EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for the ‘EU’ Category

West Must Learn To Live With Putin

Posted by Info on 17/02/2015

Sir John Sawers,  Former M16 head warns

“The Ukraine crisis is no longer just about Ukraine. It’s now a much bigger, more dangerous crisis, between Russia and western countries, about values and order in Europe.”

“We deal with the Russia we have, not the Russia we’d like to have”. 

Minks

“The convergence between Russia and the west which we had hoped for after the cold war won’t happen while he is in charge. We now know that. Any foreseeable change of power in Russia may well be for the worse. Managing relations with Russia will be the defining problem in European security for years to come.”

“Ukrainians look to us to help them have their chance to embrace the order and values we enjoy here in modern Europe. We and they may end up with a new debilitating frozen conflict in Ukraine, well into the future. That is a wretched outcome for Ukrainians. But it may be the least bad attainable outcome.”

Sawers said efforts by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to restore calm deserved the west’s full support.  “Once we have calm – if we have calm – we’ll need a new approach to co-existence with president Putin’s Russia. As long as Mr Putin sees the issue in terms of Russia’s own security he will be prepared to go further than us.”

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Relations Between Russia And Nato Worsen

Posted by Info on 14/12/2014

Reports of increased military activity raises alarm for border states.

The Polish defence minister Tomasz Siemoniak has called Russia’s naval and air force activity around the Baltic Sea this week unprecedented, although most of the Russian military actions took place in international waters and airspace and did not “look like preparations for an attack”.

4 days ago Norway said one of its warplanes had a “near miss” to the north of the country with a Russian fighter, which had come too close, and the Finnish air force has reported “unusually intense” activity over the Gulf of Finland as Russian bombers.

A November report by a British thinktank noted a rise in close military encounters between Russia and the west this year, including “violations of national airspace, emergency scrambles, narrowly avoided mid-air collisions, close encounters at sea, simulated attack runs and other dangerous actions happening on a regular basis over a very wide geographical area.”

The Swedish navy engaged in a massive hunt for a Russian submarine reported in the Stockholm in archipelago in October, and a SAS plane with 132 passengers taking off from Copenhagen in March nearly collided with a Russian reconnaissance aircraft that hadn’t transmitted its position.

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Ukraine: Referendums Calling for Independence From Ukraine

Posted by Info on 29/11/2014

Rebels in eastern Ukraine held their elections on Nov. 2, saying that the vote was the next step after local referendums in May calling for independence from Ukraine.

The European Union has imposed sanctions on the organizers this month, hitting the separatists and their organizations with asset freezes and travel bans.

The United States and European Union have denounced the vote as illegitimate, but Russia has said it would recognize the result.

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Ukraine – New Legislation – More Power To East To End Separatist Fighting

Posted by Info on 30/09/2014

Ukraine’s parliament has voted to give the east of the country limited self-rule and also ratified an agreement to deeper economic and political ties with the European Union.

The main points of the legislation, unveiled as part of a peace plan signed with pro-Russian insurgents and Moscow on 5 September are:

• The rebel-held Luhansk and Donetsk regions will be granted a “special status” giving them broader autonomy for a three-year period.

• Local elections will be held in some districts of the two mainly Russian-speaking regions on 7 December. The last local elections held nationwide were in October 2010.

• Use of the Russian language to be allowed in state institutions.

• Regional councils will have the power to appoint local judges and prosecutors.

• Local authorities in Donetsk and Luhansk can “strengthen good neighbourly relations” with their counterparts across the border in Russia.

• The legislation also promises to help restore damaged infrastructure and to provide social and economic assistance to particularly hard-hit areas.

• Another bill on amnesty protects from criminal prosecution “participants of events in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions” – appearing to apply to both the insurgents and Ukrainian government troops. Rights groups have accused fighters on both sides of abuses that might be classified as war crimes.

Donetsk and Luhansk, known as the Donbass, have a combined population of nearly 7 million people (total in Ukraine 45,5 million people). But it is responsible for nearly a 174 of Ukraine’s exports and is home to strategic military production facilities that supply engines and other vital parts to the Russian space and aviation industries.

The industrial region with its coal mines and steelworks have been the engine of Ukraine’s economy since the 19th century.

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2014 – Pro- Russian Unrest in Ukraine

Posted by Info on 30/09/2014

Ukraine 2014

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What is the Ukraine crisis?

Posted by Info on 30/09/2014

Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union until 1991, and since then has been a less-than-perfect democracy with a very weak economy and foreign policy that wavers between pro-Russian and pro-European.

All started  as an internal Ukrainian crisis in November 2013, when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a deal for greater integration with the European Union, mass protests started, which Yanukovych attempted to put down violently.Russia backed Yanukovych in the crisis, while the US and Europe supported the protesters.

In February, anti-government protests toppled the government and  Yanukovych ran out the country. Russia invaded and annexed Crimea the next month, trying to keep its influence in the country.

In April, pro-Russia separatist rebels began seizing territory in eastern Ukraine and later on July 17 the rebels shot  down the plane of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 flying from Amsterdam killing 298 people.

Fighting between the rebels and the Ukrainian military intensified, the rebels started losing, and, in August, the Russian army overtly invaded eastern Ukraine to support the rebels. This has all brought the relationship between Russia and the West to its lowest point since the Cold War. Sanctions are pushing the Russian economy to the brink of recession, and more than 2,500 Ukrainians have been killed, there are some 10 000 internally displaced person moving to central (45%) and western Ukraine (26%) though some are also located in the southern and eastern regions.

“People cite fear of persecution because of ethnicity or religious beliefs or, in the case of journalists, human rights activists and among intellectuals, due to their activities or professions. Others say they could no longer keep their businesses open.” UNHCR spokesmen said.

A lot of this comes down to Ukraine’s centuries-long history of Russian domination. The country has been divided more or less evenly between Ukrainians who see Ukraine as part of Europe and those who see it as intrinsically linked to Russia. An internal political crisis over that disagreement may have been inevitable. Meanwhile, in Russia, Putin is pushing an imperial-revival, nationalist worldview that sees Ukraine as part of greater Russia.

It appears unlikely that Ukraine will get Crimea back. It remains unclear whether Russian forces will try to annex parts of eastern Ukraine as well, how the fighting there will end, and what this means for the future of Ukraine — and for Putin’s increasingly hostile but isolated Russia.

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Death Penalty Statistics, Country By Country

Posted by Info on 23/05/2013

The latest statistics show that China executes thousands, said AI in its report on the death penalty worldwide. The report does not provide a precise figure of executions in China as Beijing keeps such figures secret.

China, together with IranNorth KoreaYemen and the US (the only G7 country to still execute people) carried out the most executions last year.

Europe and Central Asia
Belarus was the only country in Europe and Central Asia to carry out executions, and did so under strict secrecy, with at least three men put to death in 2012. Latvia became the 97th country in the world to become abolitionist for all crimes, after removing the last capital crimes from its legislation during 2012.
Amnesty International executions around the world

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Sign Petition Calling On Kazakhstan’s Government To Help Protect Journalist’s Rights

Posted by Info on 22/05/2013

Kazakh Human Rights Defender calls for international action

Lukpan Akhmedyarov, Editor in Chief of one of Kazakhstans last remaining independent newspapers, calls on the international community to establish mechanisms to guide and monitor the human rights implementation process

Take Action Now! Petition on line

подпиши обращение к правительству Kазахстана, чтобы помочь защитить права журналистов

Thematic Focus:

Enforcement and compliance of the right to freedom of expression and opinion. (Article 19 of the ICCPR)

Proposal summary:

Establishing mechanisms to realize the process of democratization and human rights implementation. The mechanisms must set out specific targets and include a verification process.

Posted in Казахстан, EU, Kazakhstan, UN | Leave a Comment »

Kazakhstan: Dangerous Precedent – Journalist At Risk

Posted by Info on 16/05/2013

Journalist Alexander Kharlamov,63, was arrested and was 3 days later  accused of inciting religious strife on the grounds of his forthright atheist views and fears to be sent to a psychiatric institution. He writes a blog, is a regular contributor to the Ridderskiye Vesti and Flash newspapers, and heads a rights group called Secret Service. He is particularly well known for campaigning against corruption, and has written extensive on malpractice among municipal, police and prosecution service staff in his town. His case raises concerns about the misuse of psychiatric medicine for punitive ends, a practice common in the Soviet period.

 Article 164 of Kazakstan criminal code makes it illegal to engage in actions intended “to incite social, ethnic, clan, racial or religious enmity or animosity”, and refers also to “the ethnic honour and dignity or religious feelings of citizens”.

The criminal investigation experts appointed to assess Kharlamov’s published work, who concluded that 28 of the 36 articles they looked at qualified as incitement. One of the offending passages referred to religion in general as “an ideology based on primitive ideas and concepts, myths, lies and deception”.

Sergei Duvanov, a well-known journalist in Kazakstan, said the legal moves against Kharlamov were in clear breach of the right to freedom of expression. “He’s expressing his point of view. It doesn’t matter whether it’s correct or not, whether it coincides with the views of the majority of people, or whether he’s in the minority,” 

In a resolution from April 18, the European Parliament noted Kharlamov’s detention along with other cases where human rights activists and opposition members had been prosecuted. The resolution urged Kazakstan’s government to revoke Article 164 and called for talks on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union to be suspended until the country significantly improved its human rights record.

Kharlamov

source: 

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Uzbekistan: 8 Years After Andijan Massacre. What Has Been Done By The EU?

Posted by Info on 13/05/2013

On May 13, 2005, security forces in the city of Andijan, Uzbekistan, opened fire on protesters,  the majority  unarmed, killing hundreds of men, women and children  as they tried to flee. Till today no one has been held accountable, and the authoritarian president, Islam Karimov, has defied calls for an independent investigation. Instead the Uzbek authorities imprisoned dozens of human rights defenders and journalists and ejected human rights groups and international media from the country.

The European Union and its members expressed outrage in the immediate aftermath and imposed sanctions. But Uzbekistan has for over a decade  blocked access to 11 UN rights monitors, worse standing than even Iran, China or Turkmenistan. ICRC visits resumed in 2009 after being blocked  for five years. And the EU foreign ministers cited this as one of the “positive steps” allowing for lifting sanctions.  The last of those sanctions were lifted in 2009, though Uzbekistan met none of the human rights conditions the EU had set.

Will the EU be capable  of saying enough is enough as Since then Uzbekistan’s reputation as one of the world’s worst human rights abusers has only grown.

Will the EU and its allies ask the UN Human Rights Council to appoint a country rapporteur to draw global attention to the human rights disaster in Uzbekistan and force an international debate about its abuses. (Human Rights Watch).

uzbekistan

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Европарламент Kритикует Казахстан За Cитуацию C Правами Чeловека

Posted by Info on 06/05/2013

Депутаты Европарламента приняли резолюцию большинством голосов на пленарном заседании 18 апреля 2013, в которой подвергли критике власти Казахстана за состояние с правами человека в республике.

 В резолюции подвергли критике судебные решения о запрете оппозиционных партий, в частности незарегистрированной партии “Алга” (“Вперед”), а также независимых СМИ. Депутаты также призвали ослабить ограничения для регистрации и деятельности религиозных организаций, а также уважать право работников на создание независимых профсоюзов.

Европейский парламент вновь выразил обеспокоенность в связи с заключением лидеров оппозиции, журналистов и адвокатов по результатам судебных процессов, не соответствующих международным стандартам. В документе звучит призыв освободить осужденных на основании уголовных дел, которые могут считаться политически мотивированными, в частности, Владимира Козлова и Вадима Курамшина.

“Репортеры без границ” не любят президента Нурсултана Назарбаева, считают его одним из самых убежденных противников свободы печати. В реестре этой правозащитной организации Казахстан находится на 160 месте по уровню независимости средств массовой информации из 179 возможных.

Posted in Казахстан, EU | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in 1, EU, others, UN | Leave a Comment »

Tony Blair As Consultant Set Up Office In Kazakhstan

Posted by Info on 26/10/2011

Allegedly Mr Blair has added Kazakhstan, ruled by Mr Nazarbayev since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, to his consultancy business.

Mr Nazarbayev’s adviser, appeared to confirm this and also said that Mr Blair and his team had opened an office in Astana, the Kazakh capital.
“A large working group is here and, to my knowledge, it has already opened Tony Blair’s permanent office in Astana.
I have met with his people already and we discussed the socio-political modernisation of our country. I liked his people, the range of questions they discussed and their professionalism.”

Tony Blair Associates, Mr Blair’s company, later denied the former Prime Minister or any of his companies were currently involved in the deal.

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ECHR: Tashukhadzhiyev v. Russia

Posted by Info on 26/10/2011

Case Tashukhadzhiyev v. Russia

Russian authorities failed to effectively investigate young man’s disappearance in Chechny
a.

Then 26-year-old son, Elbek Tashukhadzhiyev, was working as a petrol tanker driver when he was stopped and detained in February 1996 by a group of military servicemen near the village of Berkat-Yurt in Chechnya; he has not been seen since.

The European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 2 (right to life:obligation to conduct an effective investigation) and of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy)in conjunction with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court further held, by a majority, that there had been a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security).

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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.

THE BALTIC REPUBLICS

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

THE EU BORDERLANDS UKRAINE, BELARUS and MOLDOVA
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.

THE CAUCASUS
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.

CENTRAL ASIA
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
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 »