Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for January, 2011

How Russia Created Its Own Islamic Terrorism Problem

Posted by Info on 31/01/2011

“Moscow faces a brutal Islamic terrorist movement, bent on jihad, unwilling to compromise and determined to inflict pain on Russians almost as an end in itself.” That’s the view presented by Russian officials and accepted by Western leaders…by quickly condemning them and describing them as instances of Islamic terrorism, tied to al-Qaeda and its fanatical vision. This unthinking acceptance of the Russian narrative allowed Moscow to respond with brutal violence, often against innocent civilians and without prompting international criticism.

A little history provides a different perspective. Chechnya’s struggle against Russia, at root, has nothing to do with Islam. About 200 years ago, the Russian empire began a war of colonial expansion in the tiny area called Chechnya. After resisting for several bloody decades, the Chechens were forcibly incorporated into the empire in 1859. As soon as the Czar’s rule ended in Moscow, the Chechens began clamoring for independence, which they were granted in 1918….
In 1990, as the Soviet Union was collapsing, a national convention of all Chechen political groups united in a call for immediate independence from Moscow. In response, the Russian government invaded Chechnya. Over the course of the past two decades killed tens of thousands of Chechen civilians.
Even today Russia maintains a brutal reign of terror there and in its surrounding regions. Any signs of religious behavior are viewed with hostility.
At this point, it is fair to describe the Chechen rebellion as dominated and defined by Islamic extremism. But it did not start out as such, and it didn’t have to turn out that way.

“Retribution is inevitable”
was Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s comment on the Moscow airport attack, setting up the next stage in this cycle of violence and extremism. WHY?

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Art. 31 of Russia’s Constitution = Free Assembly?

Posted by Info on 31/01/2011

President Dmitry Medvedev has promised to allow more public criticism of the authorities. But most opposition groups say little has changed and their activities are still restricted.

Once again Russian police detained several dozen people at anti-Kremlin rallies in Moscow and St Petersburg on Monday as they tried to protest against limits to freedom of assembly.
A crowd of about 600 chanted “Freedom, Freedom!” heavily outnumbered by riot police, who dragged more than a dozen activists off to waiting buses after detaining them at a metro exit as they headed to the rally.

Rights activists and Kremlin opponents have staged demonstrations on the square on the last day of each month with 31 days, in a symbolic reference to the right to free assembly enshrined under Article 31 of Russia’s constitution.

In St Petersburg, police said they had detained about 60 people at a rally in the heart of city where protestors cried: “We demand freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and an end to censorship.”

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who spent 15 days in jail after a New Year’s eve protest, rallied the Moscow crowd with calls for an end to Putin’s grip on power since he became president in 2000 and later prime minister.
Moscow authorities gave permission for 1,000 people to gather, but in the past police have beaten or detained demonstrators they accused of infractions at such rallies.

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Russia Stop Terror And Let Chechnya Go – Many Former Soviet Republics Have Independence

Posted by Info on 31/01/2011

by Erin RowleyThe people of the North Caucasus are fed up with life as a conquered people, and who can blame them?
Many former Soviet Republics now have independence. And though their quality of life is not great yet, at least they have the knowledge that they are free.

People from the Caucasus are Rossiski — Russian citizens – but not Ruski — ethnic Russians – and as such, will never be viewed as “real Russians” by their white Russian neighbors, even though they’ve been part of the empire since the 1800s. People from this region have been actively seeking their independence since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early ‘90s.

The Chechens, have fought two wars with Russia in the last 20 years and have been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks, including a 2004 attack on a school that ended in the deaths of more than 300 people, more than half of whom were children.
In a perfect world, these two groups could live in harmony. But the people of the North Caucasus won’t stop violently expressing their unhappiness until they’re independent, and the racial hatred white Russians feel toward them won’t stop until the violence stops.
People who blow up metro stations and airport terminals and kill children are not messing around. They won’t be placated, and they’re not worth holding onto, despite the plentiful natural resources their land provides for Russia.

It is not advocy for pacifying terrorists; advocay to let a proud people, who never gave up their old customs or their hope for freedom, determine their own lives for the first time in hundreds of years.

The era of a Russian empire that rules through terror is over, and Russia has proved that it can’t work out its problems with words. Russia should give up its unwinnable fight in the Caucasus.

By doing so, not only will it stop the terror and make its people safer, but it will be able to take the money and manpower being thrown away on this conflict and put it to good use.

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Russia: About Abduction Of brides In Chechen Republic

Posted by Info on 31/01/2011

On January 11, the president Ramzan Kadyrov harshly criticized local authorities and clergy. The reason was another fact of abduction of a girl by her bridegroom on December 28 in the village of Geldagan.
The local mullah, who blessed this marriage, were dismissed from their posts, while the groom was detained and is in custody.
The abduction became known to everyone in the district, but neither the local ROVD (District Interior Division) nor the head of the district took any operative actions. In other words, the local authorities just pretended that everything is OK in their district. Such excesses should be regarded as negligence of heads of administrations and ROVD bosses and absence of their control over the situation in their districts.”

“We profess Islam, the religion that condemns and doesn’t recognize a marriage concluded without the consent of the girl. We shall root out once and forever the tradition of bride abduction from the life of our society,” said Kadyrov.

A serious clash burst out between relatives of the bride and the groom, since the girl’s brother is a militiaman and he went to win her sister back from the kidnappers.
Some experts in the republic believe that it would be hardly possible to completely eradicate this tradition. Brides were abducted in Chechnya also during the USSR time, despite criminal prosecution and official bans.

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Кадыров: Клянусь Аллахом! Мы Даже Не Будем Детей Задерживать, Сажать, А Просто Убивать Их На Месте.

Posted by Info on 31/01/2011

Глава Чечни Рамзана Кадыров заявил, что в республике разработана эффективная программа противодействия вербовке молодежи исламистами через Интернет. Yспех в борьбе с идеологами радикального ислама в Чечне стал возможен благодаря идее привлечения сочувствующих и сторонников вооруженного подполья к прямому диалогу с группой исламских ученых через интернет. 15 духовных авторитетов в Чечне работают с молодежью. Для них закуплены компьютеры.

«Aнти-ваххабитская» тактика Рамзана Кадырова не ограничивается «интернет-диалогами». Вот выдержка из обращения Кадырова к родственникам участников радикального подполья в программе «Итоги» ТВ «Грозный» от 23 мая 2009 года: «Клянусь именем Аллаха! Ваххабиты и те, от кого есть хоть малейший запах ваххабизма будут уничтожаться в Чечне. Клянусь именем Аллаха, что дам жить на этой земле в Чечне только тем, кто приведёт своих детей домой. Они должны либо привести домой своих детей-ублюдков, чтобы их посадить, либо убить их. Если же не убьём, вам будет зло от этих детей. Клянусь Аллахом! Мы даже не будем их задерживать, сажать, а просто убивать их на месте. После этого не позволим произнести даже их имён».

Наблюдатели также обвиняют Рамзана Кадырова в массовых нарушениях прав женщин. По распоряжению Кадырова в Чечне введен дресс-код, согласно которому чеченки могут появляться в публичных местах и официальных заведениях только одетыми в соответствии с требованиями ислама. В 2010 году российские и иностранные СМИ сообщали о случаях уличных нападений на женщин без головного убора, которых обстреливали краской из ружей для пейнт-бола. По мнению правозащитников, глава Чечни потворствует публичному унижению женщин, ослушавшихся его указа.

Исламская тематика занимает значительную долю вещания чеченского государственного телеканала. В расписании зарубежных поездок Рамзана Кадырова доминируют визиты в страны арабского мира.
Пропаганда языка Корана, большое количество вновь открытых курсов арабского языка и поощрение обучения детей в специализированных медресе – еще один из аспектов религиозной программы Кадырова.

В этом, как и в вопросе дресс-кода и многих других деталях, исламская платформа главы Чечни мало чем отличается от платформы сторонников «Имарата Кавказ».
Чечня во главе с мусульманским лидером и живущая по исламским законам перестает быть объектом джихада. Y Рамзана Кадырова остается только одно серьезное препятствие – перестать преследовать этих самых братьев. При этом главным различием между «лесными» и «легальными» братьями становится не религиозная, а политическая платформа – первые воюют с Москвой, вторые лояльны к ней.

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Are There Lessons to Be Learned for Russia From Tunisia?

Posted by Info on 30/01/2011

In Tunisia President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, in power for 23 years, fled from the first popular uprising in an Arab country. They have also sparked debate and speculation in Russia on whether there could be lessons from Tunisia for Russia’s ruling tandem and the Russian opposition. Is the level of social and political discontent in Russia so high as to provoke an uprising?

Most observers in Moscow have focused on the factors that fueled the upheaval in Tunisia, which could be found in today’s Russia: widespread popular revulsion at the regime’s corruption; resentment at restrictions on political freedoms – media censorship and manipulated elections; large disparities in income levels; the narrowing of the ruling elite’s social foundations and widening fissures in the elite; the incompetence and brutality of the police, as well as the government’s mistakes, such as focusing too much on perceived but false threats (Islamic extremists in Tunisia, the radical liberals in Russia).

It is also interesting that the upheaval in distant Tunisia has been seized upon by members of president Medvedev’s inner circle to intensify their campaign against Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012.….

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Russian Leaders Use International Summits To Proclaim Common Interest In Fighting Terrorism But At Home Drum Up Anti-Western Propaganda

Posted by Info on 30/01/2011

Effectively a police state where business and politics are concerned, Russia has increasingly fallen victim to terrorist attacks by militant Muslims from the country’s secessionist provinces in the southern region of Caucasus. Moscow in particular has been subjected to at least one deadly terrorist act a year in recent years.

Even Russian President Dmitry Medvedev admitted security lapses at the Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, where 35 people were killed and more than 100 were injured, which is the nation’s busiest and its most notoriously disorganized. Medvedev said that the security at the airport was in a state of anarchy.

Much has been written about the corrupt nature of the Putin-Medvedev regime, which is good at suppressing dissent but fails miserably at providing security to its largely docile population.

What’s seldom mentioned is that the Kremlin has used the public outcry in the aftermaths of such terrorist acts to scapegoat its favorite adversaries — the United States and its Western allies — which the Kremlin blames for Russia’s poverty.

The Kremlin ideologues then use the poverty argument to explain the country’s systemic corruption that allows terrorists to move around, plan, and implement their attacks, often with impunity….

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Belarus Released 7 Detainees, Including Former Candidate For Presidency

Posted by Info on 29/01/2011

Belarus’s KGB state security police said in a statement that Vladimir Neklyayev, 64, and six other people, including the wife of another jailed presidential candidate, were being provisionally released because of good behavior.

Neklyayev, a poet who heads the “Tell the Truth” movement, and Irina Khalip, who is married to Andrei Sannikov of the “For a European Belarus” movement, would be kept under house arrest.
Neklyayev himself was beaten by state security police on December 19 while he was on his way to join a protest march in the city center and was spirited away from his hospital bed to jail by KGB state security officials while recovering.

Western governments have grown increasingly concerned over human rights violations in Belarus and have pressed Lukashenko to free the scores of protesters held after the December 19 vote, which the opposition and international monitors say was rigged.
EU foreign ministers are expected to agree on Monday in Brussels to reimpose visa bans that were suspended by the EU in 2008 to encourage reforms in the ex-Soviet republic.

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Russian Duma Passes New Law on Police Despite “NO” From Opposition

Posted by Info on 29/01/2011

The law introduces a number of significant changes to the work of Russia’s law enforcement agency.
The document clearly defines police officers’ rights and duties, and sets some new limits to their authority. At the same time, though, the agency gets more rights when it comes to providing security in places that could potentially be targets of terrorist attacks. In addition, it gives it a new name – “politsiya” – as opposed to “militsiya”, which it inherited from the Soviet Era.In addition, the staff of the Russian police will be reduced by 20 % by January 1 2012.

BUT the law leaves space for different interpretations which could be used to violate citizens’ rights.

Before being finally passed, the law went through several stages, both on the level of legislators’ debates and on the internet – by ordinary citizens. For the first ever time, on Medvedev’s initiative, the draft was published online for the public to express their opinion. Some of the proposals Russians made during the nationwide discussion were later added as amendments to the bill.

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Belarus: Lukashenko’s sons + 158 More In New Visa Ban

Posted by Info on 29/01/2011

The new names are to join an old list, bringing the total to 158.
Viktor Lukashenko, a presidential aid on defence matters and a member of the country’s security council, is to be branded persona non grata in the EU.
To an attack on the Lukashenko family, Dmitry Lukashenko, a political nobody who runs the Presidential Sports Club, is also to be barred from entering the Union.

The 117 new names also include: Yury Zhadobin (minister of defence); Leonid Maltsev (the secretary of the security council); Vadim Zaytsev (the head of the secret police, the KGB); Vladimir Makey (Mr Lukashenko’s chief foreign policy advisor); Grigory Vasilevich (the prosecutor general); and Vladimir Andreychenko (the head of the lower chamber of parliament).
The new list also comprises: the 24 heads of the regional and central election committees; 30 lawyers; and 10 journalists, dubbed “Lukashenko propagandists” by one EU diplomat.
The pre-existing register, numbering 41 names, including Mr Lukashenko himself, was suspended in 2008 but is to be re-instated.

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Interview With Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

Posted by Info on 29/01/2011

BLOOMBERG TELEVISION: Mr. President, thank you very much for joining us. You want to turn Russia into a modern country. You’ve got McDonalds. You’ve got shopping malls. You’ve got sushi. What’s missing?

DMITRY MEDVEDEV: What’s missing? More common things like infrastructure, business infrastructure, and legislation to properly regulate that business activity are missing. The official establishment, the bureaucracy, lack proper legal consciousness. And a well-developed judicial system is missing. Once we have all that, and provided there is no corruption, it would mean that Russia is ready to steam ahead along its modernisation track. …as regards compliance with legislation in our country, the situation here is as follows: our businessmen often try to strike a bargain with public officials, civil servants and among themselves in order to get around our legislation, which is not underdeveloped in my opinion, and try to close deals that are contrary to laws….last year alone several thousand private entrepreneurs and employees of major business entities were sent to prison for tax crimes.

… our judicial system as well as any attempts to bring pressure, including on me as the President, are totally destructive in this context because they make everyone else think that the judicial and legal system in Russia is so imperfect..more HERE

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Russia Adopts Color-Coded Terror Alert System , France And UK Dropped It

Posted by Info on 28/01/2011

Under intense pressure to ratchet up security measures after Monday’s terrorist airport attack, Russian lawmakers on Friday fast-tracked the introduction of a color-coded alert system similar to the one adopted by the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Russia began discussing a color-coded system months ago, after two suicide bombers exploded in Moscow’s subway, killing 40 people. Medvedev said: “After a terrorist attack, in many cases, metal detectors were put in place at transport facilities. They worked in the beginning, with everyone being sent through them, but then everything stopped, and people could come and go as they pleased.

The Russian system would categorize threats as blue, yellow, and red, in order of seriousness. The bill was presented Friday by the deputy director of the Federal Security Service, the domestic successor to the K.G.B., and the Parliament approved it in the first reading.

Fred Burton, a counterterrorism expert
at inteligence company Stratfor, said the United States had modeled its system on coded alerts used on military bases, which would then clearly dictate security measures like vehicle searches. It was, he said, “a knee-jerk reaction,” and when generalized to the population, it proved impossible to control how people would respond..

“Nobody really understands it. I’ve been a counterterrorism agent, but I couldn’t tell you on any given day what color code you were in, because it doesn’t really mean anything.”

France used such a system, and the United Kingdom adopted and then dropped it.

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Kazakh President Received Signal From People: “Don’t Leave Office”

Posted by Info on 28/01/2011

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev 70, said today that he will remain in office as long as his health allows him to.
“I have received a signal from the people – don’t leave office, continue working. If my health allows me, if I have the people’s support, I will work as long as I am allowed to.”

In June, the title of “Leader of the Nation” was bestowed upon Nazarbayev by his country’s lawmakers. The title gives him a wide range of privileges after the expiry of his presidential term.
Nazarbayev ruled the country state since the collapse of the Soviet Union, vetoed parliament’s original call for a referendum.
Earlier in the month, the Kazakh legislature voted unanimously in favor of holding a referendum to extend the rule of long-serving Nazarbayev until 2020, bypassing elections due in 2012.

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Mikhail Khodorkovsky Makes Initial Comments on Verdict in Eng + Ru

Posted by Info on 28/01/2011

Уважаемый суд! Уважаемые присутствующие!
Сегодня для меня очередная возможность оглянуться назад. Я вспоминаю октябрь 2003 г. Последний мой день на свободе. ….Государство, уничтожающее свои лучшие компании, готовые стать мировыми чемпионами, государство, презирающее своих граждан, государство, доверяющее только бюрократам и спецслужбам, – это больное государство.
Надежда – главный движитель больших реформ и преобразований, она залог их успеха. Если она угаснет, если сменится глухим разочарованием, – кто и что сможет вывести нашу Россию из нового застоя?
Я не преувеличу, если скажу, что за исходом этого процесса следят миллионы глаз по всей стране, по всему миру. …
вся речь здесь

Honourable court!
Looking back, I can recall October of 2003. My last day as a free man. ……..Where human rights will no longer depend on the mood of the tsar. Good or evil.
Where, on the contrary, the power will truly be dependent on the citizens, and the court – only on law and God. Call this conscience – if you prefer. I believe, this – is how it will be.
I am not at all an ideal person, but I am – a person with an idea. For me, as for anybody, it is hard to live in jail, and I do not want to die there.

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European Court Of Human Rights To Charge Fees

Posted by Info on 28/01/2011

The European Court of Human Rights is the ultimate court of redress for individuals claiming violations of their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Since being set up in 1959, the Court has delivered some 10,000 judgments ruling that governments have failed to honour their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Its current resources are stretched by an increasing backlog of cases (more than 110,000 are now pending) and the large number of applications it receives (more than 50,000 last year).

Therefor the European ministers proposed that individuals should pay to file an application with the European Court of Human Rights.
AI: “A proposal to charge fees for filing an application, which received some support, could curtail access to the Court for people in Europe who are unable to pay the Court fees. Equality before the law and access to an effective remedy are rights that states simply cannot sell out.”

The Action Plan adopted at Interlaken in February 2010 includes recommendations to states to take measures to ensure enhanced respect for human rights and effective remedies for human rights violations at home. If states fully respected human rights the court would not be facing such a overwhelming backlog of cases.

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