Europe and Central Asia

Russian Federation: Serious Violations of Women's Human Rights in Chechnya
January 10, 2002: Submission to Members of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

Human Rights Watch Analysis of the 2001 Regular Report on Turkey

(December 2001) -- The report on Turkey, its fourth (including the Progress Reports that pre-dated Turkey's formal candidacy), has become an important annual measure of progress on the political elements of the Copenhagen Criteria for membership, which require "stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities." Unfortunately the 2001 report records little more than superficial signs of reform on these issues.
Tajikistan: Background on Human Rights

(October 5, 2001) -- Tajikistan shares a 1,200 kilometer border with Afghanistan and is one of the countries identified by military planners as a possible base of U.S. military and humanitarian operations in the region. Tajikistan has been a low priority for U.S. foreign policy makers since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Suddenly, it has become a strategic partner in the U.S. government's counter-terrorism campaign following the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.. It is also a potential haven for tens of thousands of displaced people seeking to flee Afghanistan.
Uzbekistan: Background on Human Rights

(New York, September 26, 2001) As the United States prepares to make Uzbekistan a key ally in its fight against terrorism, the deplorable human rights record of the Uzbek government is largely being ignored, Human Rights Watch said today.
Memorandum to the U.S. Government Regarding Religious Persecution in Uzbekistan
August 10, 2001

This memorandum outlines Human Rights Watch's most pressing concerns about the systematic religious persecution of independent Muslims in today's Uzbekistan, where the government is pursuing a campaign of unlawful arrest, incommunicado detention, torture, unfair trials, and incarceration of non-violent believers.  More..
Memorandum: U.S. Policy in Central Asia
June 2001

This memorandum outlines Human Rights Watch's most pressing concerns about recent U.S. foreign policy toward the independent Central Asian states, offered for the new administration's consideration as it sets in motion its policy toward that volatile region. More..
Memorandum On Charges Against Indictees Currently Living in Serbia
April 2001

At least nine individuals indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), are currently believed to be residing in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). The authorities in Belgrade have refused to arrest any of these war crimes suspects and surrender them to the custody of the ICTY in the Hague. The new Kostunica government has not even been willing to make a public commitment to do so in the foreseeable future.  More..
Chechnya: Backgrounder on the Case of Kheda Kungaeva

On March 27, 2000, Kheda Kungaeva, an eighteen-year-old woman, was taken from her home in Chechnya, beaten, raped, and murdered. (1) On February 28, 2001, the Rostov District Military Court will try Col. Yuri Budanov for Kungaeva's murder. It is the first and only case in which Russian authorities promptly and publicly acknowledged a crime, perpetrated by Russian federal forces against civilians in Chechnya, that constitutes a gross violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. More..
Memorandum on Domestic Prosecutions for Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Chechnya
February 13, 2001

Russian authorities have concealed and obstructed the prosecution of Russian forces for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the Chechnya conflict. The failure to hold violators accountable can be expected to encourage Russian federal forces to continue to perpetrate abuses. More..
Field Update on Chechnya
January 22, 2001

With major military clashes between Russian and Chechen forces ending in spring 2000, civilian lives in Chechnya are blighted by Russian forces who detain, torture, extort, and harass them on a daily basis; and by Chechen rebels who target civilians who cooperate with the Russian administration, and who bomb Russian positions in densely populated areas. More..

Urgent Concerns: Conditions Of Detention For Foreigners In Greece
December 20, 2000

(New York, December 20, 2000) The Greek Government should as a matter of urgency take measures to alleviate the extreme overcrowding and other appalling conditions of detention for foreigners held in police facilities in Greece. The United Nations (U.N.), Council of Europe (CoE), European Union (E.U.), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other intergovernmental bodies should ensure that Greece, as a member state complies fully with international and regional standards for the treatment of detainees.

Azerbaijani Parliamentary Elections Manipulated
December 29, 2000

Azerbaijan's parliamentary elections were to have been a test of that country's commitment to the rule of law and to meeting the requirements for joining the Council of Europe. The exercise was a spectacular failure.

Azerbaijani Parliamentary Elections Manipulated
October 30, 2000

Parliamentary elections scheduled for November 5 were to have been a test of Azerbaijan's commitment to the rule of law and to its obligations as a country seeking accession to join the Council of Europe. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted on June 28 to recommend to the Committee of Ministers that Azerbaijan be admitted to the Council of Europe and asked Azerbaijan "to ensure that its planned elections be free and impartial." The Council of Ministers is unlikely to vote on Azerbaijan's accession until after the parliamentary vote.

Turkey: Draft Prison Laws Need Wider Debate
October 28, 2000

Human Rights Watch welcomes the Justice Ministry's apparent abandonment of plans to impose a regime of isolation in its new F-type high security prisons. However, the organization believes that further work on the draft laws issued last week will be necessary in order to allay fears among prisoners and their families. In recent months the Turkish authorities have used violence and the law to suppress the debate on the future of its prison system.

Serbia: Elections Unlikely to be Free or Fair
September 15, 2000

In the beginning of September, Politika, the main government-controlled newspaper in Serbia, published an editorial accusing opposition leaders of treachery, calling them "individuals who entered the sixth decade of their lives without ever having done anything practical," "well-fed dogs," and "Freemasons."

Escalating Repression in Serbia: An Update on Harassment of the Otpor (Resistance) Movement
June 2000

During May 2000, the Serbian government intensified its efforts to silence opposition to the government of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. On May 17, Serbian police raided Studio B television—a prominent opposition television station in Belgrade—accusing it of being "in the service of NATO machinery." That same day the government closed Radio B2-92, Radio Index, and the Blic daily, all independent media outlets.

Tajikistan's Parliamentary Elections
February, 2000

(New York, February 25, 2000)--Six parties will contest elections to the lower chamber of a new bicameral parliament in Tajikistan on February 27, 2000. The vote will mark the first multiparty elections since the June 1997 peace agreement that ended Tajikistan's civil war, and are seen as the culmination of the peace process.

NATO's Use of Cluster Munitions in Yugoslavia
May 11,1999

Though probably no more than a few hundred air-delivered cluster bombs have been used to date in Yugoslavia, there reportedly already have been civilian casualties. A NATO airstrike on the airfield in Nis last week went off target, hitting a hospital complex and adjoining civilian areas. In an earlier incident on April 24, five boys were reported to have been killed and two injured when what was evidently a cluster bomb submunition exploded near the village of Doganovic, fifteen kilometers from Urosevac in southern Kosovo. The munition was described as having a yellow-colored jacket, identical to that of the CBU-87 or RBL755 bomblets.

Kosovo Backgrounder: Sexual Violence as International Crime
May 10, 1999

Acts such as rape, sexual assault, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced sterilization, forced abortion, and forced pregnancy may all qualify as crimes under national and international laws.

It is possible for an individual perpetrator to be charged under national law with a common crime, such as rape, and also charged under international law for an international crime such as genocide or crimes against humanity, without double jeopardy. Even if the two charges are grounded on the same assault, each requires proof of different elements at trial, particularly on the issue of intent.



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