Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for March 24th, 2011

Ombudsman Subjected Methods in Northern Caucasus To Criticism

Posted by Info on 24/03/2011

Ombudsman of the Russian Federation Vladimir Lukin submitted his annual report on the state of affairs in the sphere of human rights and freedoms to State Duma in which he subjected the methods of struggle against participants of paramilitary groups in Northern Caucasus to criticism.

Lukin states in his report that in spite of Russia’s virtual abolition of capital punishment in 2009, “the practice of unlawful murders of members of paramilitary groups is in use as before”.
Lukin emphasizes that he does not bring into question “the necessity of firm and uncompromising struggle against gunmen” but he insists that the essence of antiterrorist activities is struggle of lawfulness against arbitrary rule”.

“It is evident that all the circumstances of liquidation of paramilitary groups must undergo thorough inspection but in fact it is difficult to do this for only law enforcement bodies have access to the materials of a criminal case initiated on a fact of liquidation. Even the Ombudsman has difficulties in getting access to such materials”.

All in all Ombudsman received about 57 000 complaints during the past year, most of them were from the Central Federal Okrug (34,6%). More rarely complaints were coming from North Caucasian (4,9%) and Far Eastern (4,3%) Federal Districts.

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Putin Thinks About Victims

Posted by Info on 24/03/2011

During a press-conference in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana on March 22, 2011 Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, announced: ”… Now, we have to think … about the victims whose number is increasing due to the current civil war in Libya and as a result of the rocket and bomb strikes on this country’s territory. We must all think in particular about that, in priority… But, of course, the ones that should first think about it are the ones involved in this tragedy. They should think about it and pray for their souls to be saved.”

Did Putin spoke also about Russian victims, about what was happening in his own country, about his implication in those tragic events? Is he praying also for their souls?

There would be along list of tragic evens in the Republic of Chechnya and high number ofr victims.

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Russia: 200 North Caucasus Militants Killed In 2011

Posted by Info on 24/03/2011

Some 200 militants have been killed in North Caucasus since the beginning of the year, Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s Interior Troops Nikolai Rogozhkin said as he visited a military training base outside Moscow.

But how many were brought to justice?

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Turkmenistan Opens Geneva Mission, Prepares for UN Review on Torture

Posted by Info on 24/03/2011

In May, Turkmenistan is scheduled to present its report on compliance with the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishmen.

Non-governmental human rights groups are harshly discouraged and activists persecuted, jailed or forced to leave the country, so it is difficult to write a shadow reports, however a network of international and exiled activists who have been maintaining the record for years will also present their findings to the UN body.

One 20-page study describes the lack of due process involved in incarcerating numerous people for violation of arbitrary rules established by the authoritarian state. “Despite the reforms proclaimed by the present-day authorities, Turkmenistan remains one of the most closed countries in the world,”
Among the most glaring abuses of the Turkmen prison system is the disappearance of a number of people into it who have not been heard from in years and who may no longer be alive. These include former foreign minister Boris Shikhmuradov, tried with others in an alleged coup plot in 2002, and kept incommunicado since then, and two members of the Turkmenistasn Helsinki Foundation, Annakurban Amanklychev and Sapardurdy Khajiev, who were charged with helping French documentary film makers.

The Turkmen NGOs have found evidence of the use of torture to extract confessions and ensure conformity and a widespread practice of taking family members as hostages to induce cooperation from suspects.

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Russia: Attempt to Empty Prisons Called a Big Mistake

Posted by Info on 24/03/2011

The Kremlin is taking a step toward reducing the number of prisoners, drafting a bill to ease punishments on crimes ranging from libel to smuggling and kidnapping.
The bill is the third set of legal amendments drafted after President Dmitry Medvedev initiated a campaign last year to make criminal legislation more humane.

The detention of white-collar crime suspects was banned last April, and minimal prison sentences were canceled for 68 criminal offenses — among them fraud, theft and robbery — earlier this month.

The new 83-page bill proposes abolishing prison terms for certain crimes or replacing them with alternative punishments.First-time convicts for economic crimes will not be jailed if they pay back six times the amount of damage they have caused.

People convicted of minor crimes and first-time felonies may get off with fines, house arrest or forced labor instead of prison.
The draft also proposes postponing sentences for drug users, who would be allowed to undergo treatment before going to jail.

The bill steps up considerably the authority of judges, who would decide at their own discretion whether to replace imprisonment with forced labor for certain crimes.
A judge would also be allowed to downgrade the gravity of a crime — leading to a softer penalty — in cases where the evidence favors a suspect.

The Federal Security Service opposes the decriminalization of illegal trafficking of consumer goods, but the FSB has issued no comment on the issue.
Constitutional Court aide Oleg Vagin, in a statement, criticized the proposal to grant judges the right to reduce gravity of crimes.

“My overall impression is that the draft was done by dilettantes who have no clue about criminal legislation,”
criminal lawyer Mikhail Kleimyonov said.
Viktor Luneyev, a crime researcher with 50 years of experience, said that the bill could have been “fudged up by uneducated people who are unaware of the real crime in the country.”

Lebedev opposed granting the judge the power to decide on the punishment, citing rampant corruption. “In current circumstances, any extension of the judge’s powers is a pro-corruption factor.”Instead, the criminal legislation should be made “as detailed as possible,” clearly establishing types of punishments for various crimes.

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