EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for the ‘others’ Category

Russia Objected To International Election Monitoring

Posted by Info on 15/09/2011

OSCE election observers said the 2003 parliamentary vote was rigged in favor of Mr. Putin’s United Russia party. In 2007, the OSCE was authorized to send a reduced delegation of 70 observers but eventually called off the monitoring mission, saying Russia had refused to issue their visas on time.

This year there are expected 500 international observers from groups other than the OSCE, including some from former Soviet republics with authoritarian regimes. In addition, several Kremlin-backed Russian civic groups plan to monitor the parliamentary and presidential elections.

Independent analysts, Western diplomats and Russian opposition leaders predict that both coming elections will be rife with violations to ensure commanding victories for the Kremlin. Kremlin and party officials say they are confident of winning a fair vote.

Now Russia objected to an international election-monitoring body’s proposal to send 260 observers for parliamentary elections in December 2011, underscoring tension with the West about the state of democracy here.
Russia’s top election official, Vladimir Churov, said on Wednesday that 260 observers is too many, but declined at a news conference to say how many would be allowed.

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UK And Russia – Different Legal Systems?

Posted by Info on 14/09/2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron was in Moscow for the first visit to Russia’s capital by a British leader in six years, meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev.
Relations between Britain and Russia soured over the 2006 death of dissident ex-Russian security agent Alexander Litvinenko in London. Litvinenko made a deathbed statement accusing Putin of authorizing his killing.
Russia has refused repeated British requests for the extradition of the chief suspect in the case, ex-KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi, who denies any involvement.

Medvedev warned Cameron there would be no change in Moscow’s refusal to hand over Lugovoi, and dismissed British claims that corruption within Russia’s legal system was discouraging foreign businesses from investing in the country.

“This will never happen, no matter what the circumstances,” Medvedev said on Britain’s hopes of putting Lugovoi on trial in the U.K. “We all have to learn to respect our legal frameworks.”

Cameron said “the accused has a right to a fair trial. The victim and their family have a right to justice.” and that” intelligence cooperation between Britain and Russia would remain suspended as a result of Litvinenko’s killing.”
Dissident’s widow was deeply disappointed that Cameron had decided to meet with Putin. It is inconsistent to demand Lugovoi and at the same time shake hands with the man who has sent him on his mission in the first place.”

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EU: Statement On The Tenth Anniversary Of The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Posted by Info on 11/09/2011

by Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland
Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Kostyantyn Gryshchenko
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mevlüt Çavusoglu

On this day of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks we first and foremost pay tribute to the victims and their families.
This tragic date of mourning should serve as a reminder that terrorism has no ideology, no nationality and no religion. Terrorism in all its forms is a violation of the most fundamental human right: the right to life. Regardless of where, by whom and against whom terrorist offences are perpetrated, these crimes affect us all and target humanity as a whole.

The purpose of terrorism is to induce fear and to create divisions. Our response must be based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Terrorists are set to destroy these fundamental values and by protecting them, we make terrorists fail.

Recalling the relevant Council of Europe instruments, in particular its Conventions to prevent and combat terrorism, we reiterate our firm determination to continue fighting international terrorism, through strengthening the international legal framework, addressing the causes of terrorism and safeguarding the respect for fundamental values shared by the member states of the Council of Europe.

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US Marks 10th Anniversary Of 9/11 Attacks On New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Posted by Info on 11/09/2011

New York’s National September 11 Memorial, to be unveiled later on Sunday, features two reflecting pools, each almost an acre in size, in the footprints of twin towers. The names of those who died on 9/11, as well as the six people killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, are inscribed on the edge of the pools.

BBC North America editor Mark Mardell: “When I first started asking Americans about how 9/11 had changed their country, I was surprised. I had been expecting something about the wars, or other philosophical reflections. Instead they talked about queues at airports. It has become a new way of a life in the last 10 years with all the security measures.”

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NY Fashion World Reacts To Human rights Abuses in Uzbekistan

Posted by Info on 10/09/2011

The organizers of New York Fashion Week have canceled a planned show by Gulnara Karimova the designer daughter of Uzbekistan’s leader Islam Karimov, who has been accused of human rights abuses.
Karimova 39, is also Uzbekistan’s ambassador to Spain and to the United Nations in Geneva

Karimova was due to present her Guli spring/summer 2012 collection on September 15 at New York Fashion Week. Karimova showed her collection at the event in September last year, but her family connections only hit the headlines this week.

“The message is clear that abusers will not be allowed to launder their image at the expense of human rights,” said Steve Swerdlow, from Human Rights Watch. “Companies need to act to ensure they don’t unwittingly end up supporting abusers again.”

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U.N. Boss Not Happy About All Antiterrorist Efforts / Calls For Global Anti-terror Treaty

Posted by Info on 09/09/2011

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon in the occasion of 10th anniversary of September 11 attacks on the United States is to repeat his call for a global counter-terrorism treaty.
The U.N. has more than 13 separate treaties which cover terrorism, terror financing, hijacking and weapons of mass destruction, but wants a global convention to unite all aspects of counter terrorism and provide new impetus to combat threats. Because as Ban said, last month’s bombing of a U.N. building in Nigeria showed that threats remained, despite global efforts.

“Our goal is to have a comprehensive convention dealing with the whole of international terrorism.”

“Regrettably, this has not come to this day. There has been some disagreement among member states…India is a strong supporter of the global treaty, but disagreements in the Middle East about what organisations can be deemed terror organisations have long scuttled any agreement.”

Instead, the United Nations in 2001 set up a Counter Terrorism Committee, made up of members of the U.N. Security Council, which oversees global efforts to fight terrorism. In 2005 the Security Council adopted a resolution to urge member states to deny safe haven for anyone planning acts of terrorism…

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US To Lift Its Restrictions On Uzbekistan Regardless Of Human Rights Records

Posted by Info on 09/09/2011

US president Obama’s administration propose to drop restrictions on assistance to the Uzbek government. The restrictions, in place since 2004, should be lifted only when the Uzbek government significantly improves its practices.

The administration wants Congress to adopt language that would allow the secretary of state to waive existing human rights-based restrictions on US assistance, including military aid, to the Uzbek government. The waiver would be intended to help secure a deal the United States is negotiating with the Uzbek government to provide the US enhanced military access to Uzbekistan to support its operations in Afghanistan.

The restrictions on aid to Uzbekistan from 2004 are based on legislation enacted in 2002 that makes US assistance to the Uzbek government contingent on its efforts to improve its human rights record and to institute political and institutional reform, to certify that the Uzbek government is making “substantial and continuing progress” in meeting its commitments to the United States under a joint Declaration on the Strategic Partnership and Cooperation Framework, signed in March 2002.

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Russia And Post Soviet Republics = One Of The Worst Air-traffic Safety Records

Posted by Info on 08/09/2011

According to the International Air Transport Association in 2010 Russia and the former Soviet republics combined for one of the worst air-traffic safety records in the world, with a total accident rate almost three times the world average.

A private Russian jet carrying one of the country’s top hockey teams ( including 3 of the best Czech players) crashed yesterday after a failed takeoff attempt, killing 43 people including the team’s Canadian coach. There were only two survivors.
The accident was Russia’s eighth fatal plane crash this year, bringing the 2011 death toll to 120.

The aircraft Yakovlev 42 (YAK 42) was banned in July 2009 from flying into the European Union due to “major safety deficiencies affecting flight operations”.

Restrictions were lifted a few months later, but the plane was to be regularly “ramp-checked to ensure compliance with international standards.” Despite lifting the regulations on the Yak-42, the EU still banned two other YAK Service planes from entering their airspace because they were not satisfied the operator was complying with safety standards.

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Denmark Supports Ending EU-Russia Visas + Russian Proposal Also To US

Posted by Info on 06/09/2011

Denmark, which will take over the EU presidency next year, said they will support Moscow’s bid to cancel visa requirements between Russia and the European Union.

“This issue has been discussed by the Russian Federation and the European Union,” Russian Transportation Minister Igor Levitin: “This decision will be made by the European Commission after consultations with EU countries.”

Russian officials have been calling for visa-free travel with European states over the past year, but last week marked the first time that the issue was raised at high-level talks with Washington.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev endorsed also the visa-free idea with US, with his top foreign policy adviser, Sergei Prikhodko who said: “The idea to introduce visa-free travel with the United States is contained in a message to President Barack Obama sent to Washington a couple of days ago”.

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Russian Professors Accused Of Spying For China

Posted by Info on 06/09/2011

Russian prosecutors accused two Russian professors of selling state secrets to China.
Lawyers for Russia’s national intelligence agency, the FSB, handed over to a St Petersburg city court formal accusations alleging Evgeny Afanasiev and Sviatoslav Bobyshev transferred secret military information during a two-month visit to China in 2009. Afanasiev and Bobyshev were arrested by FSB agents in March 2010 and have been in government custody since then. They face 20 years in prison if convicted of spying.

The professors’ employer, the Baltic State Technical University, specialises in aerospace and rocketry. Its alumni include top designers in Russia’s space programme, and cosmonauts.

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“War On Terror” In Poland, Romania and Lithuania Accountability Must Be Established

Posted by Info on 05/09/2011

Mr Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for human rights: “The full truth must now be established and guarantees given that such forms of co-operation will never be repeated. Effective investigations are imperative and long overdue.”

Highly secure detention facilities, so-called “Black Sites”, were established since 2001 in at least seven different overseas locations, to which the CIA delivered its detainees for “enhanced interrogation”. Detention in CIA custody meant being kept indefinitely in secret, incommunicado, solitary confinement. The US Government maintains up to now that “details concerning locations”, and the “assistance of foreign liaison services in any aspect of the program” should be kept secret.

A CIA Black Site was opened in Poland on 5 December 2002. The ongoing investigation of the Polish Prosecutor has a crucial role to play in achieving accountability; its results should be tendered for public and judicial scrutiny with the minimum of further delay.
Black Site was opened in Romenia near Bucharest on 23 September 2003, immediately after the closure of the Polish facility.
The Romanian authorities refused to uncover the whole truth of what happened on Romanian territory. The only official response has been denial, supported by a Senate Committee report refuting all allegations.
The Lithuanian authorities have demonstrated some intent to reveal the truth, notably through a parliamentary inquiry and a one-year pre-trial investigation by the Prosecutor General’s Office. The Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) was able to inspect two detention sites identified by the parliamentary committee as having been equipped to house CIA detainees. However, the essential questions as to the timing and scope of the CIA’s use of these facilities remain unanswered.

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Russia Accused OSCE Of Double Standard In Post- Soviet Countries

Posted by Info on 04/09/2011

President Dmitry Medvedev accused the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe of using double standards and attempting to influence the internal affairs of some ex-Soviet nations.

The OSCE, the world’s largest security body with 56 member states from Europe, Central Asia and North America, has issued scathing reports about general elections in Russia and some of its ex-Soviet cousins, often rating them neither free nor fair.

Russia holds a parliamentary election in December and a presidential election follows next March at which either Putin or Medvedev is likely to be the leading candidate.

Medvedev rapped the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights for sending “huge delegations” to monitor elections. “Let’s call a spade a spade — this approach is often based on double standards.”
“Naturally, all of us are striving for free and democratic elections, but this does not mean open access for any external force that could try to shape the internal situation in our states from abroad.”

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Scotland Bank Agrees With Human Rights Groups And EndS Work For Belarus

Posted by Info on 29/08/2011

Royal Bank of Scotland has said it will no longer do fundraising work for the Belarus government following a campaign by human rights groups which argued that companies such as RBS were helping to support the regime of “Europe’s last dictator”.

“Given sanctions, the deteriorating political situation in Belarus and the fact that it has reneged on key elements of the IMF programme, RBS has ceased any type of capital-raising for or on behalf of the Belarus Republic, and we have no plans to change that position until these issues have been resolved,”
said RBS in a statement.
RBS has sent a clear signal not to risk investing in an regime that violates fundamental human rights and may not last”

Belarus is facing an economic crisis and is in talks with the International Monetary Fund about a possible loan, but the organisation wants to see major changes in the economy before extending financial help.

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Russia/Latvia: Ruling on Kononov Hurts Prestige of Strasbourg Court

Posted by Info on 20/08/2011

The Grand Chamber of the European Court for Human Rights cancelled the original verdict against Great Patriotic War veteran Vassili Kononov. This is a dangerous precedent that can be used by those who wish to re-write history and destroy the post-war system based on the decisions by the Nuremburg Tribunal.
Russia believes that the verdict in favour of Latvia is extremely politicized.

89-year-old Vassili Kononov died late March pending the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights. In the early 2000s, Latvia accused the veteran of committing war crimes and killing civilians on its territory during the Great Patriotic War when he was a commander of a partisan unit. A court in Riga sentenced the retired man to 6 years and later, to 12 years in prison. However, in 2008, the European Court of Human Rights overturned the Latvian court ruling and obliged the Latvian authorities to pay 30 thousand Euros as moral compensation. However, Latvia lodged an appeal against the judgment at the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.

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Russia Bars US Officials To Take Revenge Over Magnitsky Case

Posted by Info on 15/08/2011

Russia has drawn up a list of Americans who are banned from entering the country, in a response to a US move to blacklist dozens of Russian officials accused of involvement in the death of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
As Moscow is furious at what it sees as pressure and interference in its internal affairs.

Sergey Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, told the respected daily Kommersant yesterday that Russia’s retaliatory list would include “people who cause problems in Russian-American relations”.
The exact names of the people on the Russian list have not been made public.

The original American list contains officials from the interior ministry and prosecutor’s office implicated in Mr Magnitsky’s death. He died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after being charged with helping the investment fund Hermitage Capital evade taxes. He denied the charges, and his supporters say they were trumped up by corrupt officials trying to cover up an enormous tax fraud that the lawyer had uncovered.

Labour MP Chris Bryant believes the Russian officials on the US blacklist should also be banned from the UK. “I have provided a list to the Home Office and strongly pushed that they should not allow any of these people visas to the UK”.

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