Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for June 15th, 2010

Russian Duma Backs Bill Empowering FSB

Posted by Info on 15/06/2010

The State Duma has approved a bill that would allow the Federal Security Service to issue warnings to people or organizations deemed at risk of committing crimes in the future.

Not complying with directives in the warning would be a punishable offense.

The bill also introduces fines and short-term arrests for people who ignore demands of FSB officials or hinder them while on duty.

Vladimir Gruzdev, a senior United Russia deputy, shrugged off concerns of human rights activists that the bill would legitimize the abuse of power by the FSB.
“Only someone who is absolutely unaware of the specifics of the activities of state security agencies can talk about the impairment of rights.”

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Kyrgyz Ethnic Uzbeks Living With Expectation Of Pogroms And Murders

Posted by Info on 15/06/2010

There are only tree residential areas populated by ethnic Uzbeks in the southern Kyrgyz town of Osh that have not yet been touched by ethnic clashes that started in southern Kyrgyzstan on 10 June and now those 100,000 people are living with the expectation of pogroms and murders.

A woman called Zulfia said that the press was not telling the truth but that about 2,000 people, mainly ethnic Uzbeks, had been killed and many more thousands had been wounded in Osh since 10 June.
Kyrgyzstan’s ethnic Uzbeks who are suffering from ethnic cleansing before the eyes of the entire world said that the military of the Kyrgyz interim government that came to power had aided murderers.
Soldiers do not defend ethnic Uzbeks. During the curfew they can shot down an ethnic Uzbek but an ethnic Kyrgyz has no problem.” Osh resident complained.

He said that on 11 June he was a witness to people in uniform killing two ethnic Uzbek women after they had failed to persuade their men to surrender. Another resident claimed that soldiers burnt 15 boys alive in a house on 14 June and people in plain clothes killed 10 ethnic Uzbeks on 12 June.

The remaining ethnic Uzbeks are ready to defend themselves now, but they have nothing in hands but stones and sticks.
“We are ready for the fight if we are attacked but our forces are not equal. We will be able to show resistance only for 15 minutes.”

Sweden’s ethnic Uzbeks demand UN troops for southern Kyrgyzstan
A spokesman for the UN mission in Sweden said to protesters that the mission had already sent a letter to the UN HQ in New York to relay their demand about the deployment of UN peacekeepers.

Why is no-one able to stop the war against unarmed people?….There are hundreds of killed. It is known that 350 people have already been buried. People are surviving in their basements, while no organisation has reacted [to the events].”

Uzbekistan closes borders to refugees
With over 100,000 refugees pouring into Uzbekistan the border would be shut, despite pleas from aid groups and the UN to leave it open. “Today we will stop accepting refugees from the Kyrgyz side because we have no place to accommodate them and no capacity to cope with them,”..
Uzbekistan needs international humanitarian aid to cope

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Medvedev: 5 Main Components Of Fighting Terrorism In Caucasus

Posted by Info on 15/06/2010

Following a chain of terrorist attacks that hit the country in spring this year, Medvedev urged measures to be taken to tackle the problem. In April, the head of state ordered the creation of a special anti-terrorism group in the North Caucasus. During his visit to the republic of Dagestan, Medvedev outlined the five main components of fighting terrorism in the troublesome region.

“Firstly, to strengthen law enforcement and security bodies, the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service and other agencies, and to help the courts. Secondly, we must continue to deliver precision strikes against terrorists and their hideouts. Thirdly, we should help those who decide to break away from the bandits. Fourthly, we should develop the economic and social sphere, educational, cultural and humanitarian programs. And finally, we should strengthen the moral and spiritual component, helping religious leaders.

Given those five components, we will succeed.”

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War in Kyrgyzstan: WHY?

Posted by Info on 15/06/2010

A succession of corrupt, repressive regimes and chronic poverty are at the root of Kyrgyzstan’s troubles. A power vacuum since April has allowed opportunists to fan political tension for their own ends.

This small country of 5.5 million people had a relatively developed civil society and free press after gained their independence with the breakup of the USSR. Prezident Askar Akayev with his growing authoritarianism was succeeded by Kurmanbek Bakiyev in the Tulip revolution in 2005.
Bakiyev concentrated power within his family and allegedly plundered state funds and secured lucrative contracts for friends and relatives. Human rights abuses were widespread as dissidents were killed or disappeared. Journalists were muzzled and often detained, and the presidential elections last July were judged by international observers as having been rigged.

In April 2010 a swift, violent, rebellion broke out in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. In less than two days, 85 people were killed, the centre of the capital was looted and Bakiyev was gone. A provisional government, led by Roza Otunbayeva, a former minister under Bakiyev, took over.

The provisional government turned out to be weak. Its 13 members largely failed to present themselves as a cohesive or coherent administration, or be transparent about their activities at a time of great anxiety and uncertainty.

Uzbeks make up 15% of Kyrgyzstan’s population
, but in the south, where the violence has been, their numbers rival those of ethnic Kyrgyz. As tens of thousands of Uzbeks flee to the border and await entry into Uzbekistan, there are fears among other central Asian nations that the violence could spread.

ICRC: There are 80,000 refugees in Uzbekistan, 15,000 more at border.

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Uzbek Journalist Detained While Taking Pictures Of Buses With Refugees

Posted by Info on 15/06/2010

Tashkent-based journalist Aleksey Volosevich was detained near the border with Kyrgyzstan shen he took pictures of buses with refugees. He went there to cover the exodus of ethnic Uzbeks from neighbouring Kyrgyzstan where an interethnic conflict broke out four days ago. Police officers demanded that his documents be taken to police in return for his release.

In response to his detention, his colleagues urged the Uzbek authorities to stop the persecution of independent journalists.
The Uzbek authorities should be ashamed to hold the journalist in the detention centre, when ethnic Uzbeks are dying in the neighbouring country,” Voslosevich’s colleague said. “We demand the immediate release of Aleksey and [the creation of] proper conditions for journalists’ work.”

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Medvedev Visits Chechnya And Congratulates Kadyrov For Killings of 14

Posted by Info on 15/06/2010

In the regional capital Grozny, Medvedev congratulated Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on the republic’s recent armed operations which killed 14 insurgents.

Kadyrov, largely credited by the Kremlin for rebuilding the republic after two separatist wars with Moscow since the 1990s, vowed to continue pursuing Islamist fighters until they “are completely destroyed”.

Youths, fueled by poverty and the global ideology of jihad, stage near-daily attacks on law enforcement officials and civilians in the mainly Muslim North Caucasus republics, mostly in Chechnya, neighboring Ingushetia and Dagestan.
The Kremlin argues that the billions of dollars it has poured into the North Caucasus, where unemployment in places is as high as 50 percent, helps turn youths away from joining the insurgency. For 2008-2011, 120 billion roubles had been allocated.

Though insurgents are regularly killed in what authorities say is crossfire, analysts say persistent poverty and corruption means the situation remains unchanged.

“While isolated success stories involving the Russian security forces are good news for the Kremlin, they do nothing ultimately to resolve the underlying issues driving the insurgency,” Valery Dzutsev, from the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation

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