Young activists detained and held in custody in Minsk
On 23 and 24 July more than ten people were detained in the Belarusian capital, most of them members of the unregistered civic organizations “Youth Front”.Activists believe that the authorities are trying to isolate them before 27 July when the democratic forces in Belarus will be marking Independence Day.
ECHR finds against Russia over Mikhail Trepashkins detention conditions
The Court found that there had been a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of degrading treatment) with respect to detention in 2003. Mikhail Trepashkin remains imprisoned on seriously dubious charges, and his right to life is being placed in the gravest jeopardy. We must not wait until the next ECHR judgment!
Taras Zelenyak fined 4.5 thousand dollars
The Novosibirsk court found Zelenyak guilty of inciting inter-ethnic enmity on a Ukrainian forum site. It looks as though the defence may have decided to half admit “guilt” in an attempt to mitigate the sentence which could have been up to two years in prison. For mouthing off on a forum site …
Belarusian Solidarity action: “The Graffiti of Freedom”
The Civic Initiative “Solidarnist” will be marking the next Belarusian Solidarity Day on 16 July with a protest action entitled “GRAFFITI OF FREEDOM” in solidarity with Belarusian young people.
So are they opening up the archives or in fact obstructing access?
While the Russian FSBs willingness to declassify archival material is to be welcomed, the restrictions on any but relatives viewing these documents may in fact make it even harder to find out the truth (and they have never made it easy)
Political prisoners must be released, not forgotten
Mikhail Trepashkin remains in solitary confinement, despite a medical condition which according to Russian legislation requires his release from imprisonment.
Another European Court of Human Rights judgment against Russia over Chechnya
The Court found that there had been a violation of Article 2 (the right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights both with respect to the disappearance of Ruslan Alikhadzhiyev, and with the failure of the authorities to properly investigate the disappearance, as well as a violation of Article 5 (the right to liberty and security).
Human rights defenders and diplomatic speak
The following interview with Oleg Orlov paints a worrying picture of increasingly empty dialogue between Russian officials and the EU over human rights issues, and demonstrates the need for NGO involvement to ensure that human rights issues are properly addressed
Send a Signal of Solidarity to Belarus
To mark Belarusian Solidarity Day on 16 June, the civic initiative “Solidarnist” will be holding a protest action near the Belarusian Embassy to call for an end to the flagrant violation by the Belarusian authorities of the right to freedom of expression and access to information in Belarus
Defence Programme for Convicted Criminals
A military court has sentenced Captain Ulman and three of his former subordinates to prison terms for killing six Chechen civilians in cold blood. This might have seemed a success, except that three of the men have managed - or been helped - to “disappear” …
Human rights situation deteriorating in Belarus
Adrian Severin, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Belarus, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday that there had been no "real change in the trend in the country." He called on neighbouring countries to join in imposing economic sanctions. Instead, Russia joined Belarus in claiming that the report was biased
WHY are there political prisoners in a G8 country?
Mikhail Trepashkin, a lawyer who defended victims of the bombings of apartment blocks in Moscow in September 1999, remains imprisoned on fabricated charges. He is in bad health and his life is in danger. Nor is he the only political prisoner in the Russian Federation.
Ivanovo Uzbeks refused temporary asylum in Russia
Among the truly incredible arguments presented are documents from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claiming the lack of any evidence that the Uzbekistan authorities persecute people on religious, political and other grounds …
Its the words they use ..
The Russian Centre for Information and Analysis “Sova” has presented a study entitled “Hate language against society”, which looks at the modern vocabulary of the Russian press
1,000 days without the children – Beslan
Throughout the night and day candles have been burning in the school graveyard where the victims of this terrible crime, more than half of them children, lie buried
Yet more opposition figures detained in Russia.
The latest March of those in dissent [Marsh niesoglashnykh] in Voronezh, has again led to arrests Garry Kasparov stresses that all such protest actions must receive support [and world attention! – PL] to demonstrate that the opposition is not just in Moscow and St Petersburg
Rule of law Russian-style: where is Ulman?
The court trial of Ulman and his subordinates, who admit to having killed six Chechen civilians in cold blood is to take place in the absence of three of the four defendants
Belarusian opposition r moves towards collective leadership
336 out of the 600 delegates to the Congress of Democratic Forces held in Minsk at the weekend voted for a political council of forty and four co-chairs with equal rights. Alexander Milinkevich refused to join the council and believes collective leadership cannot work
Russian Official fined for deporting Muminov to Uzbekistan
The assiduous avoidance by prosecutors office, defendant and, unfortunately, even the judge of any mention of the key role played by the FSB simply strengthens the latters belief that it can act with impunity