Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Belarus Imposes Fines for Being Unemployed

Posted by Info on 16/04/2015

No Job? Pay Up! 

The new rules, signed into law by Belarus’ authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko this month, aim to “stimulate able-bodied citizens to engage in labour activity and fulfill their constitutional obligation to participate in financing state expenditures.”

Adults who have not paid income tax covering at least 183 days of employment per year will be fined. Failure to pay will be punishable by additional fines and ultimately by detention, followed by community service.According to the decree, certain categories of citizens are exempt, including students, parents caring for three or more children, minors, and people over the retirement age.

The decree smacks of Soviet times, when “parasitism” was a criminal offence known as “tuneyadstvo” which was based on the notion that “every able-bodied person has a duty to work.”

The Soviet Union made “parasitism” a criminal offense before the law was abolished in the 1990s by Mikhail Gorbachev. The law mostly targeted people working in private enterprises that were illegal under the Soviet regime, as well as prostitutes and political dissidents, such as Nobel Prize-winning poet Joseph Brodsky, who went on trial for “social parasitism” (“tuneyadstvo”) in the 1960s before being forced to emigrate.

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Nearly 1,000 Killed During Ukraine Ceasefire Signed in September – With Abuses On Both Sides

Posted by Info on 25/11/2014

“The list of victims keeps growing. Civilians, including women, children, minorities and a range of vulnerable individuals and groups continue to suffer the consequences of the political stalemate in Ukraine,” the UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, said.

Friday marks the first anniversary of the start of the Maidan protests against Ukraine’s former pro-Kremlin government, which led to the conflict in the east.

In total, more than 4,300 combatants and civilians have been killed in eastern Ukraine since pro-Russia rebels seized border regions in April,  including  298 people who died in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July.

The UN report detailed grave human rights abuses on both sides and highlights the huge number of people registered as displaced by the conflict, from 275,489 in mid-September to 466,829 on Wednesday.

The Kremlin denies western and Ukrainian accusations.

Nato said there have been about 400 intercepts of Russian military flights near its member countries this year, amid heightened tension between Moscow and the west over the crisis. Newer Nato members such as Poland and the Baltic states once ruled from Moscow have been deeply concerned by Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

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The Beslan Massacre – 10 years on

Posted by Info on 06/09/2014

The deadliest terror attack in modern Russia’s history led to the deaths of 334 hostages, most of them children.

On the morning of September 1, 2004, teachers, students and their families gathered in front of School Number One in the town of Beslan to celebrate the start of the new school year.

The Beslan hostage crisis turned out to be the deadliest terror attack in modern Russia’s history. The rebels took approximately 1,200 children and adults hostage at the school, without providing food or water for three days. On the first day, they executed a man in front of his two children and the other hostages. Later they took a group of men at gunpoint in a classroom on the first floor, shot them and threw their bodies out of the window.

The attackers demanded the recognition of Chechnya’s independence from Russia and the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from the region. On September 2, the hostage-takers agreed to negotiate with Ruslan Aushev, the former president of the adjacent republic of Ingushetia, allowing him to enter the school and release 26 hostages.

On the third day of the standoff, local authorities received permission from the attackers to remove bodies lying in front of the school. But when medical workers approached the building, two of them were shot dead, followed by two explosions 20 seconds later.

The explosions caused the roof of the gym to collapse, killing many. After the first blast, hostages began to run out of the school, and Russian special forces stormed the building trying to rescue the rest.

The siege ended with 334 hostages dead, more than half of whom were children. The only attacker caught alive was sentenced to life in prison.


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The EU asylum system

Posted by Info on 06/09/2014

Since 2003, European countries – the 28 EU Member States and Schengen zone countries including Switzerland, Norway and Iceland – have implemented a harmonised asylum policy that was called the Dublin Regulation. Under this legislation, asylum seekers must apply for asylum in the first country that collects their fingerprints and if found in another state, they face expulsion back to their point of entry.

When this regime was created, one of the aims was to prevent so-called asylum shopping, when one person applies in more than one country or only applies to countries with stronger welfare benefits for refugees. Since 2013, fingerprints of all applicants have been collected and stored in a common database calledEURODAC. This has led migrants to burn their fingertips once they have been fingerprinted in Italy or Greece in order to apply in countries like Sweden or the UK.

This system has placed an unfair burden on the southern and eastern European nations, such as Greece, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and even Turkey. Prior to the Dublin Regulation, many of these states were known as transit countries through which migrants passed on their way to the North.

Roughly two-thirds of applications for protection status are refused. Ironically, many of the wealthier countries that accept the highest number of applicants are beyond the buffer zone. For example, five countries (Sweden, Germany, France, Italy and the UK) welcome 70 percent of asylum seekers, while Sweden, Switzerland and Austria grant the most protection status per population.


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New NGO in Geneva: The Future of Human Rights Forum

Posted by Info on 26/03/2013

FHR Martin

The Future of Human Rights Forum (FHRF) is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization devoted to the protection and effective application of fundamental human rights and individual freedoms.

With its headquarters in Geneva, at the heart of the human rights community, the FHRF works with grassroots political organizations, journalists, police experts and the United Nations. The FHRF encourages constructive approaches for strengthening democratic institutions and supports freedom of opinion and expression so as to ensure transparency and accountability in the international system and in countries of concern.

Serious human rights violations happen daily. Current protection systems are lacking. Crucial reforms are needed. The problems in current human rights institutions are often publicized, however, there is insufficient focus on finding solutions and bringing them to the public’s attention. It is in this field, that the FHRF seeks to play an active, constructive and responsible role.

Martin cover HRF

Join FHRF and assist this process!

For more information contact

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Martin Ennals Award Nominees 2012 – Luon Sovath, a Buddhist monk in Cambodia

Posted by Info on 04/12/2012

Martin Ennals Award Nominees 2012

Luon Sovath, a Buddhist monk in Cambodia

Cambodian monk
Activist monk Luon Sovath has been internationally recognized for his work in documenting land rights abuses in Cambodia. He is using his camera and his phone for recording the systematic violations of the economic and social rights. He has been banned from staying in temples by Cambodia’s Buddhist establishment but has continued to rally for rights of people forced from their land or homes by development projects.

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