Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for November, 2009

Ramzan Kadyrov and Doku Umarov named among most influential Moslems of the world

Posted by Info on 30/11/2009

President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov and the leader of militants of Northern Caucasus Doku Umarov are in the 2009 list of 500 most influential Moslems of the world compiled by the Prince Al-Valid ben Talyalya American Centre of Moslem-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) at the Georgetown University.

Doku Umarov is presented in the list as “the head of Ichkeria Caucasian Emirate”. In section “Politics” Russia is also presented by “leader of insurgents in Ingushetia” Ahmed Evloev (“Magas”) and President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev.

The BBC adds that the title of the most influential Moslem of the world was awarded by the ACMCU, which is funded by the Prince Al-Valid ben Talyalya, to the King of Saudi Arabia.

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UN Committee Against Torture Criticized Azerbaijan For Extraditions Of Chechens To Russia

Posted by Info on 30/11/2009

The UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) has released its concluding observations on Azerbaijan’s implementation of the Convention Against Torture (CAT/C/AZE/CO/3). The Committee expresses concern over the continuing allegations of torture and ill-treatment in Azerbaijan and urges the authorities to bring their legislation and practice in conformity with the Convention.

The Committee requires Azerbaijan to bring its definition of torture fully in compliance with the Convention, so as to ensure that it is possible to prosecute all public officials and others responsible for torture.

The Committee also criticizes cases of extraordinary rendition of Chechens to the Russian Federation and of Kurds to Turkey. It urges Azerbaijan to ensure that no person is expelled, returned or extradited to a country where there are substantial grounds for believing that he/she would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

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“Судьи должны быть честными” – этический кодекс

Posted by Info on 30/11/2009

Совет судей России готовит новую редакцию Кодекса судейской этики . Новая редакция кодекса должна установить стандарты поведения судей “как основу доверия к осуществлению правосудия”. От судей, например, потребуется честность не только при исполнении своих обязанностей, но и в частной жизни. Эксперты сравнивают подобные правила с моральным кодексом строителя коммунизма и опасаются, что детальный кодекс судейской этики создаст угрозу независимости судей, а на ситуацию с коррупцией не повлияет.

Разработчики проекта концепции также ссылаются на многочисленные международные документы. Среди них Европейская хартия о статусе судей, заключение Консультативного совета европейских судей “О принципах и правилах, регулирующих профессиональное поведение судей, в частности, этические нормы, не совместимое с должностью поведение и беспристрастность”, Бангалорские принципы поведения судей (приложение к резолюции Экономического и социального совета ООН от 27 июня 2006 года). Бангалорские принципы, в частности, провозглашают, что следование высоким стандартам поведения судей “имеет первостепенное значение для поддержания их независимости”.

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No Quick Fix For Moldova’s Political Crisis

Posted by Info on 30/11/2009

By Louis O’Neill was OSCE ambassador and head of mission to Moldova from 2006-08.

….Serious changes to the Moldovan Constitution are sorely needed, but they should be undertaken with great care and deliberation, not as a quick fix.
What is needed now is one last round of serious, responsible, mature, good-faith negotiations between the AIE and the Communists to elect a president under the existing system. Then, in an atmosphere of (relative) calm, Moldova’s politicians, scholars, and advisers can undertake a comprehensive review of the constitution to create a better system for Moldova’s people and its future leaders.

Otherwise, the country’s politicians will just be perceived as moving, once again, to advance their own interests, and in reality will only be slapping a bandage on a dysfunctional system.

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Killings And Abductions Continue In Chechnya

Posted by Info on 30/11/2009

According to sources in Chechnya, Chechen apostates and gang members of local FSB in Chechnya don’t slow down to committing their crimes against innocent civilians.

According to local sources in Chechnya, gang members of Kadyrov grabbed two civilians on November 21-22.A resident of mountainous Shatoi district of Chechnya was accused with assisting of food to a mobile group of Chechen Mujahideen  since September 2009. The second was accused by The Kadyrovites that he was a member of Arbi Barayev’s unit and left from his group shortly before the end of first Russian-Chechen war.

They armed gang have broken the door of Musayevs’ house. Then they forced members of Musayev family out to the yard. Children, women and old men were beaten. The villagers heard the voices -crying children and cries of battered family members- and came there. Eyewitness villagers and Musayev family said that the gang members took  Turko Musayev (born in 1980) and Surkho Musayev (born in 1982) and left from the village.

On the other hand, Russia introduced the “counter-terrorism operation regime” (CTO) in Achkoi-Martan district of Chechnya since midnight of 23-24 November. Urus-Martan district was imposed to the counter-terrorism operation in the beginning of this November.

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Nevsky Express Express train crash. Is Terror Back? Several Theories What Could Have Happened.

Posted by Info on 30/11/2009

The main explanation for the Nevsky Express express train crash which happened last Friday in the Tver Oblast, killing 26 people and leaving nearly 100 wounded, is a terrorist attack.

The special services are searching for the organizers and perpetrators of this act among the nationalists, the Wahhabis, terrorists from the North Caucasus, as well as ill-wishers toward the influential passengers on the express train. The Investigation Committee of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office opened a terrorism and illicit weapons trafficking investigation. As a result, a terrorist attack became the primary suspected cause.

“All evidence points to the fact that this was a terrorist attack aimed at claiming as many lives as possible: the terrorists chose a popular train, which is always full of passengers, and blew it up in a place that was inaccessible, making it difficult to evacuate the passengers,..

read more about Theories About What Could Have Happened

in Russian here

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Kadyrov’s possible appointment as “Caucasus Boss”

Posted by Info on 29/11/2009

Russian media and Chechen society believe that President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov will be appointed to the news post of high official in charge of the situation in the whole Northern Caucasus.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said, when addressing the Federal Assembly on November 12, about the need to introduce a federal-level official in charge of the republics of the Northern Caucasus.

In the opinion of local observers, the facts in support of Kadyrov’s appointment are the awarding him the rank of militia general and transfer of the control over subdivisions of Combined Forces to the operative headquarters in Chechnya.

“The Kremlin’s idea to fix the new post of the official to be personally responsible for the North Caucasian region, while there’s President’s plenipotentiary for the SFD, is not quite clear. It looks somewhat as parallel bodies of power and management. Anyway, I believe Ramzan Kadyrov is candidate No. 1 to the post,” one of Chechen political scientists said to the “Caucasian Knot” correspondent.

“Naturally, appointment, say, of Kadyrov to be ‘primus inter pares’ won’t please other leaders. But it doesn’t at all means that they won’t obey,” the source of the “Caucasian Knot” correspondent was convinced.

“With account of unpredictability of Russian authorities, we can’t exclude that they just want to remove Kadyrov from Chechnya, deprive him of force support and then – dismiss completely. The fact that Ramzan Kadyrov was Putin’s favourite is no evidence that Medvedev also likes him,” said the source.

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Corruption in Russia, Part 3: How Russia Is Ruled

Posted by Info on 28/11/2009

In a small courtroom in northeast Moscow, a judge reads instructions to a witness preparing to take the stand. The youthful, dark-haired man on trial sits in a cage of thick, bulletproof glass. The defendant, Dmitry Dovgy, is a former top investigator arrested on charges of accepting a $1 million bribe in return for dropping a probe into a businessman accused of embezzlement.

Dovgy says he’s innocent. He was fired last year from the Investigative Committee, a powerful agency set up in 2007 by then-President Vladimir Putin, many say to spy on the rival Federal Security Service, or FSB. Dovgy says the corruption charges against him are punishment for a newspaper interview he gave after his firing, in which he claimed he was ordered to open investigations into innocent people.
Dovgy’s lawyer Yury Bagrayev says the interview was a protest.

“If he hadn’t started raising a fuss, if he didn’t file a suit to try to clear his name and show he was being fired illegally — more than that, if he hadn’t given that interview — he wouldn’t be sitting in prison.”

One of Dovgy’s investigations was into the deputy head of Russia’s drug control agency. General Aleksandr Bulbov wasn’t just any bureaucrat, but the right-hand man of a former KGB officer, a close ally of Putin believed to lead one of the Kremlin’s main political clans. …

Kirill Kabanov, a former security service officer who now heads the nongovernmental National Anticorruption Committee, says corruption is central to how the Russian political system works. He compares it to feudalism.
“It’s a system of vassals, headed by a group of high-ranking ‘untouchables,'” he says. “Each group has its own network, a criminal system in which loyalty is bought.”…more here

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Corruption In Russia, Part 2: Law Enforcers Often The Worst Offenders

Posted by Info on 28/11/2009

Many agree law enforcers’ main activity isn’t really solving crimes, but using their official positions for profit.

From drivers forced to pay routine bribes to traffic police, to business owners paying to keep government inspectors from arbitrarily shutting them down, the government itself estimates people in Russia shell out $300 billion in bribes each year.

‘Sense Of Impunity’
Kirill Kabanov, a former security service officer who heads a private group called the National Anticorruption Committee, says state bureaucrats are among the wealthiest people in Russia.

“You’re appointed to an official position. You’re given status, a state post, and you don’t have to do anything but collect the money you’re in a position to take. Bureaucrats have the most expensive cars and mansions. And above all, the sense of impunity.

That extends to police, who, to cover their activities, are said to regularly fabricate or set up crimes rather than investigating actual crimes. Police are also believed to spend much of their time falsifying statistics to meet Soviet-era quotas for cases they’re required to solve — sometimes by framing innocent people.

Earlier this month, a police major in southern Russia came to national attention after posting YouTube videos describing a culture of massive corruption. Aleksei Dymovsky criticized his superiors for ordering him to arrest innocent people or be punished by being required to work overtime without pay. Dymovsky appealed to officers to confront their superiors about corrupt behavior. He was suspended and is now under investigation.

Kabanov, of the National Anticorruption Committee, carries a pistol to work. Investigating corruption is like “going to war.”
Kabanov says any doubts were removed by a recent law against extremism outlawing the discrediting of officials. “Now if you call a bureaucrat a thief, you can be prosecuted as an extremist,” …more here

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Corruption in Russia, Part 1: A Normal Part Of Everyday Life

Posted by Info on 28/11/2009

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has made fighting corruption a centerpiece of his presidency. But many Russians don’t believe he’ll make good on his word, saying corruption is central to the way business and politics function. In the first of a three-part series, RFE/RL’s Gregory Feifer reports from Moscow on a culture of corruption that even Medvedev says is threatening Russia’s viability as a state.

Just about every driver in Moscow knows the procedure.

Stopped by the traffic police and threatened with a large fine — or worse, confiscation of your license — you contritely wait for the right moment to negotiate the price of a bribe, usually around $20. “As a driver, I deal with the traffic police all the time. They’re all corrupt. Absolutely every one is a bribe-taker.”

Bribery is an institution in Russia: students pay teachers for better grades, patients pay doctors for health care supposedly provided free by the state, families pay off draft boards to keep their sons out of military service.……

Former First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov recently published a report about Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who he says funnels contracts to his wife, the head of a large construction firm that’s made her Russia’s richest woman.

“In any country in the world — the Czech Republic, Britain, Germany, even Italy,” he says, “it would be cause for a criminal investigation. Those two would be sitting in jail instead of City Hall. But not in Russia.”…more here

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European Court convicts Russia for kidnapping five Chechen residents in 2003

Posted by Info on 28/11/2009

At the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), Russia has lost another case to relatives of five residents of Chechnya kidnapped in 2003. Under the decision of the Court, the victims should get in total 215,000 euros of compensation.


The process was held on the claim of kidnapping Aslanbek Ismailov, Aslan Ismailov, Khizir Ismailov, Yusi Daidaev and Yaragi Ismailov. In January 2003, they were taken away from their homes in Achkhoy-Martan by armed people in camouflage. The decision says that the ECtHR has found the Ismailovs and Dadaev perished and defined the compensation of caused damage.

Relatives of the kidnapped persons accused special agencies of committing this crime. Having studied the circumstances of the cases, the Strasbourg Court has stated that the relatives of the claimants were secretly detained by Russian militaries.

The Russian authorities will have to pay 40,000 euros for the material damage, 175,000 euros for the moral damage and 5500 euros as compensation of court expenses.

On November 18, President of Russia Dmitri Medvedev said that the ECtHR has no right to impose any decisions on criminal prosecution on Russia. When the ECtHR decides on material compensations to Russian citizens, then, according to Mr Medvedev, “such decisions are fulfilled, as we are a member of this court,.

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Debate Over Police Reform Heats Up – Police At War With Its Own Citizens

Posted by Info on 28/11/2009

A spate of violence, including at least two fatal beatings this month, has left the Interior Ministry struggling to repair the image of the country’s already notorious keepers of the peace – police.

The latest blow was the revelation Thursday that a St. Petersburg citizen died in a hospital after suffering heavy stomach injuries. The 43-year-old died Nov. 12, a week after being rushed to the hospital because police beat him severely after responding to a drunken brawl in an apartment.

On Tuesday, three drunken Moscow police officers were detained after they beat an Abkhaz man to death, posing an early challenge to the city’s new police chief. His predecessor was sacked after a police major killed three and wounded six during a supermarket shooting rampage in April.

Human rights leaders widely criticized last week’s death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was jailed for almost a year in Moscow prisons awaiting trial on tax-evasion charges related to a dispute with the Interior Ministry.

But the debate only reached ­political prime time when Makarov, a deputy head of the Budget and Taxes Committee, told reporters Wednesday that the public felt the Russian police were waging a war against its own citizens.

“You can neither modernize nor reform the Interior Ministry. You can only abolish it,” Makarov said….more here

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Terror Attack Could Be Behind Nevsky Express Derailment

Posted by Info on 28/11/2009

An explosive device equivalent to 7 kg of TNT caused Friday evening’s deadly derailment of a train travelling from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Prosecutors have opened a criminal case on charges of terrorism.

At least 26 people were killed when three carriages of the Nevsky Express came off the rails near the town of Bologoye in the Tver Region, approximately halfway bewteen the capital and St. Peterrsburg.The luxury train, which can travel at 200 kilometers per hour (124 mph), was carrying some 650 passengers and 29 railroad employees.

A similar derailment, also caused by a blast, occurred on the same route in August 2007, injuring 60 people.

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Bureaus Tatar Blogger Sentenced To Prison Term

Posted by Info on 27/11/2009

Irek Murtazin, a blogger and former press secretary of Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiyev, has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for libeling his former boss and “instigating hatred and hostility” toward a social group.

Murtazin, 45, posted an online report in September 2008 saying that Shaimiyev had died while on an extended vacation in Turkey. Shaimiyev said that certain passages in the book, which was published in 2006, “instigated hatred.” Murtazin said that the trial against him was a “theater of the absurd” and he will appeal the verdict.

The court sets a dangerous precedent in which “any word of criticism” against a Russian leader could be used to file criminal charges against someone.

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OSCE Chairmanship As Validation Of Policies In Kazakhstan

Posted by Info on 26/11/2009

When the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe finally decided to designate Kazakhstan as the chair of the group in 2010, the general hope in Vienna was that the responsibility would encourage Astana to liberalize its political system.

“Unfortunately, our worst fears have come to pass: things have not only not gotten better, they have gotten worse,” said Ninel Fokina of Kazakhstan’s Helsinki Committee, summing up the current situation in Kazakhstan. “Our leadership has come to believe that they were given the [OSCE] chairmanship … as a validation of their policies.”

Press freedom has become a particular point of concern.There are 3,000 registered media organizations in Kazakhstan, five of them are opposition sources. A law adopted on November 19 that expands punishments for invasion of privacy will only make it more difficult for independent-minded journalists to do their jobs, Kaleeva said. The law considers defamation of character to be a criminal offense and does not distinguish between public figures, including elected officials, and private individuals, which could mean harsh punishments for reporters who try to investigate officials’ actions.

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