Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for the ‘UN’ 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”. 


“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.”

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

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

Posted in Belarus, EU, SCO, UN | Leave a Comment »

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 »

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).


Posted in EU, Turkmenistan, UN, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Freedom Of Speech Index for 2012

Posted by Info on 08/05/2013

Reporters Without Borders has published its annual Freedom of the Press Index for 2012:

Uzbekistan occupied 164th place out of 179 countries. From last year’s index Uzbekistan moved down seven notches which shows the deterioration of the situation journalists face in the country. Uzbekistan remained a nightmare for journalists. Dictatorship of President Islam Karimov controlled the Internet, pressured the media and punished independent journalists using courts.

It was a good news to hear, that The UNHCR in Kyrgyzstan granted refugee status to Uzbek journalist Elena Bondar. Pressure on Bondar – threatening phone calls and aggressive treatment by law enforcement officers – forced the young journalist to flee Uzbekistan and seek refugee status.

The worse situation is only in Turkmenistan with the regime of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. Turkmenistan came 177th on the index, along with Eritrea and North Korea which came on the bottom of the index.

Kazachstan occupied 16oth, Tajikistan 123rd and   Kyrgyzstan 106th place.

Russia came 148th, falling six notches from last year which is explained by repressions and the suppression of protests after Vladimir Putin came to power.

Moldova, Armenia and Georgia fared the best coming 55th, 74th and 100th.

Íà÷àëñÿ ðàáî÷èé âèçèò ïðåçèäåíòà Ðîññèè â Òóðêìåíèþ

Personality cult in Turkmenistan. President Berdymukhamedov introduced minimal reforms but heaped honours upon himself. For his 50th birthday, he awarded himself the Watan (Motherland) Order, a gold and diamond pendant weighing about 1 kilogram for his “outstanding achievements” in his barely six months in office.

Posted in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, UN, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

New NGO in Geneva: The Future of Human Rights Forum

Posted by Info on 26/03/2013

FHR Martin

The Future of Human Rights Forum (FHRF) is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization devoted to the protection and effective application of fundamental human rights and individual freedoms.

With its headquarters in Geneva, at the heart of the human rights community, the FHRF works with grassroots political organizations, journalists, police experts and the United Nations. The FHRF encourages constructive approaches for strengthening democratic institutions and supports freedom of opinion and expression so as to ensure transparency and accountability in the international system and in countries of concern.

Serious human rights violations happen daily. Current protection systems are lacking. Crucial reforms are needed. The problems in current human rights institutions are often publicized, however, there is insufficient focus on finding solutions and bringing them to the public’s attention. It is in this field, that the FHRF seeks to play an active, constructive and responsible role.

Martin cover HRF

Join FHRF and assist this process!

For more information contact

Posted in 1, OOH, UN | 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 »

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 »

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.

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

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…

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

UN to Azerbaijan: Human Rights Defenders Must Work In Safety

Posted by Info on 23/08/2011

The building in Baku housing the Institute of Peace and Democracy as well as the Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Women’s Crisis Center – the only women’s shelter in the capital – was destroyed on 11 August.

City officials refused to allow the occupants to remove their belongings from the building, including valuable office equipment and files, before bulldozers carried out the demolition, despite a May ruling by a Baku court prohibiting the destruction of the building.

“Given the worrying reports of forced evictions and destruction of property in Baku, as well as of harassment of human rights defenders, we call on the authorities of Azerbaijan to thoroughly investigate this case and, if necessary, provide adequate compensation and restitution,” Rupert Colville, OHCHR’s spokesperson in Geneva.

The Government of Azerbaijan is obliged, by the international and regional treaties which it has ratified, to ensure respect for the right to adequate housing, for the prohibition of forced evictions and property rights, as well as for the rights and freedoms of human rights defenders.”

Posted in Azerbaijan, UN | Leave a Comment »

Kazakhstan: Criminal Trial of Labor Lawyer

Posted by Info on 09/08/2011

The prosecution of a labor union lawyer Natalia Sokolova on criminal charges of “inciting social discord” is incompatible with international human rights law.

The indictment accuses Sokolova of aiming to “social discord” by speaking before the collective [of workers] about the disproportionality in wages… [and by]calling on workers to stage unsanctioned protests, carrying out these activities publicly and using the media.” She was also charged with organizing illegal gatherings under article 334-2 of Kazakhstan’s criminal code.

The prosecutor asked the court to sentence Sokolova to seven years in prison and to forbid her from practicing law for three years. Sokolova has denied all criminal charges.

Kazakhstan is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, including trade union membership and activities. It is also a member of the International Labor Organization, whose fundamental principles, including the right to organize, are binding on all members.

Under the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, the Kazakh government has a duty to ensure that lawyers can carry out their work without intimidation, hindrance, or harassment and is required to ensure that they are not subject to prosecution or administrative, economic, or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards, and ethics.

Posted in Kazakhstan, UN | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted in Kazakhstan, SCO, UN | Leave a Comment »

Kazakh Prisoners + Torture + UN SR Manfred Nowak

Posted by Info on 15/07/2011

Kazakhstan sees regular protests from prisoners at the terrible conditions in the jails, which often involve inmates slicing open their own abdomens.

Manfred Nowak, the former Special Rapporteur on torture for the United Nations, reported in 2009 that “torture and ill treatment certainly goes beyond isolated instances” in Kazakhstan’s prisons, adding that he had received “credible allegations” of beatings with fists and bottles and asphyxiation with plastic bags.

ButMr Aitken, who is working with Kazakhstan’s justice ministry on a series of prisoner rehabilitation schemes disagrees claiming that Nowak’s picture was misleading.
“They’re extraordinarily clean. British prisons aren’t nearly as clean as Kazakhstan’s prisons.

Posted in Kazakhstan, UN | Leave a Comment »

Russia Reveals List Of Terrorists And Terror Sponsors

Posted by Info on 06/07/2011

Russia has made public a previously confidential list of people and organizations found to be involved in laundering money and funding terrorism.
The list of individuals and companies convicted of involvement in financing terrorism was published by the government-owned Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper on Wednesday.

The document consists of two parts. The first part, based on official UN indexes and presented by the Russian Foreign Ministry, includes foreign individuals and international organizations. The second, from the Russian Ministry of Justice, gives the names of individuals and organizations linked to Russia.

The list includes such international terrorist organizations as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad or Al- Qaeda. The first part contains 104 organizations and 401 individuals; the second has 46 organizations and 1,510 individuals.

Russia’s most wanted terrorist Doku Umarov, who claimed responsibility for the deadly blasts at Domodedovo International Airport and in the Moscow Metro, has also been listed.
In March this year, Umarov was placed on the UN Security Council list of the most wanted terrorists. US President Barack Obama pledged $5 million in return for information on Umarov’s whereabouts.

All individuals on the list were convicted by the court on terrorism-related charges. The names of those who are only suspected of involvement in extremism and terrorism have not been revealed.
Since June 30, all defendants who stand trial on charges of terrorism and extremism will now also be included on the list.
It is possible for a person or organization to be struck off the list if officially recognized as not being involved in terrorist activities or if the individual dies.

Posted in Russia, UN | Leave a Comment »