EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for the ‘SCO’ Category

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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Three Uzbek Refugees Extradited From Kazakhstan Now In Prison

Posted by Info on 03/10/2011

Courts in Uzbekistan have sentenced the three men, who had fled to Almaty after being pursued in Uzbekistan on religious charges, to between four and 13 years in prison.

Criminal court sentenced Kobijon Kurbanov to four years in prison for organising illegal religious gatherings.
Faizillakhon Akbarov was convicted for circulating religious materials likely to threaten security and public order and was sentenced to five years in prison.
A 15-year-sentence was handed down to Akhmad Boltaev after he was found guilty on several charges relating to religious extremism, but the prison term was later reduced on appeal to 13 years.

The fate of the other refugees is not known. New fewer than 28 Uzbek refuges, many of whom had expected to remain in Kazakhstan, were handed over to the custody of Uzbekistan’s interior ministry on 9th June this year.

The Expert Working Group, based in Tashkent, claims that the refugees have not been allowed to see their relatives since arriving back in Uzbekistan and they have also been denied the right to choose their own lawyer.

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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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Russia Intends To Transform CSTO

Posted by Info on 07/09/2011

Russia intends to begin transformation of the CSTO, a military bloc in the post-Soviet space under Moscow’s patronage. The CSTO must give up decision-making by consensus, and become the key peacekeeper in the post-Soviet space while beginning to develop partnership relations with NATO.

The proposals prepared by the Modern Development Institute (INSOR) where Dmitry Medvedev is head of the board of guardians, may make groundwork for the transformation of this military bloc. Chairman of INSOR’s board Igor Yurgens suggests reforming the CSTO’s decision-making by consensus to a simple majority. Yurgens acknowledges that the key problem to turn the CSTO into an effective organization is the special position which Uzbekistan takes almost on any issue.

“In the light of the upcoming withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan in 2014, we have to decide which is more important for us: President Karimov’s special opinion, or the security of Russia and its neighbors – Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. It’s obvious that nobody will need the CSTO in the capacity of discussion club. Russia and its partners have this understanding. Consequently, a new decision-making system is required”.

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UNHCR Concerns Over SCO In Its Review Of Kazakhstan

Posted by Info on 04/08/2011

During the UN Human Rights Committee’s July 14-15 review of Kazakhstan Committee in its concluding observations noted with concern that Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member state Kazakhstan “may be willing to rely” on diplomatic assurances provided within the SCO framework “to return foreign nationals to countries where torture and serious human rights violations might occur.” Kazakhstan keeps returning Uyghur asylum seekers to fellow SCO member state China – most recently, Ershidin Israil – and of returning asylum seekers and refugees to other SCO member states as well, including the return in June of 28 Uzbek refugees to Uzbekistan.

The Committee further expressed its concern that “individuals, particularly Uzbek and Chinese nationals, who might have valid claims for asylum or refugee status have no protection under the principle of non-refoulement . . . .” It recommended that Kazakhstan “monitor the treatment of such persons after their return and take appropriate action when [diplomatic] assurances are not fulfilled. Furthermore, [Kazakhstan] should fully comply with the principle of non-refoulement and ensure that all persons in need of international protection receive appropriate and fair treatment at all stages in compliance with the Covenant.”

The SCO has the potential to undermine international human rights obligations by imposing countervailing and problematic commitments upon member states, one of which is the obligation to return any individual accused or suspected of “terrorism,” “separatism,” or “extremism” – charges that are often politically motivated – to a requesting state.

Full text of the Human Rights Committee’s Concluding Observations on Kazakhstan

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Tajikistan: Growing Security Threat From Local And External Insurgencies

Posted by Info on 27/05/2011

Bishkek/Brussels, 24 May 2011 – International Crisis Group: report n. 205
Tajikistan, by most measures Central Asia’s poorest and most vulnerable state. After his security forces failed to bring warlords and a small group of young insurgents to heel in the eastern region of Rasht in 2010-2011, President Emomali Rakhmon did a deal to bring a temporary peace to the area. But he may soon face a tougher challenge from the resurgent Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a group with a vision of an Islamist caliphate that is fighting in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban.

That conflict is moving closer to the 1,400km Afghan-Tajik border. Many anti-government guerrillas operating in northern Afghanistan are of Central Asian origin and are largely affiliated with the IMU. Tajikistan has almost no capacity to tackle a dedicated insurgent force. A new generation of guerrillas is emerging, both within Tajikistan and in the IMU.

Tajiks studying in foreign Islamic institutions have been called home; the government is trying to control the content of Friday sermons and prevent young people from visiting mosques; it has also dismissed some clerics.
Jihadist groups, too, are paying more attention to Tajikistan. A small number of fighters from the North Caucasus have also been active in Tajikistan in recent years. Radicalisation by osmosis is growing: Tajikistan is gradually becoming part of the virtual jihad. Islamist websites are paying increasing attention to events in the country. Islamic militants in Tajikistan are adopting tactics already well known in other jihadist struggles, notably in the North Caucasus. A new generation of guerrillas is emerging, both within Tajikistan and in the IMU.
Tajiks studying in foreign Islamic institutions have been called home; the government is trying to control the content of Friday sermons and prevent young people from visiting mosques; it has also dismissed some clerics.

Jihadist groups, too, are paying more attention to Tajikistan. A small number of fighters from the North Caucasus have also been active in Tajikistan in recent years. In September 2010 the country witnessed what was described as its first suicide bombing. The northern border area of Isfara is developing the reputation of a safe haven for armed militants.

President Rakhmon denies that the North African scenario of popular unrest and revolt could happen in Tajikistan; despite the different circumstances, such confidence is questionable. Tajikistan is so vulnerable that a small, localised problem could quickly spiral into a threat to the regime’s existence.

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SCO! + UN? = Compromise of Human Rights Under Cover of Counter-Terrorism

Posted by Info on 30/03/2011

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), comprising six states with deeply troubling human rights records – China, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – is increasingly embraced by the international community as a partner in countering terrorism and forging peace and security.

Report Terrorism and Human Rights: The Impact of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization released on March 30, 2011, Human Rights in China (HRIC) argues that the SCO’s counter-terrorism policies and practices undermine the effectiveness and integrity of the international counter-terrorism framework, and enable SCO member states to target their own populations through repressive measures that compromise internationally-recognized human.

· Non-compliance with UN standards. In adapting “Three Evils” doctrine –alleged separatist, extremist, and terrorist acts with its overbroad scope target legitimate expressions of political and religious beliefs.

· Violation of individual human rights protected under international law. Such practices as cooperative surveillance, a shared database and blacklists, guaranteed extraditions and denials of asylum, and ethnic and religious profiling, violate the right to privacy, principles of non-discrimination, non-refoulement, and protection of asylum seekers, and due process protections.

· Negative impact on the international counter-terrorism framework. The SCO has actively attempted to integrate its framework into that of the UN, as well as in other international fora. The UN and others have responded favorably and without critical review of SCO policies and practice.. full report HERE

Posted in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, others, Russia, SCO, Tajikistan, UN, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

2009 Convention Against Terrorism of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Posted by Info on 13/01/2011

Unofficial translation of the 2009 Convention Against Terrorism of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) based on the original Russian presented to the State Duma in 2010 termonilogy Art 2

The member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,
are deeply concerned by the escalation of terrorism……
guided by the goals and principles of the United Nations Charter….
recognizing that the offenses covered by the present Convention cannot be justified under any circumstances, and that the physical and juridical persons responsible for committing such acts and (or) that are complicit in their commission must be prosecuted under the law,
considering the changes that have occurred in the support for terrorism and in the scale and nature of terrorist acts, and the importance of promoting cooperation,
Realizing the necessity of increasing efforts against terrorism and re-affirming that all measures in preventing and combating terrorism should be undertaken subject to the supremacy of law, democratic values, fundamental human rights and freedoms, and norms of international law,
rRecognizing that only through joint efforts can effective prevention and combating of terrorism be achieved, have agreed as follows:

ART 2.
1. For the purposes of the present Convention the terms and concepts employed in it shall mean:
1) “Party” – a state party to this Convention;
2) “terrorism” – an ideology of violence and a practice of influencing decision-making by the authorities or international organizations through the commission of or the threat of committing violent and (or) other criminal acts connected with intimidating a population and aimed at causing damage to the person, to society, and to the state;
3) “terrorist act” – an act connected with intimidating a population and creating a danger to human life and health that is intended to cause significant property damage, an ecological disaster, or other serious consequences in order to achieve political, religious, ideological, or other ends by influencing decision-making by the authorities or international organizations, or the threat of committing such acts;
4) “terrorist organization”:
a) a criminal group, unlawful armed unit, gang, or criminal society created to commit offenses and (or) that commits offenses covered by the present Convention;
b) a juridical person in whose name, at whose direction, or in whose interests one of the offenses covered by the present Convention is planned, organized, prepared for, or committed;
5) “juridical person” – an organization created in and that acts in the manner established by the national legislation of the Parties.

Article 8
Taking into account the fundamental principles of its legal system, each Party shall take necessary legislative and other countermeasures against the financing of terrorism which include, in particular:
1) registration of data on clients and financial operations, and the preservation of this information;
2) providing information to authorized agencies of the Party regarding suspicious and economically illogical operations and transactions;
3) suspending financial operations having an illegal, suspicious, or economically illogical nature at the direction of law enforcement or other agencies designated by the Party;
4) providing information and documents at the request of a court, procuracy agencies, preliminary investigation agencies, or other authorized agencies of a Party.

Art 11
3. When a Party which makes extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty receives a request for extradition from another Party with which it has no extradition treaty, the requested Party shall consider the present Convention as a legal basis for extradition in connection with the offenses covered by the present Convention. Extradition shall be subject to the other conditions provided by the law of the requested State.
4. Parties that do not make extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty shall consider offenses covered by the present Convention as extraditable offenses between themselves, subject to the other conditions provided for by the legislation of the requested Party.
…..

Posted in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, SCO, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Russia Supports India To Join SCO As India Is On UN Security Council

Posted by Info on 02/01/2011

Russia expressed its support to India becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and vowed to seek closer coordination over Afghanistan.

THEREFORE Russia also reiterated its support to India’s bid for a permanent seat in an expanded United Nations Security Council.

Hardeep Singh Puri, New Delhi’s top diplomat to the world body has said: “One of our major pre-occupation is the issue of terrorism. I expect that in the coming months we would have to address that issue through the work of the Council.

As such India will prepare a key role in the two counter terrorism committees of the Security Council – the 1267 and 1373 committee.

1267 is the Security Council Sanctions Committee concerning al-Qaida and the Taliban and individuals and entities associated with those organisations.
1373 is the Security Council Committee concerning counter-terrorism and its financing.

“You can expect India to play a very active role in that. This committee deals with issues like building capacities, normative rules dealing with counter-terrorism and dealing with India that is a major area of interest.”

Posted in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, SCO, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, UN, Uzbekistan | 1 Comment »

“Peace Mission 2010” Was Largest SCO Military Exercise Outside Russia

Posted by Info on 10/10/2010

With 5,000 troops and considerable advanced military equipment, “Peace Mission 2010” was the largest SCO military exercise held from September 9-25 in southern Kazakhstan. All the member states of the SCO, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan sent at least one military unit to the war games except Uzbekistan, which pulled out at the last minute.Russia sent the largest amount of military equipment.

Several reasons might explain the varying size and length of the exercises over time. After the enormous 2005 exercise, the two armed forces might have wanted the drills to correspond to their actual experience fighting small groups of mobile terrorists with major military units. Russian analysts interpreted this as applying the lessons learned by Russian forces in the North Caucasus… Other reasons for the smaller scale of the 2007 and 2009 drills might include operational considerations (the shorter amount of time for preparation and the more genuine focus on counterterrorism).

The most recent exercise occurred against the backdrop of continuing ethnic-religious minority unrest in Xinjiang and Tibet, newly resurgent terrorist activity in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the Russian-controlled territories of the North Caucasus.

Ikram Adyrbekov, Kazakhstan’s ambassador to China said : “Peace Mission 2010” provided a “timely” demonstration of the SCO’s contribution to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism. “The capacities and financial assets of international terrorists remain sufficient enough to carry out destructive actions. “

Posted in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, SCO, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Russia Ratifies SCO Antiterrorism Convention

Posted by Info on 04/10/2010

Russia has ratified the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s convention against terrorism.The draft that was earlier approved by parliament has been signed into law by President Dmitry Medvedev.

The convention offers a wider socio-political definition of terrorism as ideology of violence.
It features provisions regulating the SCO countries’ cooperation in the sequestration and seizure of property that’s been used in committing crimes or funding such crimes.

The SCO comprises six member-states, namely Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Posted in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, SCO, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

OSCE Mission Reports Violations During Parliamentary Elections In Tajikistan

Posted by Info on 01/03/2010

Tajikistan failed to meet many international requirements, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in a statement on Monday.
The observers said numerous irregularities took place during Sunday’s elections, including “a high prevalence of family and proxy voting and cases of ballot box stuffing.”

The polls were monitored by more than 25,000 local and about 540 international observers, representing the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The final official results will be announced within 10 days.

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UN Report Blasts US Over Human Rights Abuses – Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Lithuania and Russia

Posted by Info on 27/01/2010

A United Nations’ report says the US has been violating basic human rights by kidnapping and holding terrorism suspects in secret detention centers during the past nine years.
The US is among dozens of countries that have kidnapped suspects, four independent UN rights investigators said in a year-long study based on flight data and interviews with 30 former detainees.

“On a global scale, secret detention in connection with counter-terrorist policies remains a serious problem,” they wrote in the 226-page report which is expected to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March.

Secret detention as such may constitute torture or ill-treatment for the direct victims as well as their families, the report said. Victims and their families deserve compensation and those responsible should be prosecuted, said the four independent investigators.

The UN report explained that the purpose of the secret detentions was to cover up torture and inhuman treatment of the detainees in an effort to obtain information or silent the subjects.

The rights investigators said running facilities such as those used by the Nazis, the Soviet gulag system and Latin American dictatorships in the 1970s and ’80s, was banned under the internationally recognized laws laid out in the Geneva Conventions.

They also said establishment of secret detention could not be justified under any circumstances, including during states of emergency or armed conflict.

Posted in Georgia, Lithuania, Russia, SCO, Turkmenistan, UN, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Judges Rule Against Government Over Secret Evidence In Terror Cases

Posted by Info on 01/12/2009

UK High court judgment says suspects cannot be detained without being able to answer charges made against them

Two men suspected of terrorism-related activities won a landmark high court battle today when judges ruled that a person could not be denied bail solely on the basis of secret evidence.

Lord Justice Laws, sitting with Mr Justice Owen, said bail applications should be treated the same as control order cases, where terror suspects must be given sufficient material to enable them to answer effectively the case made against them.

The ruling, which could have wider implications for the use of secret evidence, was described as a “historic” victory by human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.

They also rejected government claims that decisions by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), which deals with terror suspect cases, are immune from judicial review. Laws said judicial review was “a principal engine of the rule of law“.

The ruling was a victory for a Pakistani student facing removal from the UK, who was refused bail on the basis of secret evidence, and an Algerian national, “U”, whose bail was revoked.

The court’s “resounding no” to the idea that individuals could be detained on the basis of secret evidence, without recourse to apply to the high court for judicial review. Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, said it had taken a senior judge “to point out what most people already know – if the government is going to lock you up, it needs to tell you why”.

“Thanks to this historic judgment, the shadowy secret court system that has mushroomed under the ‘war on terror’ will now be exposed to the light of day,” she said.  more here in Guardian

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States Should Admit Asylum-seekers Who Were Forced To Aid Terrorists

Posted by Info on 30/10/2009

The UN Special Rapporteur’s  report to a General Assembly Committee which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural affairs, devotes considerable attention to the gender dimension and specific rights of women in the war against terrorism.

“Victims of gender-based persecution, including by terrorist groups, should be granted asylum and entry into countries and never fall victims of the notions of material support to terrorism.”

The report available here …

30. Counter-terrorism measures have had impermissible gendered collateral effects that are often neither acknowledged nor compensated. Indeed, enforced disappearances of male detainees in the name of countering terrorism have had “special resonance” for female family members, who bear the burden of anxiety, harassment, social exclusion and economic hardship occasioned by the loss of the male breadwinner. ..
31. The Special Rapporteur is also concerned that women (and children) not suspected of terrorism-related offences are unlawfully detained and ill-treated to either gain information about male family members or to compel male terrorism suspects to provide information or confessions. As well as being discriminatory, such collective sanctions resolve the disappearances of members of their family, making them susceptible to intimidation, persecution and reprisals.”
….

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