EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for the ‘others’ Category

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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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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Russia’s Secret ‘Visa Blacklist’ Longer Than America’s

Posted by Info on 04/11/2011

Russia’s list of U.S. citizens unwanted in the country is longer than the U.S. “visa blacklist” of officials involved in the case of Sergei Magnitsky’s death, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

According to Lavrov, Russia reserves the right to unilaterally amend the blacklist to make it longer or shorter.

When asked if U.S. congressmen known for their criticism of Russia are on the list, Lavrov said all the necessary details have already been reported.

“The names won’t be disclosed.”

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Book About Russian Opposition Politician Eduard Limonov

Posted by Info on 03/11/2011

A biographical book about Russian opposition politician and writer Eduard Limonov has received a literary award in France. The Renaudot Prize was awarded to the book’s author Emmanuel Carrere.

The book is not just a biography of a man, but also a historical-political research of the context.
Limonov’s name is firmly associated with scandals. A writer and a journalist, Limonov has always drawn attention to his persona by his radical political views and organization of unauthorized meetings and marches. He is also one of the main activists behind the Strategy 31 initiative, defending Article 31 of the constitution, which guarantees the freedom of assembly.
After having read the book, Eduard Limonov posted on his blog saying “Sometimes friendly, sometimes hostile. I can feel that the author is an intellectual and a bourgeois.”
“I wonder what the critics will have to say. Will any Russian publisher dare to let out this book? …Oh, I would be amused!” Limonov writes.

The Renaudot Prize was established back in 1926 by journalists and critics as an addition to the Goncourt.

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Russia Bans Entry To U.S. Officials

Posted by Info on 22/10/2011

Russia has banned entry to dozens of U.S. officials allegedly involved in human rights violations in response to Washington’s blacklisting of Russian officials involved in the prison death of Sergei Magnitsky.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was blacklisting unspecified U.S. officials it claims were involved in the abductions of alleged terrorism suspects, the torture of inmates at Guantanamo prison, the killings of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq, and abductions or abuse of Russians in the United States.

In July, the U.S. State Department banned entry to dozens of unidentified Russian officials allegedly involved in the death of Magnitsky. Magnitsky, an attorney who was jailed after accusing Interior Ministry officials of involvement in a massive corruption scandal, died in pretrial detention in 2009 after suffering abuse and medical neglect.

The Russian Foreign Ministry today said the U.S. move was a “political provocation”. It said Russia will expand the list of banned U.S.officials if the United States keeps pushing for the prosecution of those involved in Magnitsky’s death.

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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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Money-laundering Case Against Khodorkovsky Opened In Germany

Posted by Info on 17/10/2011

German investigators accidentally found accounts under Khodorkovsky’s name worth between 15 million euros and 20 million euros ($20 million to $27 million) during a tax evasion raid. The details of the account, found on a CD-ROM containing data of Swiss private bank Julius Baer, may be evidence that Khodorkovsky did not pay taxes.

Khodorkovsky is serving a 13-year sentence in a prison on tax evasion, fraud and money-laundering charges that he and his supporters call politically motivated punishment from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for his political and commercial ambitions. The prison sentence stems from two trials, one in 2005 and the other in 2010.

The European Court of Human Rights has cleared Russia of political motivation in the first trial, it has ruled the Yukos trial unfair.

A money-laundering case would deal a blow to human rights activists who have rallied around Khodorkovsky, said Alexander Rahr, a Russia expert with the German Council of Foreign Relations. “An investigation would be a shock for those who said the money-laundering [charge] was Putin’s fantasy.”

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US Continues To Warn Against Travelling In Uzbekistan

Posted by Info on 12/10/2011

The US State Department is continuing to warn US citizens of the dangers of travelling in Uzbekistan., warning of the danger of terrorist attacks against American citizens.

Experts at the US State Department say that supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement are active in the Central Asian region.

Members of these groups have attacked US government interests in the past. In 2004, the US Embassy in Tashkent was attacked; terrorists have also been responsible for kidnappings, assassinations and suicide bombings, the State Department says.
“Extreme caution should also be exercised in areas of the Ferghana Valley bordering Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.”

Several years ago, the US Embassy in Uzbekistan issued a warning to its citizens travelling in the country of the dangers of using private-hire taxis. This warning was prompted by a number of instances of foreigners being robbed in taxis.

Posted in Kyrgyzstan, others, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

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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Joint Statement Calling On Uzbekistan To Grant Freedom To Citizens.

Posted by Info on 28/09/2011

Five Central Asian and European human rights organisations of have issued a joint statement calling on the authorities in Uzbekistan to grant more freedom to its politicians and citizens.

The Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Activists of Uzbekistan (IGNPU) is lending support to the declaration, which is designed to draw the attention of OSCE countries to current issues in the Central Asian region.

The document highlights in particular the Uzbek authorities’ hostile attitude to the work of NGOs.
“Only one active human rights organisation, Ezgulik, is recognised, while other groups, including IGNPU, have to carry out their work without having any legal status”.
The statement’s authors recall the fact that more than ten human rights activists are currently in jail in Uzbekistan, some of whom are tortured or are being kept in extremely harsh conditions.

Statement call not to obstruct the registration of human rights organisations and NGOs, to officially recognise Human Rights Watch and to stop pursuing civil activists for illegal activity. They also ask Uzbekistan to stop blocking the websites of human rights organisations and to adopt a law on freedom of association... the problems of internet blocking, especially with regard to social networking sites.

Calls to block social sites are common not only in Uzbekistan but in other countries including members of intergovernmental and regional organisations such as the Collective Security Treat Organisation (CTSO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

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Ukraine: Conviction Of President’s Rival Is ‘Incompatible With EU Values

Posted by Info on 27/09/2011

Tymoshenko was charged in May with exceeding her authority as prime minister when she signed a 2009 gas deal with the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, to put an end to a disruptive gas war that had left much of eastern Europe freezing.
The deal left Ukraine saddled with what Yanukovych’s administration considers an intolerably high price. Yanukovych’s attempts to renegotiate the deal with Moscow have so far been rebuffed, prompting him to threaten taking the issue to an international court.

Tymoshenko has used the trial as a platform to denounce a growing democratic deficit since Yanukovych came to power last year. She called the judge a puppet and accused the president of attacking his rivals “just like Stalin”.
On 5 August she was detained for violating court rules and has been languishing in a Kiev jail ever since.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt said: “Clearly this particular trial is conducted under laws that would have no place in any other European country and should have no place in a country aspiring to European membership.”

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US Suspends Sanctions Against Uzbekistan

Posted by Info on 25/09/2011

The US Congress voted on 22 September to remove restrictions on military aid to Uzbekistan. The sanctions were imposed seven years ago in response to Uzbekistan’s deteriorating human rights record.

Human Rights Watch, the international human rights organisation, came out firmly against the administration’s stance.

The aims of the American and Uzbek governments in allowing this concession are not clear.

‘The US is not trying to buy off Uzbekistan, but wants to help out with non-weapon items such as bullet-proof jackets so that the country can defend itself in the event that its enemies try to strike against Uzbekistan in revenge for its providing the Northern supply route for the US to supply positions Afghanistan.”

Congress introduced sanctions on aid to Uzbekistan in 2004. The move was designed to persuade the government of Uzbekistan to improve its human righs record and implement wide ranging political and institutional reform. This, according to analysts of the region, has still not happened.

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Romania , Bulgaria Denied Entry To Schengen Zone

Posted by Info on 23/09/2011

Romania and Bulgaria, the European Union’s two newest members, were denied entry into Europe’s borderless free-travel zone Thursday when EU interior ministers could not reach the necessary unanimity and decided not to hold a vote.

This is a big shock for all people from Moldova, who paid a lot of money to get their Romanian passports (as they have rights to hold Moldovian and also Romanian passports), thus a free access to Schengen countries.

The Netherlands and Finland had publicly opposed admitting Romania and Bulgaria, both of which joined the European Union in 2007, saying they needed to do more to fight corruption and organized crime. Within the Schengen free-travel zone, there are no checks performed or papers required when people cross national borders.

The French and Germans had proposed a compromise: drop border checks at airports and seaports in October, but continue them on land crossings until summer 2013, based on a report to be completed by July. But that was rejected.

The free movement of people has been one of the EU’s most cherished achievements. And the dispute over it comes just as the EU’s other most-cherished achievement, the euro common currency, is also under severe stress.

After the Dutch announced their opposition to Romania and Bulgaria joining, Romania began blocking all flower imports from the Netherlands, saying the paperwork was not in order and the plants might contain “dangerous bacteria.” Esther de Lange, a Dutch member of the European Parliament called the move “old-school blackmail.”

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Uzbekistan: Child Labor: Global Clothing Brands Boycott Uzbek Cotton

Posted by Info on 19/09/2011

More than 60 of the world’s top clothing labels, including Burberry, Levi, H&M, Adidas and Puma are to boycott cotton from Uzbekistan over claims the government forces children to harvest the crop.

The groups have signed a pledge under the Responsible Sourcing Network, a project organised by the US-based advocacy group As You Sow which is organising the boycott.
“We are a major cotton consumer and like many companies, we take a clear stand against child labour, regardless of country,” said Henrik Lampa, corporate social responsibility manager at H&M.

Posted in EU, others, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Russia: Berezovsky Ordered Journalist Politkovskaya’s Death On Putin’s B-day

Posted by Info on 17/09/2011

The case of Anna Politkovskaya continues, the investigators and a key witness pin the blame on Russian exile Boris Berezovsky.
Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, former Moscow police boss currently under arrest, has made a pre-trial agreement with the sleuths and given detailed testimony on the murder of the Novaya Gazeta journalist, naming Berezovsky as the man who ordered her death.

This is not the first occasion that now London based Berezovsky’s name has appeared in the case. In 2008 Dmitry Dovgy, former chief investigator in the Prosecutor General’s office who was sacked and convicted for corruption, said soon after he was suspended that Berezovsky had ordered the killing.

The Investigative Committee recently finished interrogating Pavlyuchenkov and will soon the results will be presented at the court. As long as there are no surprises the document will secure the ex-cop at least a minimum term. Pavlyuchenkov’s lawyers hope that he can be moved to house arrest.

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