Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for February 15th, 2011

Russia: Female Suicide Bomber Blew Herself in Dagestan

Posted by Info on 15/02/2011

Two police officers were killed and about 20 wounded in two explosions in the Russian North Caucasus republic of Dagestan.

A female suicide bomber blew herself up near a police station in the village of Gubden on Monday evening, killing one policeman and injuring several.

In a short while, a second explosion followed. A Lada Priora car, stopped at the Gubden checkpoint for an inspection by security guards as it was heading toward the scene of the previous explosion, exploded killing one policeman and leaving about 17 people wounded.

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Uzbekistan: Prime Minister Againts Constitution Regarding Journalist

Posted by Info on 15/02/2011

The already short list of journalists, who are officially registered with the Uzbek ministry of exterior, has shrank. There were 38 such journalists last year, the renewed list now has 33. Given that some 80 foreign journalists were accredited prior to the Andijan events [in 2005], attempts to minimize the number of foreign reporters are obvious.

In fact, the number of foreign journalists present on the ground in Uzbekistan is even smaller than 33, because many return home after they receive accreditation. That is why the press service of the ministry of foreign affairs faces significant difficulties to have even 8-10 reporters come to those rare news conferences it rarely hosts.

It must be noted that should an Uzbek journalist lose his “accredited journalist” status, s/he is close to literally joining the ranks of those unemployed, because the national authorities build any possible obstacle before a journalist with no permission to cover stories in the country.
There is even a governmental decree “Main regulations of journalists’ activities who work for foreign mass media outlets,” signed by Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev and adopted on 24 February 2006. Despite the fact that this documents is in contradiction with the Uzbek constitution and all laws regulating mass media, authorities prefer using it and openly ignore the main piece of legislation.

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Does Putin ‘Have £600 Million Italianate palace’ Through Corruption?

Posted by Info on 15/02/2011

Vladimir Putin has had a lavish £600 million Italianate palace built for himself near a Black Sea resort with the proceeds of “corruption, bribery and theft”, a Russian businessman has alleged.

The claim, made in a letter to Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president was an authenticated copy of the original contract for the palace signed in 2005 by Vladimir Kozhin, the Russian presidential property manager. Mr Putin was president at the time. Putin’s, has likened the structure to a palace built for Russia’s Tsars outside St Petersburg. Putin had personally approved the design and materials.

“Corrupt officials building themselves personal palaces at a time when children are dying due to lack of funds for medicines is Russia’s shame.”

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2002 Dubrovka Hostage Crisis Will Be Reinvestigated

Posted by Info on 15/02/2011

The 2002 Dubrovka hostage crisis will be reinvestigated because at least four terrorists involved in the attack have allegedly escaped.

The Moscow branch of the Investigative Committee will restart the criminal probe on the order of Moscow’s Prosecutor General’s Office, Igor Trunov, who represents the victims of the attack. He said the victims managed to convince the law enforcement agencies that some of the attackers and equipment they used, including guns, satellite telephones and a laptop, were unaccounted for.

In October 2002, a group of 41 Chechen rebels seized a theater in southeastern Moscow, taking more than 900 people hostage. Authorities resolved a three-day standoff by pumping the building full of a military chemical agent, which was supposed to knock people out, but killed many hostages. The total body count for hostages stood at 129, and all terrorists were reported to be killed.
Only one man, Zaurbek Talkhigov, was convicted over the incident, with a Moscow court sentencing him in 2003 to 8 1/2 years in prison for informing the terrorists via cell phone of activities of law enforcement officers during the siege. The investigation was ended later that year.

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Russian Constitutional Court Approves Public Evaluation of Cases

Posted by Info on 15/02/2011

The Chairman of the Constitutional Court has approved the proposal to monitor verdicts in high-profile criminal cases by legal experts. Expert evaluations should eliminate any potential pressure on verdicts from other branches of government.
Public monitoring “must not and cannot impose any direct legal steps.” President Dmitry Medvedev supports the proposal.

The judges asked the Constitutional Court to review the proposal that allows legal experts to review verdicts in so-called high-profile cases. Among other things, this concerns the cases of ex-Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the former head of Menatep Platon Lebedev. The case of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergey Magnitsky, who died in custody, could also be evaluated.

After the approval by the Constitutional Court, a special working group of professional legal experts will be formed to review verdicts when the sentences go into effect. The experts’ opinion – not legally-binding judicial commentary on the courts’ decisions – will be prepared for the president.

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