Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for March 8th, 2011

Latvia: Violations Of Most Political Rights For 365 000 Persons

Posted by Info on 08/03/2011

Over 2.3 million people live in Latvia; out of the total, 365,000 have no Latvian citizenship. Following Latvia’s cessation from the Soviet Union in 1991, they were deprived of most political rights, including the right to vote at municipal and general elections as well as at elections to the European Parliament.

Latvia collecting signatures for making Russian second official tongue
The collection of notarially certified signatures was organised so as to launch later a nation-wide referendum on this question. Organisers are sure that 10,000 signatures, necessary for a referendum, will be collected within three months.
The action was backed by the party For Human Rights in United Latvia that represented in opposition the interests of Russian-speaking residents for many years, but failed to win parliamentary seats at the last elections in October 2010.

The action “For mother tongue” was a response to the opposition nationalist association Fatherland and Freedom (All for Latvia). The latter organised a collection of notarially certified signatures of the country’s citizens for switching over Russian schools (financed by the state) to Latvian language education.

Latvian nationalists recently announced that they had collected 10,000 signatures necessary for a referendum.

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UN: Terrorism Being Used To Legitimise State Violence

Posted by Info on 08/03/2011

While addressing the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council on Tunisia, Special Rapporteur said “broad and vague terrorism definitions and their abusive use to suppress dissent prove to be a galvanising factor in society. Making reference to Tunisia’s Ben Ali, and Gaddafi in Libya,

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Azerbaijan Imprisons Facebook Activists Writing About Egypt And Tunisia

Posted by Info on 08/03/2011

This is a second Facebook-related imprisonment in less than a month, a court in Ganja on March 4 sentenced youth activist Bakhtiyar Hajiyev to one month in prison. Details about the charges against Hajiyev were not immediately clear.

Twenty-nine-year-old Hajiev, a former parliamentary candidate, is one of the organizers of a youth demonstration against the government planned for March 11. Police in Ganja summoned him twice on March 4 to question him about statements he had posted on Facebook.

“We learned from the developments in the Arab world that when people demand freedom, they achieve it. We call on you to stand on the right side of history, not to resort to force against your own citizens, to build a fair, happy, and free society in Azerbaijan together with ordinary people,” reads one of those statements, directed to police.

The arrests (and Facebook list) follow Egypt and Tunisia’s popular uprisings
, which have been avidly followed by young Azerbaijanis, both on and off Facebook — an interest that has not escaped the government’s attention.

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CSTO To Compile Register Of Terrorist And Extremist Organizations

Posted by Info on 08/03/2011

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (or the “O-De-Ke-Be” in Russian) consisting of the countries like Armenia, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is going to create a common register of terrorist and extremist organizations that pose a threat to security in the region and thus are designated as illegal.

The idea implies that any “terrorist” organization that has been officially designated as such, for instance, in the territory of the Russian Federation, shall fall under the same category in all member-states of the Organization and therefore be subject to persecution in accordance with the existing national legislation. In the meantime, representatives of criminal communities persecuted in one of the member-states are often able to seek an asylum in neighboring countries and stay free away from prosecution or indictment.

The CSTO pays a special attention to the problem of illegal drug-traffic and therefore plans to create a “Center to combat the drug traffic” in Kyrgyzstan. The Drug Control Agency is currently working on the respective proposals.

CSTO is not considering the creation of a new military base in the south of Kyrgyzstan in spite of a preliminary agreement regarding the creation of another Russian military base that was made on August 1, 2009 by the president D. Medvedev and the former Kyrgyz president K. Bakiev.

Posted in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Belarus: OSCE To Attend Trials Of Post-Election Protesters

Posted by Info on 08/03/2011

The Belarusian authorities have invited OSCE experts to attend the trials of people charged with a criminal offense over the December 19 post-election street protest in Minsk.
“Belarus demonstrates its openness to OSCE partners. We want the participation of external experts to confirm that all trials are held in full compliance with Belarus’ national laws..,

More than 40 people have been charged in a so-called mass riot case opened by the authorities in connection with the demonstration. The first trial in the case was held on February 17, with a district judge in Minsk sentencing a young opposition activist, Vasil Parfyankow, to four years in prison on a charge of participation in a mass riot. Three more protesters received prison sentences ranging from three to four years in a trial earlier this month.

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