Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for November 5th, 2009

New Law In Russia: Jail Just For Admitting Roles With Criminal World

Posted by Info on 05/11/2009

President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a tough anti-gangster law under which so-called thieves-in-law, or traditionalist gangster leaders, could be jailed just for admitting their roles. Medvedev said:

“We are talking about individuals who identify themselves with the criminal world and don’t hide this. As I understand it, mere involvement in the criminal community already constitutes a complete legally defined crime and is enough to bring such an individual to criminal punishment.”

Medvedev said he had signed amendments to the Criminal Code that envisioned up to life in prison for gangster ringleaders and increased prison terms for people convicted of participating in organized crime.

Medvedev recently unveiled several other initiatives against organized crime, including banning jury trials for organized crime suspects and moving their trials away from the regions where the crimes were committed. These measures, the president argued, would shield judges and juries from pressure from gangster friends of the suspects.

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Jail or Parliament For Armenian Journalist?

Posted by Info on 05/11/2009

Jailed Armenian opposition newspaper editor Nikol Pashinian says he will run as a candidate for parliament.
Pashinian, 34, is currently on trial for his alleged role in antigovernment protests following the March 2008 presidential election.

Pashinian plans to contest a parliament seat in a by-election in a constituency recently vacated by Khachatur Sukiasian, a businessman and supporter of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian. Sukiasian went into hiding in the aftermath of the postelection unrest, surrendered to authorities in September and resigned his parliament seat.

Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance suppor Pashinian’s bid and pledged to work to secure his election. HAK had earlier refused to support another opposition figure, Suren Sureniants, who also intended to run for parliament in the same constituency. Five people have applied to run in the race, which is scheduled for January 10.

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28 Suspected Terrorists Caught In Tajikistan

Posted by Info on 05/11/2009

DUSHANBE. Nov 2 (Interfax) – The National Security Committee deputy head Abdullo Nazarov said on Monday.

“We have seized 28 members of al-Qaeda, the Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan since the beginning of this year. All of them were trained in terrorist camps in Afghanistan.”

The Tajik Supreme Court sentenced four citizens to 8-15 years in custody on terrorism charges in late August. The committee said that all of them belong to al-Qaeda.

In all, about 200 transnational terrorist groups have been neutralized in Tajikistan since 1991, the year of independence, Interior Minister Abdurakhim Kakhorov said.

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Radio Liberty Is Illegal and Provocation OR Serious Mass Medium?

Posted by Info on 05/11/2009

Georgiy Kabisov, Chairman of the State Committee for Information, Post and Mass Communications of South Ossetia said that  the broadcasting of Radio Liberty in the territory of the Republic of South Ossetia is illegal and a sort of an information provocation.

Starting from November 2, the Radio Liberty decided to put its programme “Echo of the Caucasus” on air in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. According to Mr Kabisov, the authorities of South Ossetia did not receive any applications from the managers of Radio Liberty asking to allow broadcasting in the territory of the republic; consequently, the broadcasting will be suppressed.

On the other hand in the opinion of Irina Gagloeva, Acting Minister of the Press and Mass Communications of South Ossetia, the Radio Liberty is a serious mass medium, cooperation with which is quite possible.

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Critical about Russia? Journalist Killed and Diplomats Stripped of Citizenship

Posted by Info on 05/11/2009

Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, a former Soviet diplomat, has renounced his Russian citizenship. He was responding to a motion in the Russian parliament calling for him to be stripped of his passport.

The motion had accused Mr Vashadze of showing anti-Russian sentiment in the wake of the conflict between Russia and Georgia last year. Mr Vashadze, who held joint Russian-Georgian citizenship, had been highly critical of Moscow’s action.

Mr Vashadze told reporters that the Russian parliament had been “a bit late” as he had already written to President Dmitry Medvedev giving up his citizenship.“I put it in an envelope with the passport and sent it,” he said. “With this, my Russian citizenship is finished.”

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Russia: Capital Punishment Will Be Abolished “Against The Will Of Majority”

Posted by Info on 05/11/2009

Russian’s Constitutional Court stressed the urgency and extreme importance of the question of whether or not capital punishment will be introduced again on January 1, 2010. Therefor The Constitutional Court has accepted the request of the Supreme Court to consider the issue of capital punishment at a public plenary session on November 9.The decision is unlikely to be announced on November 9 as it may take some days or weeks to prepare the official document and publish it.

Currently, the Russian constitution stipulates that a jury court decide whether a criminal who faces capital punishment is guilty or not. Chechnya is the last region where there is still no jury court, but the republic is to introduce the institution on January 1. After that, there will be no formal obstacles for the use of the death penalty.

At the same time Moscow signed the 6th protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights, which abandons the death penalty completely. Despite the fact that Russia is still to ratify this document, the country has not refused to observe it.

According to Part 2 of Article 20 of the Russian constitution, capital punishment should be applied until it is abandoned.

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Shadow Of CIA Secret Prisons Still Hangs Over Lithuania – Findings by December 22

Posted by Info on 05/11/2009

Lithuania’s parliament voted Thursday to probe into allegations of the existence of a secret CIA prison on Lithuanian soil in 2005. The investigation findings are to be presented by December 22.

The committee will investigate whether suspected terrorists were transferred through Lithuania and whether they were kept under arrest there. Investigators will also try to discover if Lithuanian officials have ever discussed any issues concerning the activities of CIA secret centers.

Lithuanian authorities so far deny knowledge of covert detention centers. Arvydas Anusauskas, from the National Security and Defense Committee who initiated the parliamentary into the matter, claims:

“We don’t even know if any terrorist suspects were transported through Lithuania, not to mention the existence of a prison” .

Lithuanian President Dalia Gribauskaite has recently admitted she has suspicions about the existence of a covert prison in the country. Also a former high-ranking Lithuanian intelligence officer, Domas Grigaliunas, published an Internet video claiming the government at least considered setting up a secret prison.

“I was a professional in the field, and I was consulted about finding up a place where our partners could keep people confidentially. I think an Al-Qaeda prison may very well have existed.”

Human rights groups claim the United States sent suspected terrorists to countries where they could be tortured. Subsequent investigations came up with evidence one of those sites could have been in Lithuania.Suspected terrorists were abducted by American agents, bundled into a plane, then flown to the quiet, bright countryside around the capital of Lithuania.  It’s here, about 20 minutes’ drive south of Vilnius, that some believe was the location of a secret prison where the CIA brought terror suspects to be tortured.

According to ABC News, information received from some CIA sources alleges a so-called “black site prison” existed on the outskirts of Vilnius for more than a year, until 2005. Flight logs show CIA planes regularly flew in and out of Vilnius during that time. A disused ex-Soviet army base, miles from the nearest house, would serve as a perfect cover….more here

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Turkmenistan view Internet as dangerous

Posted by Info on 05/11/2009

President Berdymukhamedov’s vision for e-government clashes with the state’s reputation as a hardened enemy of free speech and open access to information.

Turkmenistan is on Reporters Without Borders’ list of world «Internet Enemies.» In 2008, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) identified Turkmenistan as among «The 10 Worst Countries to Be a Blogger.» The state-owned internet service provider, Turkmentelecom, routinely blocks access to opposition sites and independent news websites and monitors e-mail accounts, CPJ claims.

According to the CIA World Fact book, «[The] telecommunications network remains underdeveloped and progress toward improvement is slow. Strict government control and censorship inhibits liberalization and modernization.»

There were just 75,000 internet users in Turkmenistan in 2008 out of a population of 4.8 million, it added.

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