EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for November 7th, 2009

Former UK Ambassador About Uzbekistan about Torture and Forced Confession, About 10 000 Political Prisoners, About Being Terrorist Just By Having Beard, About CIA Secret Prisons

Posted by Info on 07/11/2009

You Tube – Video of 23 minutes  of Mr Murray speech for journalists:

…….Craig Murray asserts that the primary motivation for US and British military involvement in central Asia has to do with large natural gas deposits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. As evidence, he points to the plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan that would allow Western oil companies to avoid Russia and Iran when transporting natural gas out of the region.

Murray alleged that in the late 1990s the Uzbek ambassador to the US met with then-Texas Governor George W. Bush to discuss a pipeline for the region, and out of that meeting came agreements that would see Texas-based Enron gain the rights to Uzbekistan’s natural gas deposits, while oil company Unocal worked on developing the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline.

“The consultant who was organizing this for Unocal was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now president of Afghanistan,” Murray noted.

Murray said part of the motive in hyping up the threat of Islamic terrorism in Uzbekistan through forced confessions was to ensure the country remained on-side in the war on terror, so that the pipeline could be built.

Posted in Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

In Azerbaijan Judges think that Bail is something they can present as a Gift

Posted by Info on 07/11/2009

The high-profile prosecution of two Azerbaijani youth activists and bloggers continued on November 6, marking the beginning of the third month of proceedings. In addition to testimony from the alleged victims, cell phone records from the investigatory file were introduced into evidence. Citing privacy concerns, the judge, however, refused to grant the defense access to the alleged victims’ records.

Adnan Hajizade,26, a co-founder of the OL (To Be) youth movement, and 30-year-old Emin Milli, a co-founder of the online Alumni Network, were arrested on July 8 for hooliganism after they allegedly started a brawl in a Baku cafe. Numerous witnesses have testified, however, that Hajizade and Milli were not the aggressors, but rather the victims of the attack. [For details see Eurasia Insight archive].

Watchdog organizations have followed suit. At a July 20 meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, Article 19, a London-based human rights monitor, charged that the Azerbaijani government “uses criminal defamation laws and other seemingly unrelated criminal charges, such as ’hooliganism,’ to intimidate journalists and silence critical views.”

The duo has now spent over four months behind bars. Although Hajizade and Milli have repeatedly sought release on bail, the court has denied each request.Releasing [a defendant] before the trial on bail is rare, commented legal and media expert Rashid Hajili.

“Judges don’t approach [bail] as a right of the defendants. Instead, they think that it is something the judge can present as a gift.”

One Azerbaijani Supreme Court Judge Muzaffar Aghazadeh has also observed that bail is too often refused. “When issuing a [decision remanding the defendant], a judge must justify his/her decision. To do this, a judge must examine the criminal case in depth, but many judges do not do so. The courts pass decisions on arrest in cases when there is no need.”

“In this kind of case, defendants are never released on bail, especially with journalists, human rights defenders, and political prisoners,” said Emin Huseynov, head of the Baku-based Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety about their prison during trial.

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Tajik President To Pardon Thousands Of Convicted Criminals – What About Political Prisoners?

Posted by Info on 07/11/2009

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has signed a decree that will grant amnesty to an estimated 10,000 prisoners, RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reports. The amnesty will pardon mainly convicts who were under 18 years when they committed their crimes, men and women over 55, and foreign nationals.

The amnesty was announced on the eve of Constitution Day, marked in Tajikistan on November 6. It is not clear if the action will free those considered to be political prisoners or people convicted of religious extremism.

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Need For Driving Lincence in Turkmenistan? Then Must Do Exam On Dead Leader’s Autobiographye

Posted by Info on 07/11/2009

Stranger in a very strange land by Shaun Walker

Its ruler re-named the days of the week after himself and his mother. Opera, ballet and the circus are banned. To get a driving licence, citizens must sit an exam on the dead leader’s autobiography. Welcome to Turkmenistan.

………

The Turkmen officials at the forum spoke in a tedious monotone, droning imaginary statistics and making obligatory references to the «marvellous initiatives of respected president» roughly every 30 seconds.

I cornered the deputy health minister at the end of one session to ask if the country had a problem with HIV. She shot me a look of worried suspicion, and said: «We are building a big new HIV prevention clinic. But luckily so far we don’t have a single case.» This in a country that borders Afghanistan and its heroin supplies, where prostitution is widespread, and where all the other countries in the region admit to a serious HIV problem. She later suggested it would «perhaps be better if you didn’t write an article about this».

«People don’t solve problems here,» a foreign resident of Ashgabat told me. «They simply deny them.» more here

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Poor Latvia – The Worst Hit During Global Crisis

Posted by Info on 07/11/2009

The Latvian authorities’ plan to save the Baltic country’s currency and economy, among the worst hit in Europe during the global crisis.Latvia’s economy boomed after joining the EU in 2004 as cheap loans fueled a real-estate bubble and an appetite for imported goods.

Nils Muiznieks, a political science professor at the University of Latvia, said Latvians are looking to emigrate, rely on family and friends, sell possessions or work two jobs — a dim prospect with record unemployment.

Posted in Latvia | Leave a Comment »