Tag Archive for 'human rights'

US vs. Free Speech

Looks like it’s open season in the US for anyone who has anything to do with WikiLeaks.

Jacob Appelbaum (of TOR) was detained in the US border after returning to the US from The Netherlands earlier today. He was detained for three hours while the stormtroopers from the US Army and ICE questioned him about WikiLeaks (he’s a WikiLeaks contributor), searched his belongings (incl. his computer) and seized three cellphones.

This is what it’s become? Anyone even remotely involved with the organization is now subject to “random” searches and having their belongings seized for no good reason.

It’ll be curious to know, if the US Army really thought Mr. Appelbaum had anything to do with the Afghanistan war documents leak or were they just harrassing him for being associated with their new Public Enemy Number One.

Fuck this.

WikiLeaks.org is accepting donations at its website.


Magomed Yevloev, Russian human rights activist, killed by Ingushetia President, Murat Zyazikov

Magomed Yevloev was shot dead end of August by the Ingushetia Interior Ministry security personnel inside a police car after he was arrested at an airport.

Investigation into the murder has now revealed Mr. Yevloev was murdered by the order of Ingushetia President, Murat Zyazikov. An english translation by the Finnish Russian Civic Forum of a Ingushetia.ru article regarding the investigation outlines the events that took place and people who participated in the murder.

Let’s see what happens next. As a former KGB agent the President is somewhat of a Putin favorite. Vlad the Emperor has thrown repeated compliments and decorations on Mr. Zyazikov.

One thing is for sure. Relatives of Mr. Yevloev wowed to avenge the murder by going after the perpetrators and their families. Attacks against the President’s family have already taken place. It would be encouraging if those responsible for murders of Russian civil rights activists, such as Mr. Yevloev, would, for once, be held accountable for their crimes in a Russian court of law.


Russian opposition figureheads continue their dying

Word comes in today that Magomed Yevloev, an owner of the Ingush opposition web site, Ingushetiya.ru has been killed.

Kasparov.ru is reporting that Yevloev was killed by a single gunshot in the head. The information is not clear on who exactly killed him, but the implication appears to be that he was killed while in custody of the local Kremlin backed gestapo. The killers dropped him at a hospital critically wounded and simply drove off. Doctors at the hospital could not save his life.

According to reports from the area, the police is claiming a police officer’s gun discharged accidentally and a bullet hit Yevloev in the head. That would most certainly be one convenient accident for the local administration. They have, after all, been trying to silence Yevloev for quite some time.

Ingushetiya.ru, and its operators, have been under constant harassment by the Russian Government in recent months. Earlier this month, the site was ordered shut down by the Russian Government. Roza Malsagova, an editor of the website, fleed Russia to France and is reported to be seeking political asylum there. She’s also facing multiple criminal charges in Russia just because she’s involved with running the website. It looks like she is the lucky one.


Human rights activists continue to get persecuted in Russia

In yet another small Russian province human rights activists are getting persecuted by the local gestapo.

In Nizhny Novgorod, located in central Russia, the local police force raided the offices of a human rights activist group and homes of several opposition leaders. All computers of the Foundation to Promote Tolerance were confiscated and the office was sealed.

Some of the people raided got their passports confiscated. Maxim Baganov got slapped with a charge for Extremism. Basically the authorities are charging him for being a terrorist, more or less. All the people involved have been under 24/7 surveillance for some time before the raids.

The people getting persecuted in this manner are speculating that show trials are the next step in the process. They are saying the authorities will fabricate extremist material in their name and recall “victims” of extremist actions conducted by the opposition leaders. Goebbels would be proud of these New Communists.


Soviet Russia interns dissidents in mental institutions

The Soviet era tactics in dealing with opposition leaders continue unabated in Russia.

The International Secretariat of the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) is reporting that Russian authorities are holding Mr. Artyom Basyrov against his will in a mental institute and are medicating him heavily with drugs. His relatives were not informed of his imprisonment and they have been unable to visit Mr. Basyrov in the hospital.

Mr. Basyrov was kidnapped in Yoshkar-Ola, the capital of Mari-El, on November 23rd 2007 late at night by two men in civilian clothes. He’s been imprisoned ever since.

If the “softening” of this man continues according to age old Soviet formula, he’ll be mysteriously beaten up in the hospital or soon after his release (if he is ever released) by assailants nobody will see or hear, he will then be charged with some bogus crime and sentenced to home arrest while all his belongings relating to his political activities will quite coincidentally be confiscated.

Let’s see how it goes.


Russian Government kills an opposition leader

Yuri Chervochkin, a 22-year-old leader of the National-Bolshevik Party (NBP) has died from his injuries received from a vicious beating just before the Russian Parliamentary elections.

Mr. Chervochkin called a friend hours before his attack and claimed he was being chased by the police. The police had threatened him repeatedly before finally killing him.

That’s Russian democracy for you.


Even Russia agrees, Russian human rights are getting worse

Back in March this year, the Moscow Times reported on a human rights situation in Russia. It was based on Russia’s own human rights ombudsman’s report.

The ombudsman reported that human rights violations are up in every area; economic, cultural and political human rights violations are all up. The report also stated that the Russian citizens do not trust the Russian Government.

I wonder what has become of the ombudsman since? Critics of the Putin Dictatorship don’t usually last long in Russia.


Finnish Broadcasting Company program MOT covers Mari-El

Finnish Broadcasting Company’s MOT program covered Mari-El during their most recent show this Monday.

Unfortunately the transcript is only available in Finnish at the moment, but the program covered most aspects of Russian oppression of Mari-El culture brilliantly.

The unsolved murders and other violent acts towards Mari-El activists were thoroughly discussed. The journalists wanted to interview Mari-El President Leonid Markelov over the issue, but their interview request was never answered. The little dictator has a history of animosity towards Finnish media, so it’s not surprising at all. He put his propaganda machine at news12.ru in full swing though, and the questions sent along with the interview request somehow ended up on the pro Russian propaganda website with “commentary” from the morons running the site. Apparently asking about how violent acts towards Mari people never seem to result in arrests is “preparing for another Finnish provocation of Russia.” Well, you can’t really fault the logic of neo-nazis, simply because there is none.

Leonid Markelov is in good company for not commenting on the story. The Finnish President, Tarja Halonen, joined him in the club. It’s interesting to see Finnish Government staying silent on this issue. Apparently criticizing Russia is just as “delicate” as criticizing Soviet Union once was for Finnish Government officials.
The program also investigates some curious “public works” projects in the Republic. Mari-El is one of the poorest regions of Russia, but yet the President is proudly building a 2nd swimming hall (not a small one either) and a third hockey arena (the region’s best hockey teams do not play in any major league in Russia). Well, bread and circuses worked for Romans, why not for a small-time communist wannabe dictator in Russia.

The program covered the cultural oppression as well mentioning mari language school closures and firings of Mari activists from their jobs.

All in all, the show was one of the best, if not the best, coverage over the Mari-El issue in recent times. Kudos to MOT and the Finnish Broadcasting Company for showing it.


The European Parliament condemn attack on Mari-El activist

Couple of weeks ago a group of Members of the European Parliament comdemned the attack on Galina Kozlova.

Now the entire European Parliament has done the same. EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes had this to say about the attack:

The commission regrets the violent attack on Galina Kozlova, which took place on January 25 in the capital of Mari republic, and I express my sympathy to her, to her family, and my best wishes for a speedy recovery from her injuries.

Russia will probably answer by attacking the messenger rather than addressing the serious human rights problems they have in regards to ethnic minorities.


Members of the European Parliament condemn attack on Mari-El activist

A group of Members of the European Parliament has tabled a motion for a resolution strongly condemning an attack against Ms Galina Kozlova, board member of the Mari national organisation, Mari Ushem.

Read the rest of the story on the original article.

I’ve written about the attack on Galina Kozlova before:
Russian oppression of Mari-El activists still going strong