Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for September 23rd, 2011

Romania , Bulgaria Denied Entry To Schengen Zone

Posted by Info on 23/09/2011

Romania and Bulgaria, the European Union’s two newest members, were denied entry into Europe’s borderless free-travel zone Thursday when EU interior ministers could not reach the necessary unanimity and decided not to hold a vote.

This is a big shock for all people from Moldova, who paid a lot of money to get their Romanian passports (as they have rights to hold Moldovian and also Romanian passports), thus a free access to Schengen countries.

The Netherlands and Finland had publicly opposed admitting Romania and Bulgaria, both of which joined the European Union in 2007, saying they needed to do more to fight corruption and organized crime. Within the Schengen free-travel zone, there are no checks performed or papers required when people cross national borders.

The French and Germans had proposed a compromise: drop border checks at airports and seaports in October, but continue them on land crossings until summer 2013, based on a report to be completed by July. But that was rejected.

The free movement of people has been one of the EU’s most cherished achievements. And the dispute over it comes just as the EU’s other most-cherished achievement, the euro common currency, is also under severe stress.

After the Dutch announced their opposition to Romania and Bulgaria joining, Romania began blocking all flower imports from the Netherlands, saying the paperwork was not in order and the plants might contain “dangerous bacteria.” Esther de Lange, a Dutch member of the European Parliament called the move “old-school blackmail.”

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OSCE – Russia About Number Of International Observers

Posted by Info on 23/09/2011

Vladimir Churov, the head of Russia’s Central Elections Commission views the OSCE requirements as unacceptable and offensive for Russia because according to him, a large number of foreign observers is common only for “second-rate” countries that lack credibility abroad. While “first-rate” states invite relatively few foreigners to monitor elections, second-rate ones have more than 200.
No country wants to be second-rate, especially Russia,” Churov said. Elena Dubrovina, a member at the Central Elections Commission said that the number of long-term observers should be limited to 20.

But some experts believe that even 260 international observers is a small number for Russia.It is not clear why the Central Election Commission is reluctant to invite 260 international observers from the OSCE. After all, they are hardly likely to harm Russia, because, as a matter of fact, it’s not very many for such a big country as Russia.

The OSCE’s harsh criticism of the Russian parliamentary elections is primarily based on precedents. ODIHR members denounced United Russia, Russia’s ruling party, for using administrative resources to win the 2003 elections (about 480 foreign observers came to Russia back then). In 2007, the Central Election Commission invited only 70 ODIHR representatives and significantly delayed their invitations, which prevented them from monitoring the pre-election campaign. As a result, they refused to go to Russia and described the 2007 election as “unfair” and manipulated.

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Lithuania Expands Blacklist Of Belarusian Officials

Posted by Info on 23/09/2011

Vilnius intends to add 18 Belarusian officials to those banned from entering Lithuania. These officials have relation to persecution of Belarusian Viasna Human Rights Centre and its leaders. The Viasna leader is in the detention facility Nr 1 in Minsk facing 7 years in prison.
Names and posts of the civil servants are not given, but they are “associated with the persecution of the Belarusian Human Rights Centre Viasna and its leaders”.

Lithuania has already called on other EU member states to consider a possibility of adding these Belarusian officials to their national lists of persons declared persona non grata in their countries.

The EU has already imposed travel ban on 200 Belarusian top officials due to crackdown on the opposition conducted by official Minsk.

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Russia: Terror Act Against Police – Two Car Bombs In Dagestan

Posted by Info on 23/09/2011

One person was killed and 61 injured in twin blasts in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala yesterday.

One person died with another 61 injured when two car bombs went off shortly after midnight near the city’s central square, with an interval of some 15-17 minutes. The second blast targeted a police convoy which rushed to the scene of the first explosion.
A total of 44 police were injured in the blast, other victims are civilians. Two people, one of them a police officer, are in critical condition.
More that a decade after the end of a federal war against separatists in Chechnya, militants continue to stage frequent attacks on security forces, police and civilians, in other regions in the area, including Dagestan.

Deputy Prisons head shot dead with his family in Dagestan
this morning. “Unknown people shot up Murtazaliev’s car along with his driver, daughter and nephew,” a local investigators’ spokesman said. Murtazaliev’s murder was probably motivated by his official duties.

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