Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for April, 2011

Medvedev Submits To Duma Draft Law On Punishment For Terrorists

Posted by Info on 30/04/2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has submitted to the Duma the draft law “On changes and amendments to Articles 73 and 81 of the Criminal Punishment Code of the Russian Federation.”

According to a general rule, established by Parts 1 and 2 of Article 73 of the Criminal Punishment Code, people sentenced to imprisonment serve their prison terms at the correctional institutions within the boundaries of the territory of the Russian region, in which they lived or were convicted or to the territory of the nearest Russian region.
Part 4 of the same article includes a list of the crimes creating special danger for society, recorded in the Penal Code, including those dealing with terrorism, for which convicts are sent to the correctional institutions, situated in the areas, specially assigned by the federal body in charge of criminal punishment.

The draft law suggests that more crimes should be added to the list, specifically, membership in an armed unit, the organization of an extremist group and the organisation of work of an extremist organization.

Under Article 81 of the Criminal Punishment Code, the people sentenced to imprisonment should serve the whole of their prison term, as a rule, in one and the same correctional colony, prison or educational colony.
In this connection the draft law suggests that one more provision should be added, under which the crimes, mentioned in Article 73 of the Criminal Punishment Code, will be reason enough for the transfer of the convict from one correctional institution to another.

If the law is adopted, it will permit to improve the efficiency of the measures taken, which are aimed at fighting terrorism and extremism, as well as to avoid the concentration in correctional institutions, primarily in regions with a tense situation, of the people convicted for the crimes, which are of special danger for the public.

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Uzbekistan: “Our Torturers Know – They Will Never Face Law”

Posted by Info on 30/04/2011

The Paris-based Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) has released a new report on the system of torture and extrajudicial execution in Uzbekistan with a system in which medical workers cover up the evidence of abuse.

The 47-page report – HERE “OUR TORTURES KNOW THAT THEY WILL NEVER FACE THE LAW” is based on the eyewitness account of an Andijan Regional Hospital morgue employee who dealt with the victims from the 2005 massacre in the Ferghana Valley city, and also includes testimony from survivors and their relatives.

The eyewitness was arrested after the shooting of demonstrators, detained and tortured for three months, then forced to work in the morgue. He testified that from September 2005 to February 2007, he examined nearly 500 bodies, and found many with gunshot wounds and evidence of torture

The report also supplies the names and ranks of some of the Andijan prison wardens and administrators who are alleged to have been responsible for the practice of torture including beatings of prisoners, forcing them to stand for hours or pouring of cold water on them and exposing them to the cold, as well as sexual abuse.

Not only are suspects tortured, but their relatives are also summoned for interrogation abused:
I don‘t know what to do. [Crying.] They came to my house and asked me sternly: ―Who gave you the idea to write to the UN? Do you want to see wandhere this will get you?‖ I must also think of the other children. My husband is already in prison, and it‘s up to me to raise these children… [Crying.]

Posted in EU, UN, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

ECHR Ordered Georgia To Pay 50 000 Euro To Parents Of Kidnapped and Killed

Posted by Info on 29/04/2011

The Strasbourg court ordered the Georgian government to pay € 50,000 ($74,000) to the parents of the victim. Sandro Girgvliani, 28, was kidnapped and beaten to death by interior ministry officers in January 2006, after he became involved in an argument with a group of high-ranking ministry officials in a Tbilisi café.

The court found that the investigation into the death of Sandro Girgvliani lacked “independence, impartiality, objectivity and thoroughness”.

The court criticized the Georgian government for showing unreasonable lenience toward the four perpetrators. It expressed particular concern over attempts by the Ministry of the Interior, the Prosecutor’s Office, the domestic courts and the President of Georgia to prevent justice from being done in the Girgvliani case.

In July 2006, the Tbilisi City Court found four interior ministry officials guilty of killing Girgvliani. The men were sentenced to between seven and eight years in prison. All four were pardoned and released after serving just over three years of their sentences.
After details of Sandro Girgvliani’s murder were exposed by a Georgian TV station, the case became a major political issue, with many both in Georgia and abroad calling for a full and transparent investigation. The conduct of the investigation and trial, however, led many to suspect a far-reaching cover-up designed to protect high ranking interior ministry officials. The suspicions contributed to the 2007 opposition protests in Tbilisi, resulting in a police crackdown that left hundreds injured.

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Russia/Dagestan: Antiterror Operation Regime Being Introduced Non Stop – Elimination continues

Posted by Info on 29/04/2011

The Republic of Dagestan is a federal subject of Russia, in the North Caucasus, with a population of 3 million (2010). The capital is Makhachkala.
Dagestan has great ethnic diversity, with several dozen ethnic groups and subgroups, most of which speak either Caucasian, Turkic, or Iranian languages. Largest among these ethnic groups are the Avar, Dargin, Kumyk, Lezgin, and Laks. While Russians are only some 4.7 percent of the population, Russian remains the primary official language.

Dagestan has been a scene of low-level Islamic insurgency, occasional outbreaks of separatism, ethnic tensions and terrorism since the 1990s.Much of the tension is rooted in an internal Islamic conflict between traditional Sufi groups advocating secular government and more recently introduced Salafist teachings preaching the implementation of sharia law in Dagestan.

“at 07:15 MSK this morning, the counter-terrorism operation regime was introducedin Makhachkala in the district where the residents of nearby houses were evacuated, as there was a gunfight in ten-storey house in the Peter the Great Avenue.
Next counter-terrorism operation regime was also introduced on Wednesday evening near the Kvanada village in the Tsumadinsky district – there was a shootout with gunmen in which two law enforcement officers in Dagestan were killed and three were injured, the republic’s Interior Ministry reported.

Five police officers got concussion in Dagestan on the night to Thursday as an explosive device went off during an attempt to render it harmless in the village of Sultanyangiyurt in the Kizilyurt district.
There was an explosion in Makhachkala on Wednesday evening at the Ilkhan shopping centre.

Meanwhile, two militants were killed during the counter-terrorist operation launched in Dagestan, NAC spokesman Nikolai Sintsov: “The bandits’ identities are being verified. According to the operational headquarters in the Republic of Dagestan, the destroyed militants were involved (?) in terrorism-related crimes, attempts on and murders of civilians and law enforcement officers.”

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Russia: Ultranationalists Guilty Of Murdering lawyer Markelov, journalist Baburova

Posted by Info on 29/04/2011

Two Russian far-right activists were convicted for the 2009 murders of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova.
Markelov, a friend of the assassinated journalist Anna Politkovskaya, and Baburova, who worked for the liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta, were gunned down in January 2009 in central Moscow.

Nikita Tikhonov and Yevgeniya Khasis, both linked to a banned ultranationalist group called Russky Obraz, were convicted of the murders. The Moscow City Court said it would hand down their sentences on May 5.
The pair, who married in custody, was also convicted of forming an illegal group and arms possession.
Alexander Vasilyev, Tikhonov’s lawyer said: “This is an inadmissible and illegal verdict, we will appeal it.”
Tikhonov tried to slit his wrists on Tuesday, and Khasis made a similar attempt on her life on Wednesday.

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Число жалоб Hа Россию в Страсбург Oпять Pастет

Posted by Info on 28/04/2011

Павел Лаптев, уполномоченный Российской Федерации при ЕСПЧ в 1999-2007 годах, а ныне заведующий кафедрой европейского права Российской академии правосудия, рассказал на круглом столе во вторник в Москве, что в первые годы участия России в системе ЕСПЧ россияне подавали около четырех тысяч жалоб в год, затем число исков превысило 11 тысяч в год, потом – снизилось на 18-19%, но в последние два года взмыло вверх, перекрыв рекордные показатели середины нулевых годов.

В 2010 году в Страсбург от россиян поступило более 14 300 жалоб. В 2009 их было 13 666. Россия присоединилась к системе ЕСПЧ в 1998 году.

В последние пару лет резко выросло количество исков по поводу условий содержания в следственных изоляторах. “Тут еще и средства массовой информации уделяли много внимания этому вопросу, и это, конечно, подталкивало заявителей к тому, чтобы обращаться в Страсбург”, – сказал Лаптев.
Российская пресса особенно много стала писать об изоляторах после смерти в ноябре 2009 года в предварительном заключении юриста Сергея Магнитского.

89% жалоб от россиян ЕСПЧ отказывается рассматривать. Главной причиной этого считает правовую безграмотность, мешающую россиянам правильно оценить подсудность своего дела либо просто правильно оформить иск.
..из тех жалоб, которые проходят эту стадию проверки “приемлемости”, в 94% случаев Россия признается виновной в нарушении европейской Конвенции о защите прав человека”,

Posted in Россия, EU | Leave a Comment »

Azerbaijan Cracks Down Hard On Protests Including Children

Posted by Info on 28/04/2011

In oil-rich Azerbaijan, opposition supporters inspired by revolutions in the Arab world are taking to the streets and calling for a change of government. President Aliyev’s family has ruled with an iron grip since 1993.

The Azeri government understands that we have the same system here as they had in Tunisia or Egypt… in fact it is a totally corrupt government” said Political analyst Arastun Orujlu.

It is a peaceful Sunday afternoon in Baku’s immaculately restored city centre. In a central square next to the ruling party’s headquarters, hundreds of people stroll around the 19th Century fountain or chat with friends. In total 65 people were detained. Even some 5 years old girl shouts out “freedom” and punches her tiny fist into the air. She is grabbed by police, starts to cry, and is pushed into a police car.
All were arrested either on their way to the protest, or as soon as they shouted out anything criticising the government.

“For the past five years the situation was very bad when it comes to guaranteeing human rights and freedoms. People just waited and waited and waited. But because of events in the Arab world, people here now understand that they should go and ask the government to meet their demands. Now people realise they have a real chance of changing something.”

The media is tightly controlled by the state and almost 80% of the population either never use the internet or do not know what it is.

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Kadyrov at Court: Murdered Estemirova ‘Was Not Defending Rights’

Posted by Info on 28/04/2011

Estemirova was outside her home in the Chechen capital Grozny before her bullet-ridden body was found in a forest in July 2009.
Rights group Memorial said Kadyrov was behind the murder, a claim it was ordered to retract following a lawsuit by Kadyrov.

The Chechen leader Kadyrov, who called Estemirova a “woman without honor or shame” shortly before her death, has denied the allegation.

Murdered Chechen rights activist Natalia Estemirova did nothing for the Chechen people, the republic’s strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov told a Moscow court hearing during a video today . “I saw in her work nothing holy or useful for the Chechen people. She wasn’t defending human rights. She was just talking but wasn’t defending any rights.”

Estemirova recorded hundreds of cases of abuse against civilians by the militia under control of Kadyrov, the 34-year-old former separatist rebel turned Kremlin loyalist.

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Dagestan President: Terrorists Now Understand Our Language Of Force

Posted by Info on 28/04/2011

The president of Dagestan, Magomedsalam Magomedov, believes the solution to the terrorist problem lies in improving the standard of living in the region. In an interview he says it would help prevent militants from boosting their ranks.

RT: Recently, you have had a major success in liquidating the Dagestan chapter of the most-wanted militant network in Russia. Does this mean you are winning the war on terror?
MM: Of course, this is a very important event. A big group of militants have been killed along with their leader, which is a great success...They reject us when we urge them to lay down weapons and return to a peaceful life. … they now only understand the language of force. And, of course, such operations will continue until we have eliminated the terrorist underground in our republic. ..This, however, is not the only method we use to fight terrorism. This is just the coercive aspect. We also need to strip extremists and terrorists of their base, stop the inflow of new recruits, and that requires solving a wide range of issues.

  • RT: How can this be achieved? In fact, you’re saying exactly what the president’s representative in the North Caucasus, Aleksandr Khloponin, says: that the problem is not that there are a thousand militants, but that they keep refilling their ranks. How do you break this vicious cycle?
    MM: This is a more complex task that requires a systemic, comprehensive approach. Terrorism is a global phenomenon. It is not limited to our republic, or our region, and methods to fight it are well-known. First of all, we need to change the social and economic situation in the republic. We must restore the economy, create new jobs, and get young people involved in normal life. We need to give them education and jobs.

  • Posted in Russia | Leave a Comment »

    Belarus Closes 2 Independent Newspapers + Sent Opposition Leader To Prison

    Posted by Info on 27/04/2011

    Belarus’ authoritarian government further tightened the screws on dissent Wednesday by shutting down two independent newspapers and sending another opposition leader to prison for two years.

    The daily newspapers Nasha Niva and Narodnaya Volya were closed after receiving two or more warnings in the past year over their political coverage. Nasha Niva, the oldest newspaper in the country, dating back to 1906, has a circulation of 6,000 and receives 10,000 visitors to its website daily. Narodnaya Volya is larger, with a daily circulation of about 30,000.

    Opposition leader Dmitry Bondarenko was found guilty in court of organizing an election-night rally in December to protest the results of the vote that extended the rule of President Alexander Lukashenko.
    Some 700 people were arrested, including seven presidential candidates.
    Seven opposition figures have already been sentenced to jail terms of two to four years for their part in the protest. Ten more, including presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, are still on trial.

    Posted in Belarus | Leave a Comment »

    US Department of State Report: Uzbekistan and Human Rights Record

    Posted by Info on 27/04/2011

    The US Department of State has published a report on human rights in the world in 2010 in which it draws attention to the denial of political and economic rights and freedom of speech, torture, unlawful detention, child labour and other problems in Uzbekistan.

    Political trials throughout Uzbekistan, where men accused of religious extremism testify to having been tortured, have almost become routine.
    The Uzbek security services keep under permanent surveillance the handful of human rights activists and independent journalists who remain in the country. A change of political leadership in Uzbekistan is highly unlikely in the near future, and meanwhile the world becomes ever more accustomed to the authoritarian police regime which wields so much power in Uzbekistan.

    Although the US report talks of torture and ill-treatment of political dissidents in Uzbekistan’s prisons, unfair trials, restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion, child labour and violence against women in Uzbekistan, it offers no solutions to these problems.

    The human rights situation has worsened in the country since 13 May 2005 when government troops killed hundreds of civilians in Andijan. The Uzbek government refused to allow any external investigation into the massacre, warning the international community against interference in Uzbekistan’s internal affairs.

    After Andijan, the expulsion of US troops who had been stationed at the Karshi-Khanabad airbase since 2001 set new parameters for the Uzbek-US relationship which senior American politicians appeared to accept because of the importance to them of the northern transit route for supplying NATO and US troops deployed in Afghanistan.

    Posted in others, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

    EU: Lukashenko Is Not democratically Elected President of Belarus

    Posted by Info on 27/04/2011

    The European Commission refused to comment on the statement of the Belarusian leader about European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, as it does not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as democratically elected President of the Republic of Belarus. .

    European Commission representative also said that Alexander Lukashenko voiced information about the condition, allegedly put forward by Jose Manuel Barroso, to participate in a summit at Chernobyl in the absence of the Belarusian leader.
    European Commission spokesman Olivier Bally confirmed this position of the European Commission.

    Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko criticized the refusal of European Commission President Jose Barroso to attend the conference on Chernobyl issues, if there would have been the President of Belarus. He named the European Commission President a swine, and said that Ukraine leadership is lousy.

    Posted in Belarus, EU, Ukraine | Leave a Comment »

    Belarusian Court Rejects Appeal To Release Jailed Ex-presidential Candidate

    Posted by Info on 27/04/2011

    A Belarusian court rejected today an appeal for the release of former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, detained in December for taking part in an anti-governmental riot.
    Sannikov is being held on charges of organizing mass unrest and faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
    Other opposition candidates arrested in the post-election protest have been released from custody.
    Sannikov’s wife, Irina Khalip, a journalist for the Belarusian branch of Russia’s liberal Novaya Gazeta paper, was also detained but released in late January.
    More than 600 protesters including 11 Russians were detained following the protests, which were fired by allegations of vote rigging in presidential elections that saw long-standing President Alexander Lukashenko win a landslide victory to secure a fourth term in office.
    Human Rights Watch released a report in March detailing hundreds of cases of torture and inhumane treatment of jailed protesters.

    Posted in Belarus | Leave a Comment »

    Russia: Zhirinovsky To Take Part In 2012 Presidential Election

    Posted by Info on 27/04/2011

    The permanent leader of the Liberal Democrat party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has confirmed that he will participate in the election of the Russian president in March 2012.

    Zhirinovsky, who celebrated his 65th birthday the day before also said that approximately on December 10 there would be the 24th congress of the Liberal Democrat Party, which will approve of its presidential candidate.

    With regard to the upcoming the State Duma elections on December 4 this year Zhirinovsky will lead the party’s list. This list will be approved at the congress of the Liberal Democrat Party scheduled for early September. He predicted that his party might collect up to 30 percent of the votes in the parliamentary elections.

    Vladimir Zhirinovsky ran for the president of Russia in 1991 (7.81 percent of the votes), 1996 (5.7 percent), and 2000 (2.7 percent). In the presidential election in the Russian Federation on March 2, 2008 he took third place (9.35 percent).

    Zhirinovsky has been accused of anti-Semitism, for statements in which he accused Jews of ruining Russia, sending Russian women to foreign countries as prostitutes, selling children and organs to the Western world, and provoking the Holocaust. He reportedly even praised Adolf Hitler’s ideology of Nazism and befriended Edwin Neuwirth, an Austrian industrialist and a “proud” former officer of the Waffen-SS who has denied that the Nazis used gas chambers to kill Jews during World War II, leading some of the German media to denounce him as “Russia’s Hitler”.
    Besides expressing his hatred for Turks and Caucasians,Zhirinovsky also called for the deportation of all Chinese from Russian Far East….

    Posted in Russia | Leave a Comment »

    Father and Elder Brother of Perpetrator of Minsk Terrorist Attack Detained

    Posted by Info on 27/04/2011

    …как в сталинкие времена, сын враг народа и все его родственники в тюрьму?

    The Belarusian Minister of Internal Affairs, Anatoly Kulyashou, confirms that the father and elder brother of the perpetrator of the terrorist act in Minsk metro have been detained and taken to a detention facility.

    Is it about Collective punishment in Belarus?

    Posted in Belarus, Белоруссия | Leave a Comment »