldovan Officials Detain, Expel Election Observers

Posted by Info on 29/07/2009

Moldovans go to the polls on July 29, in a repeat of the disputed parliamentary elections.

Moldova holds its second parliamentary election this year. Back in April, riots flooded the street of Moldovan capital after the Communist party’s victory, amid claims the ballot had been rigged.

International election observers traveling to Moldova have been detained and others expelled, RFE/RL’s Ukrainian and Moldovan services report. Georgians were denied entry due to “information from Moldova’s intelligence service.”. An ENEMO representative in Chisinau, Sergei Tkachenko, also  said the Georgians did not have accreditation when they arrived in Moldova, but were supposed to receive it once they reached downtown Chisinau. Georgian citizens do not need visas to enter Moldova. Moldova expelled several activists and foreign journalists during its April 5 poll, which was followed by street violence and the death of at least one protester.

Moldovans abroad feel left out as country decides. According to official figures, some 500,000 Moldovans currently live abroad. Other estimates put their number at 1 million, almost a quarter of the country’s total population.

Moldovan expatriates are the engine of their homeland economy — the remittances they send home are equal to about one-third of Moldova’s gross domestic product. The majority of Moldovans abroad won’t be able to cast ballots in the decisive general election on July 29. Many Moldovan expatriates live in places with no Moldovan consular representation and therefore no polling stations.   Many Moldovans also live abroad illegally and are therefore unable to vote.

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Kyrgyz authorities arrest 50 activists protesting election results

Posted by Info on 29/07/2009

Some 50 opposition activists protesting the final results of Kyrgyzstan’s presidential elections have been arrested.

Kyrgyzstan’s Central Election Committee has officially declared incumbent President Kurmanbek Bakiev the victor in Thursday’s election, giving him 76.4% of the vote. Almazbek Atambayev came in a distant second with 8%. Opposition supporters claim Atambayev garnered 60% of the vote.

Bishkek prosecutor, Gulya Kozhukulova said “the police acted within the law” in arresting the participants of the unsanctioned protests.

Atambayev on Tuesday called on supporters to join “peaceful demonstrations, protests and other peaceful actions” against the “unprecedented falsifications during presidential elections.”

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EU Extends Georgia Mission, Holds Off On U.S. Joining

Posted by Info on 28/07/2009

EU nations have extended a cease-fire monitoring mission in Georgia for another year, but did not discuss the possibility of other countries, including the United States, joining the mission.

Georgia wants U.S. monitors and weapons to help defend against what it says is a threat from Russian troops in two breakaway regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, at their nearest point 50 kilometers from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

But some EU states are concerned that inviting the United States to join the mission could anger Russia, a key energy supplier to the bloc.

UN and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitoring missions, which had operated in Abkhazia and South Ossetia until Georgia’s war with Russia last year, have been forced to pull out of Georgia after Russia rejected extending their mandates.

This has left the EU as the only monitoring mission in Georgia, an important transit region for oil and gas to the West.

more about the views from the Georgian watch here

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Russia x Strasbourg: Human Rights Runaround – Legislating Lawlessness

Posted by Info on 28/07/2009

For years, the victims of Russia’s counterterrorist operations and their families have sought justice through the only effective and legal channel, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The Russian government loses roughly 95 percent of the cases that reach the court, the human rights watchdog of the Council of Europe. Russian cases made up nearly a third of the court’s case load last year, costing the Kremlin millions of euros in compensation for human rights violations.

This month, the government announced a new bill that aims to create a venue for victims of counterterrorist operations or terrorist acts to seek compensation within the Russian justice system. The European court requires that plaintiffs exhaust all available domestic legal venues before submitting their cases in Strasbourg.

The law could also prevent any future cases from reaching the European court.

Simply put, the new law has the potential to cut off the world from knowing about the impunity and lawlessness in the North Caucasus.By passing a law that would keep thousands of cases from potentially reaching the Strasbourg court.

According to Memorial, there are up to 5,000 people missing from the second Chechen war alone. So far, the European Court of Human Rights has made rulings on only several dozen of these cases because of a severe backlog.

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