EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for December 27th, 2010

Uzbekistan + Russia Among Most Undemocratic Countries In EIU Index

Posted by Info on 27/12/2010

The Economist Intelligence Unit has presented its “The Democracy Index 2010: Democracy in Retreat” report, in which Uzbekistan occupied 164th place among the world’s most authoritarian regimes.

The EIU said that the world became less democratic in the review period. “The economic and financial crisis boosted some authoritarian regimes and accentuated existing negative political trends, most notably in Europe, both east and west.”

The report analysed the state of democracy in 167 countries on five key indicators: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

Norway was named the most democratic country, followed by Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Switzerland, Canada and The Netherlands. The USA and Britain came 17th and 19th respectively.

Russia came 107th behind Kyrgyzstan in 106th place in the group of hybrid regimes. Moldova (64th) and Ukraine (67th)
were listed in the group of flawed democracies, while Georgia (103rd) and Armenia (109th) were listed in the group of hybrid regimes.

All other CIS countries were listed in the group of authoritarian regimes: Belarus (130th), Kazakhstan (132nd), Azerbaijan (135th), Tajikistan (149th), Uzbekistan (164th) and Turkmenistan (165th).

Posted in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Киргизия: Журналисты Получили Свободy Слова- Работать Стало Опаснее

Posted by Info on 27/12/2010

2010 год выдался для Киргизии самым кровопролитным за всю историю независимой республики.
Смена власти в апреле, июньские трагические события в Оше, парламентские выборы, террористические акты по стране, не утихавшие практически весь год митинги – в таких условиях, не гарантирующих элементарную безопасность, весь год работали киргизские масс-медиа.
Pабота журналистов стала более опасной и сложной. В условиях повышенной опасности киргизским журналистам не приходится рассчитывать на чью-либо поддержку и защиту. “К сожалению, в Киргизии был развален и уничтожен Союз журналистов – профессиональная организация, которая защищала бы их права”.

Долгожданная свобода слова, к которой когда-то привыкли во времена Акаева киргизские СМИ, а потом тяжело отвыкали во время правления Бакиева, оказалась для многих журналистов нелегким испытанием. Татьяна Орлова рассказывает, что многие киргизские СМИ перешли ту грань, что отличает свободу слова от откровенной скандальности. “У нас есть перегиб в сторону желтизны, все материалы подаются на потребу публике, а публика “ест” исключительно какую-то желтуху. Серьезной журналистики, аналитики стало меньше”.

Posted in Киргизия | Leave a Comment »

WikiLeaks: Mikhail Khodorkovsky Trial + The Story Of His Life And Yukos

Posted by Info on 27/12/2010

The trial of Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky shows the Kremlin preserves a “cynical system where political enemies are eliminated with impunity”, US diplomats say in classified cables released by WikiLeaks today.

Khodorkovsky, 47, an oil tycoon who was arrested in 2003 and sentenced to eight years in jail for fraud two years later. Supporters of the man once Russia’s richest say the Kremlin ordered the prosecutions in revenge for his funding of opposition parties. Khodorkovsky could get up to six more years in jail, Platon Lebedev, faces the same punishment.

Writing to Washington in December last year, a political officer in the US embassy in Moscow noted: “The fact that legal procedures are apparently being meticulously followed in a case whose motivation is clearly political may appear paradoxical. It shows the effort that the GOR [government of Russia] is willing to expend in order to save face, in this case by applying a superficial rule-of-law gloss to a cynical system where political enemies are eliminated with impunity.”

“There is a widespread understanding,that Khodorkovsky violated the tacit rules of the game: if you keep out of politics, you can line your pockets as much as you desire.”


HISTORY OF KHODORKOVSKY:

Khodorkovsky born in 1963, grew up in an ordinary Soviet family in a two-room apartment in Moscow. Young Khodorkovsky was ambitious. He attempted and succeeded in building a career as a communist functionary. He became deputy head of Komsomol (the Communist Youth League = contact with KGB) at his university, the Mendeleev Moscow Institute of Chemistry and graduated in 1986. The Komsomol career was one of the ways to get into the ranks of communist apparatchiks and to achieve the highest possible living standards.

After perestroika started, Khodorkovsky used his connections within the communist structures to gain a foothold in the developing free market. He used the help of some powerful people to start his business activities under the cover of Komsomol. Friendship with another Komsomol leader, Alexey Golubovich, helped him greatly in his further success, since Golubovich’s parents held top positions in the State Bank of the USSR.

With partners from Komsomol, and technically operating under its authority, Khodorkovsky opened his first business in 1986, a private café…. In addition to importing and reselling computers, the “scientific” center was involved in trading a wide range of other products; French brandy, Swiss vodka. It is alleged that these goods were mostly counterfeit: “Swiss” vodka was produced in Poland, and the brandy was not French…..
This is how already in 1988 he built an import-export business with a turnover of 80 million rubles a year….After, Khodorkovsky and his partners used their international connections to obtain a banking licence to create Bank Menatep in 1989… by using most of the deposits raised to finance Khodorkovsky’s successful import-export operations….
By 1990, critics suggest the bank was active in facilitating the large-scale theft of Soviet Treasury funds that went on at the time prior to and following the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
Khodorkovsky became a philanthropist…and supported the establishment of foundations which finance archaeological digs, cultural exchanges, summer camps for children and a boarding school for orphans. Khodorkovsky’s critics saw this as political posturing, in light of his funding of several political parties ahead of the elections for the State Duma to be held in late 2003.

He is openly critical of what he refers to as ‘managed democracy’ within Russia. Careful normally not to criticise the elected leadership….. more here.

THE RISE AND FALL OF MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY

In April 2003, Khodorkovsky announced Yukos’s merger with another oil giant, Sibneft, creating an empire that at its height produced more oil than OPEC member Qatar.
The times had changed in other ways, too. Vladimir Putin’s ascent to the premiership and then the presidency meant that the days of the oligarchs calling the shots were over. Putin famously held a meeting with them all in the Kremlin, telling them to stay out of politics if they wished to keep control of the assets so many of them had acquired by ILLEGITIMATE means.
It was a warning Khodorkovsky seemed to ignore. He was determined not to pay the increasing burden of tax falling on Russia’s huge oil and minerals companies, and set out to buy off opposition MPs in the Duma, and even making overt statements about running for the presidency himself one day.
To many in Russia, this was the moment he had gone too far, and the move that condemned him to his fate.

Posted in others, Russia | Leave a Comment »

Khodorkovsky, Lebedev Declared Guilty In Second Trial

Posted by Info on 27/12/2010

Today on December 27 former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev were declared guilty by the judge at the culmination of their second new trial in Moscow’s Khamovniki court .

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, who have already spent seven years behind bars for tax evasion, are facing new charges of embezzling 218 tons of oil from Khodorkovsky’s former oil firm Yukos and laundering over 3 billion rubles ($97.5 million) in revenues. The two men face up to 14 years in jail, though a sentence has not yet been handed down.

The Khamovniki court has called off the live broadcast of the verdict announcement for the press, preventing over 100 journalists from covering the event.

Posted in Russia | Leave a Comment »