Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for October 19th, 2011

Venice Commission Calls Belarusian Laws Repressive

Posted by Info on 19/10/2011

The Venice Commission noted during the plenary session ( 15 October ) that most of human rights organizations in Belarus had been deprived of registration during the last ten years. The Venice Commission also regrets the amendments to the Criminal Code suppressing the freedom of association.

The Belarusian legislators approved amendments, which significantly expand KGB powers allowing breaking in homes and banning foreign financing of NGOs. Once the draft law is adopted, the security services will gain the right to break into NGO offices and residential homes if they think a crime has been committed there or a suspect is hiding there, the Commission reminds in a press release.

The Commission also criticizes Belarus as the only European country using death penalty.

The Venice Commission is Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters founded in 1990. The Commission analyzes law and draft laws relating to constitutional right, including election standards, rights of minorities, etc. The PACE often uses the Commission’s conclusions as reflection of “European standards in democracy”.

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Venice Commission Adopts Opinion On Draft Law of Ukraine on Election

Posted by Info on 19/10/2011

In Venice during its plenary session last week 14-15,10,2011 the Venice Commission – adopted a joint OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft Law of Ukraine on Election of the People’s Deputies of Ukraine.

The opinion points out that the electoral system chosen in the draft law matches neither the one discussed by the Venice Commission representatives during their meetings with the Ukrainian authorities nor the one recommended by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in its Resolution 1755 (2010). In addition, the choice of the mixed system – raising of the threshold for gaining mandates from 3% to 5% and banning electoral blocs – all changes were made by the majority unilaterally and without consultations with the representatives of the other political parties and civil society. These different changes do not facilitate the access of different political forces to parliament, several recommendations remain unaddressed.

The Venice Commission welcome the decision of the President of Ukraine not to introduce the draft law himself but rather to send it to the Verkhovna Rada so that different political factions can discuss and finalise this draft. This process should also involve civil society and thus help to build the trust of the Ukrainian society in the electoral process. more HERE

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ODIHR Accepts Russian Rules – Reduce Quotas Of International Observers

Posted by Info on 19/10/2011

The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights has agreed to reduce quotas of international observers for Russia’s December parliamentary elections from 260 to 200. The body has already accepted an official invitation from Moscow.
A first group of observers, which will monitor the election campaign and administrative preparations, is expected to arrive at the end of October. The mission will include 40 long-term and 160 short-term observers.

Two hundred observers is, unfortunately, a bit less than planned. Lower numbers will have a negative impact on our ability to work efficiently… I really try to avoid the 2007 scenario,” said ODIHR spokesman Jens Eschenbaecher. Back then, the ODIHR failed to agree on the format of their mission with the CEC. As a result, the international body boycotted Duma and then presidential elections in 2008. The Central Election Commission has repeatedly accused the OSCE of double standards and of politicizing the election process.

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European Union Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October

Posted by Info on 19/10/2011

The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro:Human trafficking has no place in a civilized society. And yet trafficking is growing and has become a regular component of certain areas of the labour market, and a huge business for organized crime.”

Giammarinaro called on governments to improve anti-trafficking action and policy, and show consistency in effectively implementing a human rights-based approach and the adoption of a political agenda in which anti-trafficking action is a real priority. Border, immigration and law enforcement agencies should fully comply with protective obligations as soon as there is an indication that a person might have been trafficked.

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