EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for May 23rd, 2011

“My car is missing its license plate. I know what this means in Russia: I am being followed.”

Posted by Info on 23/05/2011

I called my friend: “Marinka, what do I do if my license plate has been unscrewed from my car?”

“Look through the car,” Marina answers gravely. “They could have planted a gun, drugs or extremist literature. But I wouldn’t particularly worry about explosives. They don’t usually blow up journalists.”

In conversations like these, “THEY” always means the same thing: the security services, the government, the ones in power.

Advertisements

Posted in Russia | Leave a Comment »

Россия: Ходорковский Hе Bписался B правозащитный Cтандарт

Posted by Info on 23/05/2011

Международная правозащитная организация Amnesty International не готова признать бывших совладельцев ЮКОСа Михаила Ходорковского и Платона Лебедева узниками совести. О таком статусе для осужденных предпринимателей просила группа российских писателей, актеров, ученых и журналистов. Открытое письмо за подписью 45 человек было обнародовано в марте 2011 года.

Один из авторов “Письма-45”, петербургский писатель Нина Катерли подвергла резкой критике решение Amnesty International:
“Amnesty International не может считать себя правозащитной организацией, потому что, с одной стороны, они все время уповают на какую-то политкорректность, а на самом деле это просто так называемая “реальная политика”, основанная на выгоде. Он не хотят ссориться со страной, с которой у них налаженные экономические отношения, они не хотят ссориться со страной, где есть нефть и газ.”

Нo из Amnesty International исследователь по России международной правозащитной организации Human Rights Watch Татьяна Локшина:
– Совершенно очевидно, что узниками совести Amnesty International называет людей, которые оказались за решеткой исключительно потому, что они мирным путем отстаивали свои убеждения. Без какой бы то ни было другой мотивации. …Я понимаю, почему “Международная амнистия” сделала подобное заявление. Узник совести – это некая формула, которой они пользуются много лет, причем формула очень жесткая. И под эту формулу дело Ходорковского и Лебедева не подходит.
При этом Татьяна Локшина подчеркивает: организация Human Rights Watch сомневается, что судебные процессы над Ходорковским и Лебедевым носят исключительно уголовный характер:

Исследователь российского отдела “Международной амнистии” Денис Кривошеин разъясняет позицию правозащитной организации:
– Признание кого-то узником совести означает, что мы считаем этого человека невиновным…Просто тот процесс, который мы видели, и то, как это произошло, вызывает сомнения, но сказать с однозначной уверенностью, что эти люди невиновны в том, в чем их обвиняют, мы не можем.

Мы стараемся не использовать словосочетание “политзаключенный”, поскольку оно очень часто у многих вызывает, скажем, небольшую путаницу. Узник совести – это человек, несправедливо лишенный свободы только за свое мнение. Политзаключенный – это выражение, которое в прошлом довольно широко использовалось “Международной амнистией” в отношении людей, чье уголовное преследование могло или не могло быть обоснованным, но было вызвано политическими мотивами.

<em>”Узник совести” – человек, который, как мы считаем, не виноват, и мы требуем его немедленно освободить. Политзаключенный – человек, для которого традиционно предполагалось, что его права в области справедливого правосудия нарушены. Но эти права нарушаются каждый день в отношении многих людей, к сожалению, и не нужно иметь какой-то особый статус, для того чтобы “Международная амнистия” потребовала восстановления этих прав. Каждый имеет право на справедливое судопроизводство. И именно поэтому вне зависимости, обусловлено это политическими мотивами или нет, в отношении многих людей, в том числе Ходорковского, мы добивались этого права. И насколько известно, в настоящий момент во многих странах мира наши сторонники обращаются к российским властям именно с этим требованием – провести судебные слушания справедливо, устранить ту несправедливость, которая была допущена в ходе как первого процесса, так и второго.

Posted in Россия | Leave a Comment »

Russian Khodorkovsky Is Not ‘Prisoner Of Conscience’

Posted by Info on 23/05/2011

In March, 45 prominent Russian writers, actors, and journalists sent an open letter to Amnesty International asking it to consider Khodorkovsky and Lebedev prisoners of conscience.
Amnesty International has ruled not to recognize former Russian oil-tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his associate Platon Lebedev as prisoners of conscience.

Khodorkovsky, the former Yukos oil giant chief, and Lebedev, were detained in 2003 and found guilty of tax evasion two years later, receiving eight-year sentences.In December 2010, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev faced additional fraud charges and their prison terms were extended through 2017.
Opposition and human rights activists in Russia consider the case against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev to be politically motivated.

An author of the letter to Amnesty International, St. Petersburg writer Nina Katerli, harshly criticized the decision made by the human rights watchdog, calling it “a betrayal of not only Khodorkovsky but all political prisoners in Russia”.

But Tatyana Lokshina from Human Rights Watch, explained that Amnesty International considers all of those in jail who were imprisoned for defending their viewpoints by peaceful means to be prisoners of conscience.The case of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev might be politically motivated but it does not mean that the former oil tycoons are prisoners of conscience.

Denis Krivoshein, of Amnesty International’s Moscow office said that a prisoner of conscience is a person who was sentenced for his or her views or beliefs. Anyone who might be involved in wrongdoing or even crimes, but whose case was launched only for political reasons, can be called a political prisoner but not a prisoner of conscience.

comment by jorjo:
Not such an outlandish decision on part of the Amnesty international, Khodorkovsky has become something of a political symbol since his arrest and imprisonment but he is not a political dissident per se, such as Andrei Sakharov or Aleksander Solzhenitzyn were. He has become a prisoner/dissident by force. One has to look at his early rise to influence through the Komsomol ranks and then early business dealings, most notably how YUKOS came into existence in the first place. Khodorkovsky is simply one of the oligarchs who had the misfortune to fall of favor with Kremlin for his political aspirations. Had he not have those aspirations, he would have been in the same group as Abramovich, Deripaska and Poltoranin and judged accordingly. So let’s not make a saint of him.

Posted in Russia | 2 Comments »

EU Discuss Additional Sanctions Against Belarus After Sentencing Presidential Candidate

Posted by Info on 23/05/2011

The European Union’s Council of Foreign Ministers discuss additional sanctions against Belarus regarding the country’s human rights record, after a Belarusian court sentenced last week former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov to five years in prison for organizing riots following the elections in Minsk last December.

Additional sanctions may expand a list of Belarusian officials banned from traveling within the EU member sta
tes.

Sannikov, a former deputy foreign minister and leader of Belarus’ Christian Democratic Party, ran against “Europe’s last dictator,” Alexander Lukashenko, and was one of seven candidates detained after the December 19 polls, described by international observers as flawed.
The elections in Belarus saw incumbent President Lukashenko, who has ruled the country for more than 15 years, win a fourth term in office with almost 80 percent of the vote. More than 600 people were detained during large-scale protests that broke out in Minsk.

Posted in Belarus, EU | Leave a Comment »

Russia: New Decree To Monitor Law Enforcement And Execution Of Court Decisions

Posted by Info on 23/05/2011

President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree ordering the Justice Ministry to monitor law enforcement and the execution of court decisions and to provide annual progress reports, making a direct link between the quality of the legal environment and Moscow’s ambition to become a global financial center.The announcement about the presidential decree came two days after Medvedev declared that Russia would honor its obligations to the European Court of Human Rights.

Problems with enforcing laws, lack of respect for the courts, and corruption are not just issues affecting our public life but are macroeconomic factors holding back our national wealth growth and putting a brake on our efforts to carry out economic decisions and social initiatives,”
the president said at the opening of the first International Legal Forum in St. Petersburg.
Nearly 500 legal experts attended, including former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder; Hans van Loon, secretary general of the Hague Conference on Private International Law; and International Bar Association president Akira Kawamura.

Russian courts lack resources and qualified judges and lawyers. The average judge is overwhelmed with 59 cases a month, about double the acceptable amount. The Justice Ministry is economizing on judges. More funds should be earmarked for salaries in order to hire more judges. Judicial salaries should be boosted to a level that bribes would not seem so attractive.
Problems that arise from the lack of resources include judges accepting bribes and hastily made decisions that allow them to move on to the next case.

Alternative arbitration, or courts independent of the state, currently exist in Russia, but because of a lack of regulation, there are many unqualified courts and judges are not liable for bad decisions. Recently the Supreme Arbitration Court started allowing cases to be filed electronically, publishing court materials and broadcasting sessions online.

Posted in Russia | Leave a Comment »

Georgia: 3,000 People Demonstrate Demanding Government Resignation

Posted by Info on 23/05/2011

Some 3,000 people gathered on Sunday in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, demanding a resignation of the present authorities as well as early presidential and general elections.
A clash took place here in the morning when there were no more than 30-40 protesters. According to organisers of the rally, policemen, armed with clubs and shields and with the use of tear-gas and rubber bullets tried to disperse the gathering. As a result, several men, including one woman, were injured. In turn, representatives of the Interior Ministry report an attack by protesters on law enforcers.

Leaders of the Nation-Wide Assembly of Georgia (NWAG) which organised the action, reported that a group of unidentified people attacked rally participants. The NWAG goes on with peaceful methods of struggle to achieve a resignation of authorities and fixing early presidential and parliamentary elections.

Posted in Georgia | Leave a Comment »