EU leaders must live up to their commitments to European values in responding to migration and stop copying xenophobic populist recipes, more than 160 NGOs said today in a joint statement. The organizations are calling for strong leadership to uphold the rights and values that have been the founding principles of the European Union for 60 years.
Russian delegation insists on excluding an independent group
Vienna, 13 September 2007.
Following the death on 10 July 2006 of Shamil Basaev, the leader of a Chechen armed resistance fraction responsible for numerous terrorist attacks, Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) director Nikolai Patrushev, on behalf of the anti-terrorist committee of the Russian Federation, called on all members of illegal armed groups in Chechnya to lay down their arms within two weeks.
HUMAN RIGHTS DEVELOPMENTS IN CHECHNYA AND ADJACENT RUSSIAN REGIONS
In 2006 the delegation of law enforcement and security responsibilities from federal authorities to local power structures in Chechnya was practically completed.
Uzbekistan remained an authoritarian country ruled by President Islam Karimov, where democratic norms and international human rights standards were routinely violated.
Throughout the year, the Uzbek authorities continued their efforts to prevent the circulation of information contradicting official policies, in particular with respect to the Andijan events in May 2005, when hundreds of civilians died as a result of the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force by security and law enforcement officials who were pursuing a group of armed people.
This report, which is primarily based on information obtained during a recent fact-finding mission to Uzbekistan by representatives of the IHF, documents the ongoing persecution of human rights defenders in Uzbekistan.
Belgrade, Vienna, 31 October 2006. The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) and non-governmental organizations in Serbia, including the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, the Committee of Lawyers for Human Rights and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights are deeply concerned about reported irregularities in the conduct of the referendum on the new Constitution.
Vienna, 13 October 2006. Today, the Court of the Nizhny Novgorod Region ruled to close down the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (RCFS). The motivational part of the ruling outlining the reasons behind this judicial decision will be sent to the RCFS within the next five days. As the RCFS already appealed this decision with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation the court decision on liquidation of the organization has not entered into force yet.
Vienna 28 August. The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) is concerned about the safety of several Uzbek asylum seekers who recently have disappeared in southern Kyrgyzstan. There are reasons to believe that the missing asylum seekers may have been forcibly returned to Uzbekistan.
Two Uzbek asylum seekers, Valijon Bobojonov and Saidullo Shokirov, were abducted by unknown individuals in the Kyrgyz city of Osh on 16 and 17 August and are now believed to be held in detention in Uzbekistan.
Prishtina, 22 June 2006. The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) has been following the human rights situation in Kosovo since the 1980s and has reported on human rights violations there. The IHF has visited Kosovo three times since March 2004.
Despite some improvement in the human rights situation in Kosovo over the last two years, human rights protection in Kosovo remains clearly insufficient. Hence, the IHF decided to undertake a fact-finding mission to focus on some of the remaining and serious human rights problems.
IHF FOCUS: good governance (corruption); freedom of expression, free media and information; independence of the judiciary and the rule of law; torture, ill-treatment and police misconduct; conditions in prisons and detention facilities; freedom of religion and religious tolerance; national and ethnic minorities; refugees; situation in the autonomous regions.
In 2005 the euphoria that characterized the first period after the so-called Rose Revolution in late 2003 largely subsided, and there was growing popular discontent with the government led by the west-oriented and …
IHF FOCUS: good governance (corruption); national human rights protection; elections and referenda; freedom of the media; peaceful assembly; judicial system and independence of the judiciary; torture and ill-treatment; arbitrary arrest and detention; conscientious objection; property rights; national and ethnic minorities.
Problems related to the local elections and the referendum on constitutional amendments were major concerns in Armenia in 2005: restrictions on opposition campaigning hindered inter alia the free flow of information and the right to peaceful …
IHF FOCUS: human rights defenders; freedom of expression, free media and information; peaceful assembly; freedom of association; right to a fair trial and effective remedies; arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment; right to life; freedom of religion and religious tolerance; migrants, refugees.
The human rights situation worsened further in Uzbekistan in 2005. In May, hundreds of civilians who had gathered to protest repressive government policies were virtually massacred by police and security forces in the region of Andijan in the Ferghana Valley.
The persecution of human rights defenders, independent human rights organizations, independent journalists and members of opposition political movements in Uzbekistan is a matter of longstanding concern, presenting one of the most serious human rights challenges in the OSCE region and, for that matter, in the entire world.
Following the events on 13 and 14 May 2005, when hundreds of innocent civilian demonstrators were gunned down by Uzbek security forces in Andijan these problems became significantly more acute. See annex 4.
Vienna, 27 June 2005.
Vienna, 15 March 2005. The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) is concerned about the continued legal effort initiated by the Prosecutor's office of Ingushetia to bring to a halt the activities of the human rights NGO Chechen Committee for National Salvation (ChCNS), a member of the network of the All-Russia Movement for Human Rights. The organisation is again on the verge of being closed after a new trial was ordered by the Supreme Court, invalidating a prior verdict in favor of the NGO.
Key developments since May 2003: Serbia and Montenegro acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 18 September 2003 and became a State Party on 1 March 2004. Serbia and Montenegro reported that the treaty became an integral part of domestic legislation upon accession. Changes to the penal code have been made in Montenegro and are underway in Serbia. In 2003, a total of 1,460,000 square meters of land was cleared of mines and UXO, according to the Mine Action Center. Clearance operations were completed on the Prevlaka peninsula in 2003.
Vienna, 2 November 2004. The second phase of the armed conflict in the Chechen Republic, defined by the Russian Federation as a "counter-terrorist operation" has lasted five years. Civilians represent the primary victims of this conflict, and blatant violations of human rights and humanitarian law have been pervasive. The climate of impunity dominates the situation in and around Chechnya.
Vienna, 1 April 2004. Although there are still 600 persons officially living in 'Sputnik' camp, with another 400 who have been arbitrarily removed from registration lists beforehand but stayed there, from today on one of the two last remaining tent camps in Ingushetia, the camp 'Sputnik' is declared officially closed as of April 1, 2004, with the relevant order of the Federal Migration Service in the beginning of March.