EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for December 31st, 2010

Belarus Orders International Watchdog – OSCE -To Close Its Minsk Office

Posted by Info on 31/12/2010

The world’s largest regional security organization, the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) must close its doors in Minsk, after the Belarusian government refused to extend its mandate. The OSCE had criticized the election of President Alexander Lukashenko.

The OSCE issued a report critical of the December election, in which incumbent President Alexander Lukaschenko won around 80 percent of votes.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh said that an evaluation of the OSCE’s activities in Minsk showed that the mission, which was set up in 2003, had fulfilled its mandate. The government has the right to revoke the mission’s permit or refuse to renew it.

Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus since 1992, has been accused by Western leaders in the past of dictatorial rule and suppressing independent media.
Minsk is still holding hundreds of demonstrators who were arrested during protests following the December 19 election.
Five opposition candidates and 22 activists have been charged with organizing mass disorder, which could carry a jail sentence of up to 15 years.

Belarus is part of the 56-member OSCE, which was set up during the Cold War as a forum for dialogue between communist states and the West.

Posted in Belarus, EU | Leave a Comment »

Putin Calls for Fewer Jury Trials As Not Effective As Often Acquit Suspects

Posted by Info on 31/12/2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for further restrictions on the use of jury trials in Russia, saying that only federal courts should consider them.

“Jury trials are not effective,”
Putin said, adding that in certain regions juries base their decisions on ethnic or clannish motives rather than the gravity of the crime. He appeared to be referring to the Northern Caucasus republics, where juries often acquit suspects, mainly in terrorism cases, who complain of being tortured for confessions by local law enforcers.

According to Supreme Court statistics, the acquittal rate in 791,802 cases considered by Russian courts in the first nine months of 2010 was 0.7 percent. Juries considered only 465 cases during the period, finding 847 defendants guilty and 169 people — or about 16 percent of defendants — not guilty.

In the past few years there were several jury acquittals that were highly embarrassing for the authorities. Last month, a jury cleared a group of former Yevroset managers accused of abducting a fellow employee. The case was widely seen as a retaliation by corrupt law enforcers against ex-CEO and owner, Yevgeny Chichvarkin, who is fighting related extradition charges in London.

Putin unexpectedly moved on to the jury trial issue after lamenting over a native of the Northern Caucasus who killed an ethnic-Russian football fan in a street brawl in Moscow in early December. The killing sparked nationalist riots in Moscow and other Russian cities.

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Uzbeks Convicted Of Extremism+ Steps To Combat Extremism In Kazakhstan

Posted by Info on 31/12/2010

An Uzbek court has sentenced a number of people to prison terms of three to 13 years for extremism.

The convicted Dzhikhadisty members had returned from Russia. The court convicted them of circulating extremist literature in Russia and Uzbekistan. One of their leaders, Shakhobiddin Shomirzayev of Bekabad, received a 13 year sentence.

In Kazakhstan the local officials and analysts are worried that extremist elements might attempt to infiltrate Kazakhstan from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
While law enforcement is building up security along the border and maintaining law and order in the cities and villages, the akimat( the regional government) is financing anti-terrorist propaganda and other related projects as high-school lectures and discussions of the “evil nature of religious extremism”, with relevant articles published in the local media and with educational literature issued for schoolteachers. As there are minors who had problems with the law and therefor were sent to a summer camp for the holidays, to keep them from falling into the hands of extremists.

Another regional-financed project was the opening of a hotline for victims of “pseudo”-religions. Over the four months of the line’s operation, it has fielded 47 calls: 15 requests for information, 29 complaints, and 3 protests from women unwilling to wear the hijab. Hotlines for victims of extremism are relatively new for Kazakhstan.
“Most often we have calls from victims’ parents and other close relatives saying that the “victims” are their children and teenagers who have been persuaded – in a mosque or on the street – to join religious extremists.

Posted in Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Azerbaijan: Supreme Court Rejects Imprisoned Journalist’s Appeal + Refuse To Comply With ECHR

Posted by Info on 31/12/2010

On 28 December the supreme court rejected imprisoned newspaper editor Eynulla Fatullayev’s appeal against a 30-month jail sentence on a clearly trumped-up charge of illegal possession of heroin while in prison. Imposed on 6 July, the sentence was confirmed by a Baku appeal court on 5 November.

The journalist’s lawyer, Elchin Sadigov, described yesterday’s ruling as political. He had requested Fatullayev’s immediate release, a retrial, and compliance with a European Court of Human Rights ruling requiring payment of compensation to Fatullayev for detaining him illegally since 2007.

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers had also urged the Azerbaijani authorities to comply with the European Court’s ruling and free Fatullayev.
Yesterday’s decision constitutes a flagrant violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, which Azerbaijan signed. The government is yet again flouting its international legal obligations.

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Uzbekistan: 39 Prisoners, Convicted Of Religious Charges, Died Of Torture

Posted by Info on 31/12/2010

In 2010 39 prisoners, convicted of religious charges, died of torture in the jails and colonies of Uzbekistan. The relatives were secretly given their bodies and prohibited to report the incidents to journalists and rights defenders, says the report of Independent Human Rights Defenders Group.

The human rights situation has deteriorated in comparison to 2009
. The number of people, suffering from socio-economic problems, is increasing. In the regions – oblasts, districts and villages – the local administration, police and security officers, attorney and judges abuse power.

In 2010 484 citizens of Uzbekistan as well as 14 foreign citizens complained on violation of human rights. Most frequently by citizens whose relatives were illegally detained by police and security officers. They were convicted and jailed on trumped-up religious charges. As a rule, the defendants had been routinely tortured before they faced closed trials.

IHRDG ran 17 cases judicial monitoring of people, convicted of political and religious charges. The group identified that criminal cases against photographer and film maker Umida Akhmedova, deputy chief editor of Champion newspaper Khairullo Khamidov, part-time Voice of America correspondent Abdumalik Boboev and Russian journalist and correspondent of Parlamentskaya gazeta Vladimir Berezovskiy have been trumped-up while the results of judicial processes were ordered in advance. The same scenario was observed in the cases of Gaibullo Zhalilov, Ganikhon Mamatkhanov and some other.

Within a year over 370 believers were detained, arrested and convicted in the secret trials of the membership in the prohibited religious groups such as Nursi, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Wahabbism and Zhikhochilar.

The number of cases of corruption, bribery, blackmail is growing in the republic
; as a result, dozens of judges, police and security officers, the number of khokims (heads of local authorities) in the oblasts and districts were fired and brought to trial.

The child labor is continued to be used in cotton fields.
During cotton-picking season the children were forced to work 12 hours per day. The laws on prohibiting the child labor do not work.

Posted in Uzbekistan | 1 Comment »

German Inquiry Into ‘Poisoning’ Of Russian “‘Dissidents” In Berlin

Posted by Info on 31/12/2010

German prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into whether two Russian dissidents living in Berlin were poisoned by agents of the Kremlin.

Viktor Kalashnikov, 58, a former colonel in the Soviet KGB, and his historian wife Marina Kalashnikov, were found by doctors to have dangerously high levels of mercury. Both have suffered health problems with Mr Kalashnikov losing considerable weight and his wife losing half of her hair. Medical experts recommended they undergo further tests and be watched closely.

The couple arrived in Berlin in September having previously stayed in Ukraine, Poland and Estonia. According to Focus, doctors at Berlin’s Charite hospital found 53.7 microgrammes of mercury per litre in Mr Kalashnikov’s blood and 56 microgrammes in his wife’s.

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В 2010 Году В Тюрьмах Узбекистана Погибли 39 Осужденных

Posted by Info on 31/12/2010

В 2010 году в узбекских тюрьмах и колониях в результате применения жестоких пыток скончались 39 заключенных по религиозным мотивам, родственникам их тела выдавали тайно, запрещая сообщать о случившемся журналистам и правозащитникам.

Cитуация с соблюдением прав человека в стране ухудшилась
по сравнению с 2009 годом. Увеличилось количество граждан, пострадавших в социальном, экономическом и бытовом планах. В регионах – областях, районах и кишлаках, – местная администрация, сотрудники милиции и СНБ, прокуроры и судьи бесчинствуют и злоупотребляют служебным положением.

В 2010 году в ИГНПУ с заявлениями и жалобами на нарушение прав обратились 484 жителей Узбекистана, а также 14 иностранных граждан.

Чаще всего в ИГНПУ обращались граждане, чьи близкие и родственники были незаконно задержаны сотрудниками милиции и СНБ и были обвинены в преступлениях по религиозным мотивам, как правило, следствие велось по сфабрикованному сценарию, суды проходили в закрытом режиме и тайно, заключенные подвергались жестоким пыткам.

ИГНПУ провела 17 судебных мониторингов подсудимых по политическим и религиозным мотивам. Группа установила, что уголовные дела в отношении фотохудожника и кинодокументалиста Умиды Ахмедовой, Хайрулло Хамидова, Абдумалика Бобоева и Владимира Березовского были сфабрикованы, суды над ними являлись заказными и велись с обвинительным уклоном. По такому же принципу на разные сроки заключения были осуждены правозащитники Гайбулло Жалилов, Ганихон Маматханов и некоторые другие.

За год более 370 верующих были задержаны, арестованы и осуждены по обвинению в членстве в запрещенных религиозных организациях и течениях «Нурси», «Хизб ут-Тахрир», «Вахаббизм» и «Жиходчилар». Суды над ними проводились тайно в Ташкенте, Карши, Фергане, Коканде, Самарканде и других регионах Узбекистана.

B республике растет число случаев коррупции, взяточничества, вымогательств, по обвинению в которых были уволены и привлечены к ответственности десятки судей, работников МВД, СНБ, прокуратуры, освобождены от занимаемых должностей и привлечены к уголовной ответственности ряд хокимов..

В стране продолжают использовать на хлопковых плантациях труд несовершеннолетних детей — в основном, учеников школ, лицеев и колледжей. Во время хлопкоуборочной страды детей заставляли собирать хлопок ежедневно по 12 часов. Принятые законы по запрещению использования детского труда не работают.

Posted in Узбекистан | Leave a Comment »