Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for March 18th, 2011

Guidebook For People Facing Unlawful Extradition From Russia

Posted by Info on 18/03/2011

The 160-page Russian-language manual, created by the Institute of Human Rights with the assistance of the UN Refugee Agency, is intended for the use of lawyers, not their clients, and offers tips on Russia’s extremely convoluted extradition laws.

Over the past few years there has been a growing number of extraditions of people prosecuted on illegal political or religious charges. Most cases stem from post-Soviet Central Asian states — Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan — but Belarus, also notorious for its human rights record, contributes as well.

Extradition in these situations often means torture and long-term jailing for suspects, but Russian authorities prefer to ignore this, even the fact that wanted activists often have dual citizenship and are Russian citizens does not help.

The Russian legal system has little experience in handling complicated extradition cases, which leads to violations, lawyers said. In particular, people are sometimes handed over to other countries before they could appeal the extradition.

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

New Report: Political Repression In Uzbekistan 2009-2010

Posted by Info on 18/03/2011

On March 16 2011, Human Rights Center Memorial published a comprehensive report covering political repression in Uzbekistan in the period 2009-2010. The report itself is currently available only in Russian language, the summary has been translated into English.

3. The Criminal Code of Uzbekistan, which was adopted in 1994, contains provisions that are incompatible with the freedoms set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966. In particular, any religious activity not sanctioned by the government is criminalized. Strict punishment is set out (up to 15 years imprisonment) for “extremism” and participation in “forbidden organizations”, in spite of these two terms having no basis in national legislation. This opens up for arbitrary interpretation of the terms. The definition of “terrorism” is unnecessarily wide, extending the circles of people who may be charged with this crime….

4. As in the past, the current practice in criminal cases shows that a great number of Muslims whose activities pose no threat to the social order and security are being sentenced on fabricated charges of terrorism and extremism. The use of torture in 2009-2010 continued to have a systematic character. Admissions that had been coerced from suspects under pressure often served as the main evidence of guilt. Administrative arrest of 10-15 days during arbitrary detention of suspects was practiced. During investigation and trial there were numerous procedural violations. Access to a lawyer was limited. Many political cases in 2009-2010 were considered in closed hearings, and usually only government-appointed lawyers were allowed to participate in the processes…The courts handed out long prison sentences to persons whose guilt merely consisted of unofficial studies of Islam, keeping religious materials or being associated with “forbidden” organizations and movements…

5. The main enemy of the state in 2009-2010 was announced to be “zhikhodchilar” (“Jihadists”). This term, which is used as a political label, includes members of a few terrorist groups, as well as participants in various informal Islamic associations who supposedly express “radical views”, or who keep or distribute audio and video clips of sermons of well-known religious figures who are persecuted by the authorities. … persons accused of being involved with Hizb-ut-Tahrir made up the majority of political prisoners…”.

Posted in UN, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Belarus: 2 More Presidential Candidates accused of organizing “mass riot”

Posted by Info on 18/03/2011

Two more Belarusian presidential candidates, Mikalai Statkevich and Dzmitry Us, have been accused of organizing the so called mass riot. The case is then to be sent to court.

“The investigative department of preliminary investigation at the Main Police Directorate of Minsk have charged Statkevich and Us with committing a crime under part 1 of article 293 (organizing mass riot) of the Criminal Code of Belarus.”

According to investigators,“we have more or less convincing evidence that five more accused were involved in mass disorder, namely participating in violent attacks and elimination of property of the House of Government, using physical force against law-enforcement officers, who were protecting public order.”

Besides, charges with taking part in mass riot have been brought against Alyaksandr Kvyatkevich, Dzmitry Bulanau, Artsyom Hrybkou, A. Paznyak. Alyaksandr Klaskouski is accused of organizing and taking part in mass riot (parts 1 and 2 of article 293), insulting a representative of the authorities (article 369), and unwarranted appropriation of title or authority of an official (article 382).

Posted in Belarus | Leave a Comment »

ECHR Delivered Decision on Death by Violence of a Resident of Ingushetia

Posted by Info on 18/03/2011

On March 15, 2011, European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tsechoyev v. Russia case (application No. 39358/05).

European Court found that Russian authorities failed to properly investigate (i.e., violated the procedural aspect of Article 2 of European Convention on Human Rights) the murder of the applicant’s brother, Suleyman Tsechoyev.
The Court ruled that a compensation of 15 000 euro should be paid to the applicant, as well as 2 500 euro as payment for legal assistance should be paid to the applicant’s representatives.

HRC Memorial supposes that in the ruling of the Tsechoyev v. Russia case the European Court did not pay due attention to the situation as a whole, which resulted in excessively formal estimation of the events.
It would be naïve to believe that SIZO officers in charge of the arrested alleged criminal could transfer him to the people who had introduced themselves as militia officers without making sure that the arrested was indeed subject to the transfer, and who and when delivered the decision on the transfer, and whether the officers of the pre-trial detention centre of destination were aware of the transfer, and so on. It is way too doubtful that Suleyman could be freely transferred to some unknown people.

The Court only recognized the ineffective nature of investigation on the grounds of the failure to look into the version of involvement of the officers of the representatives of the state in Suleyman’s abduction and murder while at the same time not having recognized the state’s responsibility for his murder on the grounds of lack of information on the matter.
The state factually freed itself from the possible responsibility for Tsechoyev’s murder.

Posted in EU, Russia | Leave a Comment »