Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for October 3rd, 2011

New Study on ‘Parliamentary Oversight Of Intelligence Agencies In Relevant EU Member States

Posted by Info on 03/10/2011

This study evaluates the oversight of national security and intelligence agencies by parliaments and specialised non-parliamentary oversight bodies, with a view to identifying good practices that can inform the European Parliament’s approach to strengthening the oversight of Europol, Eurojust, Frontex and, to a lesser extent, Sitcen. The study puts forward a series of detailed recommendations (including in the field of access to classified information) that are formulated on the basis of indepth assessments of:
(1) the current functions and powers of these four bodies;
(2) existing arrangements for the oversight of these bodies by the European Parliament, the Joint Supervisory Bodies and national parliaments; and
(3) the legal and institutional frameworks for parliamentary and specialised oversight of security and intelligence agencies in EU Member States and other major democracies.

This study focuses on Europol, Frontex and Eurojust as well as Sitcen. The role of these AFSJ bodies is to facilitate, coordinate and strengthen cooperation between national authorities with the aim of promoting security and justice within the EU.
Europol currently has operational agreements with Interpol. It has strategic agreements with Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Ukraine and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Customs Organisation.


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Three Uzbek Refugees Extradited From Kazakhstan Now In Prison

Posted by Info on 03/10/2011

Courts in Uzbekistan have sentenced the three men, who had fled to Almaty after being pursued in Uzbekistan on religious charges, to between four and 13 years in prison.

Criminal court sentenced Kobijon Kurbanov to four years in prison for organising illegal religious gatherings.
Faizillakhon Akbarov was convicted for circulating religious materials likely to threaten security and public order and was sentenced to five years in prison.
A 15-year-sentence was handed down to Akhmad Boltaev after he was found guilty on several charges relating to religious extremism, but the prison term was later reduced on appeal to 13 years.

The fate of the other refugees is not known. New fewer than 28 Uzbek refuges, many of whom had expected to remain in Kazakhstan, were handed over to the custody of Uzbekistan’s interior ministry on 9th June this year.

The Expert Working Group, based in Tashkent, claims that the refugees have not been allowed to see their relatives since arriving back in Uzbekistan and they have also been denied the right to choose their own lawyer.

Posted in Kazakhstan, SCO, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

New Book: The Second Chechen War: Grozny Teenager’s Diary

Posted by Info on 03/10/2011

Polina Zherebtsova book’s dedication reads: “Dedicated to the rulers of modern Russia.”
She was 14 when the bombs started raining down.They hit the market where she worked with her mother, the streets she walked down daily, until Grozny was reduced to rubble, a hometown no longer recognizable.

This week, despite death threats and fears for her safety, Zherebtsova published Polina Zherebtsova’s Diary, gathering three years’ worth of journals for a rare look into daily life in Grozny under siege.

“I thought, when they kill me, people will find this diary,”
Zherebtsova said.

She spent the entire war in Chechnya as tens of thousands died or fled during Moscow’s brutal attempt to pacify the mainly Muslim republic.

The fear of death in war has now been replaced with the fear that writing about the horrors of Chechnya – a still taboo subject – will bring repercussions. One by one, publishing houses refused to publish the book.
Last autumn, she finally found a saviour in Detektiv-Press, a small publisher devoted mainly to history books and memoirs. Days later, the calls began.
‘So, you will write about Chechnya? Do you want to live?’In the past two weeks, her husband has been targeted instead, sometimes getting 20 calls a day. Zherebtsova was once attacked in a lift by a man she is certain was waiting for her.
I had to publish it : “These civilians who were killed would come to me in my sleep and I felt I had a duty to them. I felt I had to tell it.”

Zherebtsova fled Chechnya in 2005, first to the south of Russia before making her way to Moscow thanks to a grant from Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s foundation.

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British Secret Visa Bans Over Death of Russian Sergei Magnitsky

Posted by Info on 03/10/2011

At least 60 Russian officials implicated in the controversial death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky have been secretly banned from entering the UK by the British government.. He was working for Hermitage Capital Management, a British-based investment fund, when he exposed a tax fraud worth £144m, the biggest in Russian history.

After making accusations against Interior Ministry officials, he was arrested and then died in police custody after being denied medical care.
Human rights activists say that the father-of-two was tortured and badly beaten in the hours before his death in November 2009. John McCain, the former US presidential candidate, and others have called for sanctions against Russian officials implicated in Magnitsky’s death.

The move, follows the lead of the US, which introduced visa bans for individuals accused of involvement. Washington’s decision last August provoked Russia’s foreign ministry to draw up its own blacklist of banned US government officials.
Former UK foreign minister Chris Bryant had confirmed the British visa ban to him.
The Home Office said it would not comment on individual cases, but added: “We can refuse a visa when an individual’s character, conduct or associations make entry to the UK undesirable.”

A number of individuals allegedly implicated in the Magnitsky case have been routinely allowed into the UK…among them are a convicted fraudster and two senior Russian detectives against whom the lawyer had testified over their role in the fraud.

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