Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for May, 2011

ЕСПЧ не Hашел политической Mотивации в деле Ходорковского

Posted by Info on 31/05/2011

Европейский суд по правам человека в Страсбурге вынес решение по жалобе Михаила Ходорковского, которую он подал в 2004 году.В коммюнике перечисляются нарушения Конвенции о правах человека, допущенные при задержании экс-главы компании ЮКОС и его при его содержании под стражей.

Cуд не нашел достаточных доказательств того, что “дело ЮКОСа” является политически ангажированным.
“Хотя дело Ходорковского может вызывать некоторые подозрения относительно реальных намерений российских властей при его преследовании, заявление о политической мотивированности уголовного преследования требует неопровержимых доказательств, которые не были представлены”, – говорится в постановлении суда.
Своим вердиктом суд обязал Российскую Федерацию выплатить бывшему олигарху 10 тысяч евро в качестве компенсации морального ущерба и еще 14 500 евро – в счет покрытия судебных издержек.

Всего в Европейский суд по правам человека защитой Ходорковского и Лебедева поданы три жалобы. Две касаются первого судебного процесса, третья — второго уголовного дела.
В них Ходорковский заявляет о незаконности своего ареста, бесчеловечном и унижающем достоинство обращении, а также о политической мотивации судебного преследования.

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Georgia: New Law Prevent Former KGB Agents To Take Positions In Government

Posted by Info on 31/05/2011

Georgia will destroy Soviet-era monuments and change any street names which refer to its Communist past, lawmakers decided on Tuesday, passing a new law aimed at distancing the country from its former master Russia.

The so-called Freedom Charte
r will set up a commission led by the Interior Ministry to identify symbols, monuments, inscriptions, street and park names “that may reflect or contain elements of Soviet or fascist ideology” and consider their removal.

The law will also prevent former KGB agents and senior Communist party officials from occupying high-ranking positions in government.

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Russian Journalists Politkovskaja’s Muderer Found – But Question is: Who Ordered It?

Posted by Info on 31/05/2011

Russia has arrested Rustam Makhmudov, the suspected assassin of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot dead in 2006.

Dmitry Babich, a political analyst and journalist said that Politkovskaya’s colleagues at Novaya Gazeta, a Russian opposition newspaper, agree that Makhmudov is most likely the murderer. So the biggest question is not who performed the murder, but who ordered it,”

“You know that Novaya Gazeta is very much in opposition to the Russian government, so they suspect someone from the current leadership of Chechnya (which is pro-Moscow) is behind the assassination.”

Makhmudov’s brothers, Dzhabrail and Ibragim, and former police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov have been investigated for several years over suspected involvement in the killing.
All three were acquitted on a lack of evidence in a jury trial in 2009, but the verdict was annulled by the supreme court and a new investigation reopened with the same suspects. “The relatives of Politkovskaya and other fellow journalists agree that these two brothers were tracking her movements on the day she was killed. They were suspected of actually giving the signal to the killer who was waiting inside her (apartment) building,” Babich said.

She reported on the alleged human rights abuses of Russian military forces under the leadership of former Russian president Vladimir Putin, of the Chechen rebels and the current Moscow-backed administration led by the Kadyrov family in Chechnya.

The murder of Politkovskaya came while her reporting became an increasing threat to the Chechen regime, which was allegedly responsible for the rampant torture, abduction, and murder of opposition figures.
She wrote several books about the Chechen wars, as well as Putin’s Russia – in which she accused Russian secret services of repressing civil liberties to re-establish a Soviet-style dicatorship.Politkovskaya received numerous prestigious international awards for her work.

Former spy Alexander Litvinenko had been investigating her death when he waspoisoned in London last autumn.
Sky News’ Mark Stone met Mr Litvinenko when he was giving a lecture on the journalist’s death.
Mr Litvidenko said : “You ask me who killed her.” and added: “I can answer you directly. It is Mr Putin, the president of the Russian Federation that has killed her. Putin killed her.”

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European Court: Khodorkovsky’s Rights Violated But Not Politically Motivated

Posted by Info on 31/05/2011

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that imprisoned Russian oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s rights were violated after his arrest in 2003, but rejected his contention that the arrest and subsequent trial were politically motivated.

The court’s rejection of that contention appears to be a significant setback to efforts of Khodorkovsky’s supporters ( like AI) to portray him as a prisoner of conscience. He is due for release in 2016. The ruling appeared to be a setback for Mr. Khodorkovsky and his supporters, who argued that his arrest and imprisonment in 2003 were retribution for his outspoken opposition to Vladimir V. Putin, then the president and now the prime minister.

But the court ruled in favor of 8 of 15 complaints filed by Mr. Khodorkovsky’s lawyers, arguing that Russia committed grave violations of the former businessman’s rights during his arrest and pretrial detention.

The ruling from the court in Strasbourg, France, was made on an appeal filed in connection with his arrest and first trial. It ordered Russia pay 24,000 euros ($35,000) in damages for rights violations, including being held in cramped and unsanitary conditions and for extending his pretrial detention without justification.

Khodorkovsky was arrested when special forces officers stormed his plane at a Siberian airport. He had been summoned to be a witness in a criminal case and his detention was initially justified for having failed to appear. However, the court said, within hours of his detention he was presented with a lengthy list of criminal charges.

“The speed with which the investigating authorities had acted suggested they had been prepared for such a development and had wanted Mr. Khosorkovsky as a defendant and not as a simple witness. Therefore, his detention had been unlawful as it had been made with a purpose different from the one expressed, the court said.

Last year, Khodorkovsky was convicted in a second trial of stealing oil from his own company, the now-liquidated oil major Yukos. He was sentenced to 13 years on that conviction, with the sentence to run concurrently with his previous conviction.

Khodorkovsky had filed for parole, saying he is eligible for early release since he has served half of his 13-year sentence.

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President Lukashenko Orders Russian Media Out Of Belarus

Posted by Info on 30/05/2011

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has ordered the shut down of a number of foreign media outlets, including those of Russian orgin, for stirring up “hysteria” over the currency crisis in the country.

On Monday, Belarus’ National Bank devalued the national currency against the dollar by 36 percent, which led to price hikes, panic among the population, empty shelves in supermarkets and long queues at currency exchanges as people attempting to protect their savings.
President Lukashenko said: Russian media whipped up the “hysteria”.</em>

According to Lukashenko, the reason behind the move is “not that we want them to keep their mouths shut”. He noted that he had been closely watching the media and it was they “who triggered the hype”.

First reaction to the news has already followed from Moscow which was surprised by Lukashenko’s decision. The Russian lower house has warned the Belarusian leader against any rash steps.
The closure of foreign media outlets “will not be a panacea for the economic crisis,” believes Leonid Slutsky, first deputy chairperson of the Duma’s International Affairs Committee. It would be highly unfortunate to make any anti-democratic moves now “when Minsk is in need of international aid”.

The chairman of the Russian Public Chamber’s committee for media issues Pavel Gusev said the news did not come as a surprise. Several Russian media outlets have already been banned from entering Belarus. The journalist believes that Lukashenko’s decision is yet another sign of his “political unreliability. The Belarusian leader can be neither trusted nor dealt with.

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RUSSIA = A Country of Beggars and Choosers / Moscow Ahead New York

Posted by Info on 30/05/2011

Russia already ranks in seventh place on the list of countries with the largest number of the “richest millionaires,” whose assets are worth $30 millions or more, behind the United States, China, Germany, the UK, India and France.
Moreover, Russia’s millionaires beat out their foreign competitors by the wealth that is concentrated in their households: an average rich family here has $2.1 million, putting Russia in fifth place behind Switzerland ($4.2 million), Singapore ($4 million), the United States ($3.7 million) and Hong Kong ($2.9 million). Russia ranks third in the world in its number of billionaires, behind the United States and China. Moscow has become the world capital of billionaires (79 billionaires) ahead of New York City (58 billionaires).

The authors of Deloitte’s survey took different sources of wealth into account, including financial assets such as stocks, bonds and other investments, and non-financial assets including real estate, expensive goods and business ownership. By this methodology, the present and future millionaires in Russia could also be divided into two subgroups – active “earners” and passive “owners.” “Future millionaires could earn their capital in traditionally highly-profitable sectors of the Russian economy, such as oil and gas, metallurgy and extractive industry, electric-power industry, transport, retail trading and telecommunications.

BUT a survey conducted by the Moscow Higher School of Economics (HSE) found that 60 % of the population in Russia has the same real income it had 20 years ago when the Soviet Union collapsed, and some even became poorer. HSE’s research found that income inequality between the late 1980s and the late 2000s in Russia has grown eight times faster than in Hungary, and is five times greater than in the Czech Republic. At present, the Gini coefficient, a statistic that determines income and wealth inequality worldwide, is twice more in Russia than in Sweden, and equivalent to those in Iran, Turkmenistan, Laos, Nigeria….more HERE

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Russian Prosecutors Clear Investigator In Magnitsky Case

Posted by Info on 30/05/2011

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has established that the investigator who handled the Sergei Magnitsky case has done no wrong.

Lawyer Magnitsky died aged 37 in a Moscow pre-trial detention facility in 2009 after being refused medical treatment for pancreatitis. He had been detained as part of an investigation into embezzlement involving Hermitage Capital investment, for whom he was working.
Markin said investigator Oleg Silchenko had not violated any federal laws in “pressing criminal charges and arresting” Magtnitsky, as well as extending his custody pending trial.
Magnitsky claimed he had been falsely imprisoned by the same officials in the Interior Ministry who he had accused of embezzlement.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said the results of the investigation into the death of Magnitsky will be made public in the near future.
Human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin said he was unable to participate in the investigation due to insufficient aspects in Russian law.

Sergei Magnitsky, a corporate lawyer representing Hermitage Capital Management, once Russia’s largest portfolio investor, died mysteriously in pre-trial detention after being repeatedly denied medical care and in effect subjected to what in most civilised countries would be considered torture. A year later, his death has become a symbol of the mind-boggling corruption and injustice perpetrated by the Russian system, and the inability (or unwillingness) of the Kremlin to change it.

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In Russia, Prisons for Police Thrive

Posted by Info on 30/05/2011

Correctional Colony 13 – all the inmates at this prison compound here in western Russia — some 2,000 of them — are former policemen, prosecutors, tax inspectors, customs agents and judges. Most of the inmates are here for work-related infractions, from accepting bribes to attacking suspects.

Interior Minister Rashid G. Nurgaliyev said that more than a third of the senior officers — 94 out of 250 — vetted by an anticorruption committee this spring failed to adequately address the committee’s questions. Many own property despite their former jobs’ small salaries.“We never knew it before now,” a member of the vetting committee told the newspaper that the property ranged from “mere apartments to colossal objects all over the world.”

No matter the prisoners’ back stories, Correctional Colony 13 offers a view of how troubled Russia’s criminal justice system has become.
The former officers spoke matter-of-factly about what they identified as a key reason they became corrupt or abusive: tiny salaries that fed frustration and made side payments a welcome supplement.
Some still seemed bewildered at being punished for actions they assumed were widely accepted Russian police practice.
Mr. Shumilov, the former police detective serving seven years for what he described as meting out bruises, said he was merely trying to crack a car-theft ring. Aleksei K. Bushuyev, 46, a rotund ex-traffic inspector, said he took bribes to cover the upkeep of his Lada police cruiser, and not a ruble more.

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Молдавия: “Социальный Марш” Против Правящего Проевропейского Альянса

Posted by Info on 30/05/2011

От 40 до 70 тысяч человек приняли участие29 мая в «Социальном марше» в столице Молдавии с требованием отставки правящего в стране «Альянса за евроинтеграцию».

Основным организатором манифестации стала партия коммунистов Молдовы (ПКРМ). На митинге экс-президент Молдавии Владимир Воронин призвал – цитирую – «весь молдавский народ сплотиться и сказать временщикам у власти – ваше время прошло».
Неделю назад акция “Социальный марш” прошла в трех других крупных городах Молдавии – Кагуле, Сороках и Оргееве, собрав там более 10 тысяч человек.

5 июня в Молдавии пройдут выборы в местные органы власти. В парламенте партия коммунистов является самой крупной по числу депутатских мест, однако их существенно меньше половины. Внеочередные парламентские выборы прошли в Молдавии в ноябре 2010 года, правительство было сформировано в январе 2011 сроком на 4 года.

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Complaint of 75 Chechen Victims of 1999 Bombing Sent to ECtHR

Posted by Info on 29/05/2011

The bombing on October 7, 1999, destroyed the Elistanzhi rural school and plenty of private households. The missile-and-bomb strike led to a large number of civilian casualties among the villagers. The total number of victims of the bombing was at least 95 persons – 35 casualties and 60 wounded.

The list of casualties includes 10 children aged from infants to 14 years of age, and 7 persons aged 61 and older. Among those wounded, as of the time of the tragedy, 23 persons were children aged from infants to 14.

The victims and witnesses of the bombing indicate in their evidences that at the moment of the attack the village of Elistanzhi had no military objects or facilities that could have been taken for military ones; and during the attack on the village the weather was clear, and the aircrafts were clearly visible from the ground.

The version that the attack was carried out by Russian warplanes was the only one considered by investigatory bodies of the Russian Federation. They never denied the involvement of Russia’s Air Forces in bombing Elistanzhi on October 7, 1999, the Committee Against Torture reports.
To date, the criminal investigation remains unfinished.

The complaint, prepared by the Committee Against Torture, was forwarded to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg on behalf of 75 applicants from Chechnya.

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Amnesty International and its “Prisoners of Conscience”

Posted by Info on 27/05/2011

Amnesty International, has declared Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev “prisoners of conscience.” after the first statemen to refuse this label of “ prisoners of conscience”. What is going on in Amnesty international, Ms Nicola Duckworth?

The term “prisoner of conscience,” introduced 50 years ago by the founder of Amnesty International, British lawyer Peter Benenson, can only be applied to people persecuted for their convictions. However, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev have been sentenced not for their convictions but for economic crimes.
Complaints about procedural irregularities and other shortcomings of the Russian system of justice, which is indeed far from perfect, are common in Russia. You hear them from the lawyers and the advocates of nearly all defendants.
Russia’s justice system was sharply criticized during a recent hearing on the murder of lawyer and human rights activist Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, a 25-year-old journalist who had been walking alongside Markelov. However, AI disregarded that criticism and said it was satisfied with the investigation.

AI’s stated goals are “to defend freedom of expression, to protect women’s rights, to abolish the death penalty, to demand justice for crimes against humanity and corporate accountability where companies have abused people’s rights.”
The organization is working hard toward these goals, but there is one drawback: in the 50 years since its founding, AI has grown into a global human rights network, and its size has become an obstacle to its work.
An organization with a general secretary, an international secretariat and a staff of 500 is a bureaucratic structure, and the purity and idealism of its initial designs inevitably succumb to red tape.
When an organization turns into a kind of a medieval order and becomes drunk on its own self-importance, the mentality of its staff changes. On the other hand, Amnesty International is like a trade union that does not accept new members easily.
As such, the status of a political prisoner or “prisoner of conscience,” which it confers at its discretion, sometimes looks like those Soviet-era allowances granted only to union members.

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Tajikistan: Growing Security Threat From Local And External Insurgencies

Posted by Info on 27/05/2011

Bishkek/Brussels, 24 May 2011 – International Crisis Group: report n. 205
Tajikistan, by most measures Central Asia’s poorest and most vulnerable state. After his security forces failed to bring warlords and a small group of young insurgents to heel in the eastern region of Rasht in 2010-2011, President Emomali Rakhmon did a deal to bring a temporary peace to the area. But he may soon face a tougher challenge from the resurgent Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a group with a vision of an Islamist caliphate that is fighting in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban.

That conflict is moving closer to the 1,400km Afghan-Tajik border. Many anti-government guerrillas operating in northern Afghanistan are of Central Asian origin and are largely affiliated with the IMU. Tajikistan has almost no capacity to tackle a dedicated insurgent force. A new generation of guerrillas is emerging, both within Tajikistan and in the IMU.

Tajiks studying in foreign Islamic institutions have been called home; the government is trying to control the content of Friday sermons and prevent young people from visiting mosques; it has also dismissed some clerics.
Jihadist groups, too, are paying more attention to Tajikistan. A small number of fighters from the North Caucasus have also been active in Tajikistan in recent years. Radicalisation by osmosis is growing: Tajikistan is gradually becoming part of the virtual jihad. Islamist websites are paying increasing attention to events in the country. Islamic militants in Tajikistan are adopting tactics already well known in other jihadist struggles, notably in the North Caucasus. A new generation of guerrillas is emerging, both within Tajikistan and in the IMU.
Tajiks studying in foreign Islamic institutions have been called home; the government is trying to control the content of Friday sermons and prevent young people from visiting mosques; it has also dismissed some clerics.

Jihadist groups, too, are paying more attention to Tajikistan. A small number of fighters from the North Caucasus have also been active in Tajikistan in recent years. In September 2010 the country witnessed what was described as its first suicide bombing. The northern border area of Isfara is developing the reputation of a safe haven for armed militants.

President Rakhmon denies that the North African scenario of popular unrest and revolt could happen in Tajikistan; despite the different circumstances, such confidence is questionable. Tajikistan is so vulnerable that a small, localised problem could quickly spiral into a threat to the regime’s existence.


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Россия: Дагестан залит Kровью идет Hеобъявленная Bойна.

Posted by Info on 27/05/2011

Противостояние между силовиками и вооруженным подпольем в этой северокавказской республике в последние дни стало особенно ожесточенным. Есть убитые и раненые. Oчевидно, что местная и федеральная власть не контролирует ситуацию в республике и не способна поддержать там мир. Де-факто в Дагестане идет необъявленная война.

22 мая в Хасавюрте был убит начальник отдела по делам несовершеннолетних городского ОВД майор Магомед Абдулхамидов, днем ранее, 21 мая на пересечении улицы Тотурбиева и Махачкалинского шоссе в Хасавюрте неизвестный киллер выстрелил в спину сотруднику патрульно-постовой службы. Полицейский был доставлен в больницу в тяжелом состоянии, где и скончался от ран.
26 мая в селе Нечаевка Кизилюртовского района Дагестана была обстреляна машина сотрудников полиции. В ходе завязавшейся перестрелки один боевик был убит, правоохранители не пострадали.

На момент написания этого материала в уже упомянутом Кизилюртовском районе шел бой. В селении Чонтаул в одном из частных домов была заблокированная группа боевиков численностью до пяти человек. По последним данным, от огня боевиков погиб один сотрудник полиции…

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North Caucasus-based Caucasus Emirate on terrorist group list

Posted by Info on 26/05/2011

The U.S. Department of State has put North Caucasus-based Caucasus Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz, IK) on its official list of terrorist groups under Presidential Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists, terrorist organizations or acts of terrorism,” the statement reads.
“This action will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to the group. Imarat Kavkaz uses bombings, shootings and attempted assassinations to provoke a revolution and expel the Russian government from the North Caucasus region,the statement continues.

The US added Russia’s most wanted terrorist Doku Umarov to the Rewards for Justice program, offering $5 million for information on his where abouts. Umarov has claimed responsibility for all the main terror attacks in Russia in recent years, including the bombing at Domodedovo Airport in January that killed 37 people and last March’s twin suicide attacks on the Moscow subway in which 40 people died.

During the G8 summit in Deauville, France, Russia and the United States also issued a joint statement in which they agreed to further cooperate in fighting al Qaeda. The sides said they will address the issue of fighting terrorism within various multilateral forums, including the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and another multinational anti-terrorism forum to be established in the near future, as well as during UN and G8 meetings.
The countries also agreed to cooperate in strengthening air passenger security.

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Belarus Leader May Trade Rivals’ Freedom for Financial Aid To Get From Economic Crisis

Posted by Info on 26/05/2011

The president, Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, indicated that he might free his imprisoned political rivals, a signal that he could be ready to strike a deal with Western governments in exchange for financial support.
Belarussian ruble was devalued by an additional 36 percent this week, and many economists say it could plunge further.

Until now, Mr. Lukashenko has openly mocked demands from the United States and the European Union to release about two dozen opposition figures who were jailed for participating in a large protest over the president’s victory in fraud-riddled elections last year.

A large foreign bailout is imperative, economists say, but a $3 billion loan tentatively offered by Russia has been slow in coming, and might not be enough in any case.

“They are still screaming, ‘Free the political prisoners,’ Mr. Lukashenko said Wednesday, referring to Western officials. “We’ll free them probably. No need to blow government money on prisons, eating up bread.”
“This is a signal that our government is now open to a deal,” said Sergei Chaly, an independent economist.

Both the United States and the European Union have imposed economic sanctions against top officials in Belarus, including the president, contingent on the release of the prisoners.The police brutally dispersed tens of thousands of people who converged last December on a large square in Minsk to contest the presidential elections. Hundreds were arrested, and opposition leaders have since been sentenced to up to five years in prison for organizing the rally.

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