Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for the ‘Estonia’ Category

Two Decades Since USSR Broke Up. What Happened To Soviet Countries?

Posted by Info on 23/10/2011

Twenty years on from the Soviet coup gave birth to 15 new states. Guardian data team mined statistics from sources ranging from the World Bank, the UNHCR, the UN Crime Trends Survey and the Happy Planet Index to compare the performance of the countries, combed through the OSCE’s reports on every election in each country since 1991 to see where democracy was taking hold – and where it was not wanted.


Democratic records are exemplary, but the countries sit surprisingly low on international measures for wellbeing and happiness.

Ukraine and Moldova sustained catastrophic economic contraction.. Belarus, under the autocratic rule of Alexander Lukashenko since 1994, suffered less. The troika has the weakest economic figures of all post-Soviet regions. Moldova has the best record of free and fair elections, BUT with return a communist (Vladimir Voronin) to power. Moldova also hosts to one of the post-Soviet space’s many frozen conflicts of the Transdniestr region Ukraine’s democratic turning point – the orange revolution of 2004 – rapidly gave way to paralysis and stalemate… In Belarus, Lukashenko has faced lengthy international isolation for crushing opposition and dissent.

Azerbaijan’s oil dividend makes it one of the strongest performing economies. Armenia and Georgia have both seen incipient growth through the 2000s rudely interrupted by the global recession of 2008/09. The frozen conflicts of Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan and Armenia) and Abkhazia (Georgia) ..Georgia and Russia has resulted in the only war between former Soviet republics (2008). Armenia suffers from the worst unemployment of all 15 republics, and democratic breakthroughs have been few – only Georgia has held free and fair elections.

A mixed economic story: Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have expanded their economies more than 400 %. And although these are the happiest post-Soviet republics not one has held a genuinely free or fair election since 1990; central Asia is where elections are deferred or else won with 99 percent of the vote by dictators who lock up their opponents and even ban ballet and name a month of the year after their mother (Turkmenistan). Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are not post-Soviet at all: they have simply stuck with the strongmen who led them out of the Soviet Union. Turkmenistan the leader died in 2006, while Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon has run his republic uncontested since 1992. Only in Kyrgyzstan Soviet-era leader Askar Akayev was ousted in 2005.

Russia has reversed its dramatic economic decline. .its life expectancy persisting below 70 on account of, among other factors, chronic problems with drug and alcohol abuse. Russia has the highest HIV rate (along with Ukraine), the highest homicide rate and the highest prison population of the former Soviet Union. Elections are once again foregone conclusions; governors, once elected, are now appointed. The ‘vertical’ of power centred on the Kremlin appears as strong as it was in Soviet times.

Posted in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, EU, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, UN, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Estonia Has Deported Uzbek Asylum Seeker

Posted by Info on 21/09/2011

Estonia has deported to Russia an Uzbek asylum seeker because he entered Estonian territory from Russia illegally by swimming across the 300-meter-wide Narva River that marks the border between the two countries.

Rakhim Sobirov, 30,did not have any identification documents with him, and for that reason he was returned to Russia, the country from which he illegally entered Estonia.
He was among a group of Uzbek asylum seekers wanted by Tashkent on religious-extremism charges who were arrested in Kazakhstan last year. He traveled to Russia after his release from detention.
He left all his identity documents at home, fearing that he might be extradited to Uzbekistan at the request of the Uzbek authorities if he had Uzbek identity papers with him.

Posted in Estonia, Russia, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Latvia Refuses UN Recommendation On Abolition Of Status Of “Non-Citizen”

Posted by Info on 11/05/2011

The UN Human Rights Council adopted on May 9 a series of 122 recommendations to Latvia under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), asking the Baltic country to undertake reforms in such areas as human rights, non-citizenship, discrimination of ethnic minorities, human trafficking, gender inequality and prison conditions.
Latvia agreed with 71 recommendations, but rejected proposal to abolish the status of “non-citizen”.

The Latvian parliament created the category of “non-citizen” in 1991 and it largely applies to Russians who moved to then socialist republic during the Soviet era.

The Baltic state, with a population of 2.3 million, currently has around 350,000 people without citizenship. Non-citizens are not considered stateless persons under Latvian law but lack full rights, with the main restriction depriving “non-citizens” of the right to vote.
Estonia also has several thousands “non-citizens.”

Posted in Estonia, Latvia, Russia, UN | Leave a Comment »

Human Rights Issues Should Not Be Used For Political Pressure – Lavrov

Posted by Info on 01/03/2011

We can not allow the politicization of human rights issues or its use as a tool for political pressure, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the 16th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Attempts to divide states into good and bad, into students and examiners and to dissolve the interstate nature of the Council are counterproductive and can only damage multilateral cooperation.

Lavrov believes that the Human Rights Council should not elude difficult topics.

Lavrov added that the task to ensure the rights of national minorities needs particular attention “especially in the context of such shameful phenomenon as the chronic problem of statelessness in Latvia and Estonia.”
There are currently 350,000 non-citizens living in Latvia, which is 15.5% of the country’s population. In Estonia the figure consists 9% of the population, or 105,000 people.

Posted in Estonia, Latvia, Russia, UN | Leave a Comment »

500,000 Russians in Latvia and Estonia Deprived Of Political, Social Rights

Posted by Info on 02/02/2011

Some 500,000 Russians living in Latvia and Estonia have been deprived of political and social rights as they have no citizenship, a statement by Russia’s Foreign Ministry says.

According to the paper the situation is exacerbated by a lack of involvement from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
Moscow expressed its bewilderment with the Agency’s report which focuses on the forthcoming Estonian elections saying nothing about Russian-speaking residents who have no right to vote.

Posted in Estonia, Latvia, others, Russia | 1 Comment »

Nato plans to defend Baltics from Russia

Posted by Info on 08/12/2010

Nine Nato divisions – US, British, German, and Polish – have been identified for combat operations in the event of armed aggression against Poland or the three Baltic states. North Polish and German ports have been listed for the receipt of naval assault forces and British and US warships. The first Nato exercises under the plan are to take place in the Baltic next year.

Despite President Barack Obama’s policy of “resetting” relations with Russia, which was boosted at the Nato summit attended by Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, the state department fears that the major policy shift could trigger “unnecessary tensions” with Moscow.

The decision to draft contingency plans for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was taken secretly earlier this year at the urging of the US and Germany at Nato headquarters in Belgium, ending years of division at the heart of the western alliance over how to view Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Posted in Estonia, EU, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia | Leave a Comment »

USA Against Anti-Nazi Resolution To UN, Latvia And Estonia As Well

Posted by Info on 10/11/2010

The UN General Assembly committee on social and humanitarian issues will vote on the UN a draft resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism and the desecration of World War II monuments at the beginning of next week.

The resolution condemns the construction of memorials in honor of former Nazis and Waffen-SS soldiers and the holding of public pro-Nazi demonstrations. It also includes recommendations to prevent the proliferation of neo-Nazi ideas on the Internet.

Since 2005 every year, the resolutions are supported by an increasing number of countries. Last year 124 countries voted in favor of the resolution, while 55 delegations abstained. The United States was the only nation to vote against it.

Parades in honor of Waffen-SS veterans, involving veterans from the Latvian Legion and the 20th Estonian SS Division and their supporters, are held annually in Latvia and Estonia.

Posted in Estonia, Latvia, Russia, UN | 2 Comments »

UN Criticizes Estonia: National Minorities / Language Inquisition

Posted by Info on 21/10/2010

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has levelled criticism at the situation around Estonia’s national minorities, above all as regards the language policy.

The UN Committee has advised Estonia to cut down on its language requirements when granting citizenship, especially with regard to seniors; to revise the functions of the Language Inspection, known locally as “language inquisition”; and to provide easier access to free language courses.

The UN experts feel that Estonia’s national minorities are little involved in the country’s political life and poorly represented in the national parliament.
Russian-speakers account for some 30% of the Estonian population.

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Estonian Newspapers Carried Blank Pages! WHY?New Draft Law…

Posted by Info on 18/03/2010

Leading Estonian newspapers carried blank pages on Thursday in protest against what they say is a crackdown on press freedoms.

A new draft law introduced by the Ministry of Justice obliges papers to reveal their sources if the information is requested by the authorities.

Journalists who refuse to give up their sources will face fines or prison terms.

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Russia, US And UN In Secret Talks To Fight Net Crime

Posted by Info on 15/12/2009

American officials have been holding secret talks with Russia and the United Nations in Geneva in an attempt to strengthen internet security and rein in the growing threat of cyberwarfare. “Both sides are making positive noises. We’ve never seen that before.”James Lewis, a cyber security expert.

The potential for online warfare has become a hot topic in recent years, after a string of major incidents. Large-scale cyberattacks took place during last year’s conflict between Russia and Georgia while the Estonian government came grinding to a halt after an internet assault in 2007.

Earlier this year, some of the plans for a new £2bn fighter aircraft being developed by the US, UK, Netherlands and Israel were stolen when hackers broke into American computers. Two years ago, it was revealed that hackers thought to be linked to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army had breached computer security systems at the Pentagon and Whitehall.

The latest discussions are thought to be an attempt to broker some sort of cross-border agreement over a number of issues related to internet security.There are numerous sticking points however, not least the fact both the US and Russia – as well as most advanced militaries around the world – have sophisticated cyber warfare capabilities they are reluctant to document.

Earlier this year, however, President Barack Obama identified cyber attacks as a “national security priority” and pledged to appoint a top-level White House adviser to co-ordinate responses.

Posted in Estonia, Georgia, others, Russia, UN | Leave a Comment »

Estonia Has Refused To Accept Prisoners From Guantanamo

Posted by Info on 02/12/2009

Estonia has refused to accept prisoners from U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), said on Monday the newspaper Eesti Paevaleht.The decision have already been transferred to the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn.

The U.S. side was surprised by the Estonian refusal as in February the Government has agreed to begin negotiations on the possible admission of former inmates of U.S. prisons in Guantanamo Bay. Moreover in the autumn the Estonian officials have visited Guantanamo to select the prisoners which will be than deported to Estonia.

Closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), was one of the main campaign promises of U.S. President Barack Obama. U.S. and international human rights activists have criticized the Bush administration for serious violations of human rights of Guantanamo prisoners, including torture, moral and physical humiliation and abuse of religious feelings of the prisoners, and holding people without charges.

Posted in Estonia | Leave a Comment »

UN report – Over 1% of Russian And Estonian population HIV-positive – in Ukraine 1.6%!

Posted by Info on 25/11/2009

Over 1% of Russian residents are HIV-positive, according to a joint report by the UN Program on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organization.

Injecting drug use remains the primary transmission route in Russia and the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia region on the whole. According to the report, about 37% of Russia’s estimated 1.8 million drug users are HIV-infected. Young people account for a considerable number of infections among injecting drug users in the region.

“In a study involving street youth (aged 15-19) in St. Petersburg, 37.4% of the people surveyed were HIV-infected, with a positive HIV status strongly and independently associated with injecting drugs and sharing needles,” the report, released on Tuesday, said.

According to the report, three countries in the region – Estonia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine have HIV prevalence that exceeds 1%, with Ukraine showing the most alarming infection rate of 1.6%.

The estimated number of people living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia rose to some 1.5 million, up 66% from 2001.

Posted in Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, UN | Leave a Comment »

“Nations in Transit 2009” – democratic developments and setbacks of 29 countries in the former Communist states of Europe and Eurasia

Posted by Info on 05/09/2009

Freedom House: Nations in Transit 2009 is  comparative study of democratic development from Central Europe to Eurasia. It examines 29 countries. The overarching conclusion is that 2008 was a very difficult year for democracy: scores declined for 18 of the 29 countries, and a record eight countries are now in the “consolidated authoritarian regimes” category. A number of events illustrate the intensification of these negative trends.

In 2008, for the first time in the 21st century, a war erupted between two states covered in Nations in Transit. The so-called “August War” between Georgia and Russia. Two petro-states, Azerbaijan (which recorded the largest democratic decline in this edition of Nations in Transit) and the Russian Federation, held uncompetitive presidential elections in which the result was predetermined. Armenia’s presidential poll was marred by lethal post-election violence. And the government in Georgia used administrative resources to seriously influence that country’s hotly contested presidential and parliamentary elections. Nations in Transit 2009 documents how journalists were once again at risk throughout the region, from Croatia to Uzbekistan.. and outright irresponsibility among political leaders, as in Ukraine.”

Georgia NIT 2009 (Russian version) and Russia NIT 2009 (Russian version)

Posted in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Грузия, Россия, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Комиссар СЕ: Мы не удовлетворены ситуацией с правами человека в Эстонии

Posted by Info on 03/09/2009

Совет Европы по правам человека считает неудовлетворительным соблюдение ряда прав человека в Эстонии.

Как сообщает корреспондент ИА REGNUM Новости, соответствующее заявление сегодня, 3 сентября, журналистам в Санкт-Петербурге сделал комиссар по правам человека Совета Европы Томас Хаммарберг.

“У нас ведется диалог с Эстонией по разным вопросам: по гражданскому статусу, по новой редакции закона о госязыке. Мы даем определенные рекомендации. Мы, конечно, не удовлетворены этой ситуацией”.

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Guantanamo prisoners may be placed in Estonia

Posted by Info on 31/08/2009

The Baltic Times: The government plans to receive Guantanamo prisoners. They would get free room and board during their stay. There is no word yet on where the detainees would be placed. The Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Interior are currently in preparations.There are some legal issues to solve, regarding treating them as asylum seekers.

Posted in Estonia | Leave a Comment »