Russia’s first report on global human rights slams West, Libya, Geor

Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, Russia
Jan 12 2012

Russia’s first report on global human rights slams West, Libya, Georgia – text

LENGTH: 27194 words

The following is the full text of “Report on the Situation with Human
Rights in Certain States”, published in English by the Russian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on 12 January (available in
various formats at
), the
Russian version of which was published on the ministry’s website on 28
December 2011; subheadings and footnotes as published:


United States of America

The situation in the USA is far from the ideals proclaimed in
Washington. The main outstanding issue is an abhorrent Guantanamo
prison, which is still detaining 171 prisoners, suspected of having
ties with terrorists. President B. Obama Enhanced Coverage
LinkingObama -Search using:Biographies Plus NewsNews, Most Recent 60
Dayssanctioned indefinite and extrajudicial detention and the
resumption of military tribunals.

The incumbent administration continues to apply a variety of methods
of controlling society and interfering in the private lives of the
American people that were adopted by the special services under George
Bush on the pretext of the combating terrorism. At the same time, the
White House and the US Department of Justice shelter from liability
CIA operatives and high-ranking officials, guilty of mass and severe
violations of human rights standards.

There are ongoing violations of international humanitarian law in the
armed conflict areas and in the course of counterterrorism operations,
indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force.

Longstanding systematic problems of the American society are
aggravating, such as racial discrimination, xenophobia, overcrowded
prisons, unreasoned use of death penalties, in particular with respect
to innocent, minor and mentally disabled persons, as well as flawed
electoral system and corruption.

There has been a sharp worsening of situation concerning the
fulfillment of basic social and economic rights of citizens, including
collective bargaining rights. Permanent deficits of federal and local
budgets revealed gaps in the judicial system, including inadequate
access to justice.

Extraterritorial application of American laws affects Russian-American
relations most seriously. It leads to violations of the basic rights
and freedoms of Russians, including arbitrary arrests and abductions
from third countries, ill-treatment, criminal prosecution based on the
basis of evidence given by false agents and doubtful evidence (cases
against Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko are the most striking

During Obama’s Enhanced Coverage LinkingObama’s -Search
using:Biographies Plus NewsNews, Most Recent 60 Dayspresidency the USA
has not expanded its international legal obligations in the
humanitarian field and still participates only in three out of nine
core human rights treaties. The Americans have not so far ratified the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against
Women and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (only Somalia
has not also acceded to it). Washington refuses to cooperate with
convention mechanisms to consider individual and collective complaints
related to violations of human rights by states, arguing that American
judicial system copes with that task without outside assistance.

In January 2012 it will be 10 years since a special prison in the US
navy base at Guantanamo was established. 171 prisoners remain in that
prison (242 at the time B. Obama Enhanced Coverage LinkingObama
-Search using:Biographies Plus NewsNews, Most Recent 60 Daystook the
office). There is one Russian citizen among them – R. K. Mingazov,
arrested in Pakistan in 2002.

In July 2010 the USA for the first time repatriated a prisoner against
his will: a 35-year old Algerian A. Nadgy was sent home despite the
concerns that he will be again subject to tortures by the governmental
authorities or by islamists.

B. Obama Enhanced Coverage LinkingObama -Search using:Biographies
Plus NewsNews, Most Recent 60 Daysrevised his earlier critical
attitude towards military commissions. He authorized their resumption
under the condition of giving additional assurances to defendants,
including restrictions on the use of hearsay evidence and those
obtained by torture. Regarding 48 most dangerous Guantanamo prisoners,
against which criminal proceedings could be hardly organized in the
absence of sufficient proof of their guilt or due to the expiry of the
statute of limitations, the administration decided to continue its
practice of indefinite extrajudicial custody. Probably the same
destiny will be shared by 30 Yemenites, whom the administration is
ready to repatriate as soon as the security situation improves in
their home country.

In September 2006 G. Bush de-facto acknowledged the existence of CIA
“black site” prisons announcing the transfer of 14 detainees to the
Guantanamo base. As it became known later, in 2002-2003 special
services established about 10 similar detention centers, including in
Afghanistan, Iraq, Thailand, Morocco, Romania, Lithuania and Poland,
which kept approximately 100 prisoners ”in a legal vacuum”.

On behalf of five former CIA prisoners, the American Civil Liberties
Union (ACLU) filed a federal lawsuit against Jeppesen DataPlan, a
subsidiary of Boeing company, which transferred the captives to “black
site” prisons. However, Obama’s Enhanced Coverage LinkingObama’s
-Search using:Biographies Plus NewsNews, Most Recent 60
Daysadministration blocked this case, referring to a state secret. At
the same time, the US Supreme Court denied the appeal by plaintiffs in
May 2011.

In violation of the US international legal obligations under the
Convention against Torture, the US Department of Justice decided not
to prosecute intelligence officers, who practiced harsh interrogation
techniques towards suspected terrorists. Meanwhile, treatment of
prisoners in CIA black sites was identified as tortures, particularly
in reports made by the ICRC and by Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of
Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. Interrogations under torture
resulted in deaths of several detainees (a special prosecutor J.
Durham, who in 2009 was tasked to investigate whether the CIA’s
interrogation techniques were legitimate, recommended to initiate
criminal cases only on two violent deaths).

Former officials from the US Department of Justice have not been
sentenced either (for instance, J. Yoo is a professor of law at Berkly
University, J. Bibby became a Judge of the Nevada Court, S. Bradbury
is a legal advisor of one of the main presidential candidates from
republicans for the forthcoming elections, M. Romney). They authorized
the use of such torture techniques, as forced deprivation of sleep for
a long time, placing in a box with insects, forced nudity,
waterboarding and simulated drowning.

A. Rahim al-Nashiri, who was kept in American “black site” prisons in
Afghanistan, Thailand and Poland, failed to access justice in the USA.
In this regard the lawyers of the Saudi citizen filed a request to the
Polish Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the detaining conditions of
their client in the secret prison in that country. For the same
reason, this March a Yemen national, M. al-Asad filed to the African
Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights a lawsuit against another
state with CIA “black site” prison on its territory, Djibouti.

Published in 2011, the report with an explicit title “Torture without
punishment: treatment of prisoners during G. W. Bush administration”,
Human Rights Watch, became an illustrative example. This report,
compared to the same reports, contains more evidence of crimes during
G. Bush presidency and indicates persons, who, in view of the NGO,
should be personally brought to criminal responsibility (G. W. Bush
himself, former Vice-President D. Cheney, former Secretary of Defence
D. Rumsfeld, the CIA Director G. Tenet, the President’s National
Security Advisor C. Rice, the Secretary of State C. Powell, the
Attorney General G. Ashcroft and other high-ranked officials, who
reportedly “developed a legal basis for the use of torture”).

According to human rights defenders, Barak Obama’s Enhanced Coverage
LinkingObama’s -Search using:Biographies Plus NewsNews, Most Recent
60 Daysassumption of office did not put an end to the practice of
spying against “internal enemies” used by American intelligence
agencies. In particular, since 2008 the investigation is underway into
the links between a pacifist and trade union movement, and foreign
entities which the Administration has listed among terrorist
organizations – Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine and Hezbollah. The list of suspects
includes members of NGOs, teachers, bloggers, religious leaders –
anyone who openly criticizes the US policy in Latin America and in the
Middle East. Only last autumn 23 activists were summoned to court.

In May 2011, the US Congress extended the USA Patriot Act adopted
after the events of September 11, 2001. Law enforcement bodies retain
a right to follow those suspected in extremist activities, even if
they are not connected with any specific terrorist organizations.
Apart from that, the FBI, National Security Agency and other
intelligence agencies have reserved almost unlimited powers to tap
telephone conversations without court’s sanctions, as well as to
intercept electronic and regular mail of individuals and organizations
suspected of terrorism. Furthermore, they can further request from any
institutions and business companies any information they are
interested in, including confidential one (financial accounts, medical
records, banking statements etc.). The official data published by the
FBI in 2010 indicate that the agency increased four times the number
of permanent wiretapping operations. During the same period 24,300
orders to provide confidential information related to Americans and
foreigners (for a total of 14,200 people) were forwarded to various

Early this year with the sanction of Eric H. Holder, Attorney General
of the United States, the FBI has prepared a classified handbook for
their agent which gives them the right not to clarify legal safeguards
to individuals suspected of association with Al-Qaeda and Taliban when
they are detained on the US territory.

Following the failed terrorist attack in the Detroit airport in
December 2009, the list of individuals banned from flying with the
American airlines, as well as foreign airlines passing through the US
airspace was almost doubled (before December 2009 the list contained
about 3,400 names, now it has nearly 6,000 names). As a result, some
Americans are unable to return to their homes from abroad and remain
in forced exile. In June 2010, the American Civil Rights Union filed a
lawsuit against the Government on behalf of 10 American citizens
included in this list. Human rights defendants believe that the FBI
uses this practice in order to interrogate abroad persons of interest
to intelligence agencies without a lawyer.

Freedom of expression and press is guaranteed in the United States by
the First Amendment to the US Constitution and has traditionally been
one of the most protected liberal values; but it has also been
seriously restricted in the years following the terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001.

According to the Reporters Without Borders organization, in 2009-2010
the United States held 20th position in the world (out of 178) in
terms of the level of freedom of press. Another NGO, Freedom House,
put the US at 25th position in 2010.

Despite Barack Obama’s Enhanced Coverage LinkingObama’s -Search
using:Biographies Plus NewsNews, Most Recent 60 Dayspromise to
increase the level of transparency of governmental bodies, the US
Administration has declared a real war against Julian Assange, the
founder of the WikiLeaks web project that has published thousands of
files containing classified information about the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan, as well as secret correspondence of the US foreign

Criminal charges were brought against Pfc. Bradley Manning suspected
of disclosing classified information to the web site. Barack Obama
Enhanced Coverage LinkingObama -Search using:Biographies Plus
NewsNews, Most Recent 60 Daysqualified measures taken in respect of
the soldier as “adequate”. Under pressure from international human
rights defenders, initial conditions of his confinement were improved.
At the same time he faced 22 additional charges, including “aiding the
enemy”, which can lead to a death penalty.

Twice this year – on April 11 and July 12 – Special Rapporteur on
Torture of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Juan Mendez, has
criticized the United States for its refusal to grant him an
unhindered and unchecked access to B. Manning.

In May 2011, Federal Prosecutor sent a summons to the New York Times
reporter James Risen. The journalist is asked to testify against the
former CIA agent Jeffrey Sterling. According to public prosecution
office, the ex-CIA officer had provided the reporter with secret
information which he used to write one of the chapters of his book
State of War (about CIA’s plans to provide Iran with false nuclear
technologies with the aid of a Russian agent).

It has been a few years now that the US Congress fails to pass
legislation entitling journalists to keep their sources secret (except
for certain situations when a court acknowledges disclosure of
information necessary).

Journalists in America have been increasingly losing their jobs due to
their “politically incorrect” language. Thus, in June 2010 under
pressure from influential Jewish circles legendary Helen Thomas ended
her career after he had criticized Israel’s actions in respect of the
Freedom Flotilla. In July 2010, CNN’s Middle East affairs senior
editor Octavia Nasr was fired after she had expressed on Twitter her
regret over the death of Sayyed Fadlallah, the spiritual leader of the
Lebanese Shias.

On November 11, 2011, Dunja Mijatoviæ, the OSCE Representative on
Freedom of the Media, attacked with severe criticism the US
authorities for the arrests of journalists who had been covering
Occupy Wall Street public protests. She qualified the actions of the
law enforcement bodies as “jeopardizing freedom of the media and
public interests”. On the EU’s initiative, this issue was tabled at
the session of the OSCE Permanent Council on November 17, at which the
US side had to report on the unlawful actions of New-York police with
respect to the journalists. The representative of the United States to
the Council admitted that the “wrongful” detention of journalists
“would be subject to investigation”.

According to the data provided by the Iraq Body Count project, by
August 2011 the conflict in Iraq cost up to 111,600 civilian lives.
These figures are backed by the secret reports from the theatre of
operations published on WikiLeaks web-site (109,000 lives between
January 2004 and December 2009). A research conducted by a reputable
medical journal The Lancet with due account for extraneous factors –
illnesses, famine, general crisis of the health system and crime
fighting, etc. – shows that over a single period from March 2003, when
the US intervention began, to October 2006 more than 650,000 Iraqis
(servicemen and civilians) died in the country in addition to regular

In April 2010, WikiLeaks published the so-called Iraq Dossier that
disclosed previously unknown facts of civilian casualties in Iraq in
2004-2009. Among other things it includes a 39-minute helicopter video
of an air attack on Baghdad on July 12, 2007 that killed two Reuters
reports and destroyed a building with women and children inside. The
documents show that American servicemen knew about the offences but
often turned a blind eye to them. The United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay has urged the US authorities to
carry out an inquiry into these cases and bring those responsible to

The death toll among the Afghan civilians since the beginning of the
Enduring Freedom operation in this country in 2001 reached nearly
11.5-14.2 thousand (up to 34.5 thousand given the indirect death
factors). Moreover, around 5.7-9 thousand civilians were killed by the
international coalition forces led by the USA (mostly as a result of
air strikes and drone attacks).

Staffan de Mistura, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General
in Afghanistan, stated on July 14, 2011, that over the last six months
the civilian casualties increased by 15 per cent compared to the 2010
level and reached nearly 1.5 thousand (of which 14 per cent died
because of the international coalition and pro-Government forces). As
many as 368 civilians were killed in May.

Violence, intimidation and terrorization practices have been
continuously used against the civilians by many employees of private
security companies, actively recruited (more than 110 thousand) by the
US agents to work in Iraq, such as Blackwater, DynCorp and others. The
most notorious incident called the “Nisour Square Bloodbath” took
place in Baghdad on September 16, 2007, when the Blackwater
contractors (renamed Xe Services in February 2009) shot dead 17
unarmed Iraqi civilians. In December 2008 five perpetrators faced
criminal charges that were dismissed a year later by the Washington
federal court on the grounds of immunity of the guards contracted by
the government. Xe Services remains one of the three major mercenary
firms employed by the US Department of State to work in other
countries, including Afghanistan.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in its
concluding observations regarding the fourth, fifth, and sixth
periodic reports of the United States expressed concern about
increased racial profiling by the US law-enforcement authorities. The
Committee expressed concern, inter alia, that racial, ethnic and
national minorities, mainly African Americans and Latin Americans, are
concentrated in deprived areas with poor housing conditions, limited
employment opportunities, inadequate access to medical and social care
and high criminality.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,
Islamophobia has become highly visible in the USA. Thus, e.g., the
citizens firmly opposed plans to build three mosques in various parts
of New York (Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island). In Murfreesboro,
Tennessee, unknown assailants set fire to construction equipment at
the future site of an Islamic cultural center and placed the sign “not

Evidence given during the hearings in the US Senate Committee on the
Judiciary in March 2011 show that adherents of Islam constitute less
than 1 per cent of the US population, however they are victims of 14
per cent of all religious discrimination incidents. In general, since
the 2001 terrorist attacks the US Department of Justice investigated
800 cases of violence, vandalism and arson against Muslims, Arabs and
South Asians.

Under the pretext of combating terrorism the FBI has developed and is
actively implementing the program for monitoring the Arab and Muslim
communities. The intelligence agencies propose illegal migrants to
legitimize their status if they agree to spy on “suspicious
individuals” within their religious communities, and threaten to
deport them from the country if they refuse to cooperate.

In total, according to the Amnesty International, over 32 million US
nationals at least once in their life have suffered from racial
discrimination by the law-enforcement authorities. Moreover, the white
Americans have also been raising the alarm about the increased
incidences of “black racism”. There has been a growth in the numbers
of both xenophobic groups which, according to human rights
organization, reached 926 in 2008, and extremist movements of African
Americans campaigning against the Anglo-Saxons and Jews.

Willie Lee Bell, a 47-year-old famous black poet, one of the leaders
of the African American culture, which gained wide public recognition
for its protest rap songs dedicated to the fight against racial
discrimination in the USA, was shot dead in Florida on May 30, 2011.

According to the Human Rights Watch, about 38 million aliens and
stateless persons currently live in the USA, of which around 11
million are illegal immigrants.

The joint report of the National Immigration Law Centre and the ACLU
of Northern California issued in 2009 show that the immigrants are
held in conditions similar to, if not worse than those of the inmates.
Since 2003, 100 people died in US immigration centers.

>From September 2009 to September 2010 a record number of illegal
aliens – 392 thousand (a new goal of 404 thousand was established for
2011) – were deported. The year 2010 set another record – over 250
immigrants died while trying to cross the US-Mexican border.

In July 2010 the ACLU together with the Human Rights Watch published a
report stating that persons with mental illnesses, including the US
nationals, are often erroneously deported.

The USA remains a country with the largest prison population
(according to the US Department of Justice, in 2009 it constituted 2.3
million) and highest per capita prison population in the world (743
per 100 thousand people). Every 132 US resident is currently in
prison. Furthermore, over 140 thousand are serving a life sentence.

The experts believe that the main reason for the overcrowding in the
prisons is the steady and general strengthening of the criminal law
over the last 40 years. Since the 1960s the focus has progressively
shifted from reeducation to extreme isolation of offenders.

About 20 thousand people are permanently held in solitary confinement
which often leads to mental diseases. Detainees of the Pelican Bay
Maximum Security Prison went on another hunger strike in July 2011 in
protest at the inhuman conditions of detention.

The international NGOs are raising great alarm about the situation of
juvenile offenders in the USA. Today around 90 thousand juvenile
offenders are serving various sentences, of which nearly 7 thousand
got a life sentence (1.7 thousand – without parole).

The human rights defenders are deeply concerned about the situation of
female prison population (206 thousand in 2008). Twenty-three states
and the Federal Bureau of Prisons allow handcuffing women during

In June 2011 an article of Sara Flounders, member of the US Workers
World Party and leader of the International Action Center, was
published on the Global Research website containing evidence that
major US military corporations, in pursuit of excess profit,
increasingly use prison labor and violate the rights of inmates by
given them meager pay.

The American Civil Liberties Union drafted a report, which states that
over recent 20 years the number of private prisons in the United
States has increased many times. According to official statistics as
of 2010, dozens of private prisons hosted 148 thousand of the
estimated 2.3 million American “prison population”. These are 6 per
cent of all state prisoners, 16 per cent convicted under federal laws,
and half of the illegal migrants detained in the USA. Human rights
activists believe that it is groundless to refer to half-empty budgets
of states and huge federal budget deficit as a reason for
privatization of a key function of the State – isolation of criminals
from society. The report explains the privatization of correctional
facilities by the fact that many states in the U.S. have laws
establishing long prison terms for minor offenses. The resulting
benefits go to large corporations that organize part of secondary
production in prisons to use their very cheap labour force. The study
by the ACLU has specific facts showing that the situation in private
detention facilities (morbidity, mortality and violence against the
prisoners, conditions of their detention) is no better, and often
worse, than in state penitentiary system.

Although in March 2011 Illinois became the 16th state in the U.S. to
abolish the death penalty, it is still used actually in 12 states.
After 10 years of steady decline in the number of executions (from 98
in 1999 to 37 in 2008), under Barack Obama Enhanced Coverage
LinkingObama -Search using:Biographies Plus NewsNews, Most Recent 60
Daysthe number of executions surged to 52 in 2009 and 46 in 2010. Over
the first 7 months of 2011, 31 death sentences were enforced (the
first place is consistently taken by Texas: 24 in 2009 and 17 in
2010). The U.S. government continues to execute minors (22 cases since
1976) and mentally challenged (at least three in recent five years).
The total number of inmates on death row in the U.S. is more than 3.2
thousand people (including foreigners, two Russians among them).

The chink in armour of the American justice system in terms of capital
punishment is the perversion of justice. Over the past 30 years, more
than 130 convicted people had been found not guilty post factum. The
execution in September2011, 22 years after the death sentence, of a
black American Troy Davis, advocated by many human rights activists
worldwide, has once again demonstrated the serious nature of the death
penalty issue in the United States.

On July 8, 2011, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay
expressed deep regret over the execution of Mexican citizen Humberto
Leal Garcia in the U.S. Back in 2004, the International Court of
Justice issued a ruling ordering the U.S. to review the cases of 50
Mexicans, including Mr. Garcia, sentenced to death, on the grounds
that they were not provided with consular assistance. Navi Pillay said
that by executing Garcia, the United States violated international

Human rights activists are concerned by the fact that independent
candidates are barred from elections and electoral offices, as well as
the practice of appointing senators to governors’ offices in case of
offices becoming vacant early. In this regard, it is worth noting the
case of former Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich, who in fact
attempted to sell the seat of a senator from Illinois, which became
vacant after Barack Obama Enhanced Coverage LinkingObama -Search
using:Biographies Plus NewsNews, Most Recent 60 Dayswas elected U.S.

The U.S. is still criticized for failure to comply with international
labour standards. The U.S. has one of the weakest systems in Western
countries securing workers’ rights for organizing trade unions and
collective bargaining, and in recent 10 years the country has not
ratified any ILO convention. There is no effective system of
arbitration in the event employers deny to compromise. In March 2011,
the state of Wisconsin passed a law that further restricts the rights
of workers for collective bargaining. Similar bills are being prepared
in the states of Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio,
Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Mass shootings of innocent civilians by mentally ill persons remain an
acute problem in the U.S. One of the latest shocking examples is the
incident of January 8, 2011, in Arizona, where during the meeting of
Gabrielle Giffords, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
(Democratic Party), with her voters, the fire opened by mentally ill
22-year Jared Lee Loughner killed six people (including a judge, a
clergyman, a 9-year-old girl) and wounded 14, including the
Congresswoman herself.

Under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right to keep
and bear arms cannot be infringed by authorities. At the moment, its
bearing for self-defence is permitted by law in 49 states (except
Illinois). Twenty six states do not require any special license for

Attempts to toughen up the laws in this area have consistently been
opposed by advocates of the Second Amendment, including the
influential National Rifle Association comprising four million people.

According to the report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services published in 2011, in 2009 (later data not yet available)
human services agencies received about 3.3 million applications for
suspected cases of violence against more than 6 million children. The
checks resulted in strong evidence of ill-treatment against 763
thousand victims (one in a hundred of Americans minors). Among them,
1770 people (2.4 per 100,000) were killed, 75 per cent of them at the
hand or by an oversight of their parents. The greatest number of
victims (over 80 per cent) are children under 4 years. The vast
majority of incidents are related to the fact that children were left
unattended (78 per cent). The second most common cause is physical
abuse (17.7 per cent), the third one is sexual violence (almost 10 per
cent), and the fourth one is psychological pressure (7.6 per cent).

As a result of identified violations of the law, about 211 thousand
children were separated from their parents or guardians, placed in
orphanages and foster homes. More than 700 thousand other children
needed other kinds of public assistance, including medical care,
defending legal rights in court and preventive registration of their
mothers and fathers in social security agencies.

The influential American Bar Association (ABA) in its 2011 special
report concluded that, due to cost reductions in the judiciary
institutions of the United States (at the average by 10-15 per cent
over the past three years) the burden on judges has risen sharply and
quality of justice has decreased.

The crisis in the U.S. economy has led to numerous cases of
litigation. The courts were literally inundated with claims. At the
same time, 31 states have cut or frozen wages of court officials, 26
states have discontinued recruiting judges to fill existing vacancies,
24 states have increased fees from the participants of litigation, and
14 states have reduced business time of courts.

In Florida alone, the delays of justice in housing disputes led to
about $ 10 billion of damage for the participants of litigation. The
total losses due to prolonged commercial dispute proceedings in the
largest U.S. city court of Los Angeles (5,400 employees and 600
meeting rooms) were above $15 billion, while losses for lawyers
amounted to about $13 billion

The employees of the judiciary system are beginning to show open
discontent. In 2010, for example, 330 employees of New York Court of
Appeals demanded the state government to increase wages (there was no
salary increase during 11 years). They also complained about the
excessive workload, since on average every judge handles 3,500 cases.

Extraterritorial application by the American side of the US
legislation to Russian citizens is among the main humanitarian and
human rights concerns in our bilateral relations with the US. First of
all, they include arrests of Russian citizens in third countries made
at the requests of the US law enforcement agencies with the direct
involvement of agents of American special services and agencies.

Viktor Bout was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 by the local police
and agents of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
to be later extradited to the USA and charged with conspiring to
murder US citizens and servicemen, acquiring and selling MANPADS,
financing a foreign terrorist organization, money laundering, fraud
related to cash transfers, and violating US sanctions introduced
against him in 2004. The Russian Foreign Ministry demanded that
Bangkok provide the official documents authorizing the extradition of
the Russian citizen to Washington. Since August 10, 2011, several
court sessions have been held in Bangkok to discuss the legitimacy of
the extradition of the Russian citizen to the United States, including
the procedure of his transfer from the local prison to US special
agents. On November 2, 2011, the US jury court unanimously found
Viktor Bout guilty of all charges, and the sentence will be pronounced
on February 8, 2012.

Konstantin Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in May 2010 with the
assistance of officers of the United States Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA). On May 31, 2010, he was forcibly brought in the
American territory without any court decision. The Russian diplomatic
mission was not informed of the arrest of our citizen. Konstantin
Yaroshenko was subject to both psychological and physical pressure. In
the USA he was charged with conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the
United States and sentenced to a 20-year imprisonment on September 7,
2011. All the evidence was based on intercepted phone calls rather
than concrete actions.

Another Russian citizen Stanislav Satarinov (charged with
narcotics-related crimes and transferred from Germany to the United
States on April 14, 2011) was arrested in Germany in November 2010 at
the request of the U.S. Department of Justice as Mr. Zdorovenin
arrested in Switzerland in March 2011.

Provocative political games played in the United States around the
case of Sergey Magnitsky, Hermitage Fund lawyer, who died in Moscow
pre-trial detention center in 2009, are also directed against Russian
citizens. A list of Russian officials allegedly involved in the
lawyer’s death (so called ”Magnitsky list”) was drawn up with
assistance of a number of US law-makers and new bills were brought
before US Congress to impose visa and financial sanctions against
those individuals, which violates the presumption of innocence
principle. In July 2011, the State Department announced its decision
to restrict access to the US for a number of undisclosed officials of
Russian law enforcement agencies referring to their involvement in
Magnitsky case.

Two Russian citizens face death penalty in the United States. In 2007
Yuri Mikhel was sentenced to death for complicity in a series of
murders by the Court in California. He has been held in a separate
cell with no windows for many years and is not allowed to have walks
and communicate with other prisoners. Natalia Leshchenko-Wilson is
charged with killing the ex-spouse of her American husband and her

Violence against adopted Russian children in US families is another
grave concern.

Legal proceedings against Michael Grismore charged with raping an
adopted Russian girl Ksenia Antonova continue in the United States.
The defense uses all possible tricks, including forged papers, to
excuse the defendant. And the social service of the Cherokee County,
Georgia, delays granting that girl the US citizenship ignoring the
fact that she has been repeatedly placed in mental hospitals without
cause and in violation of the procedures existing in the United

On November 18, 2011, the Court of York, Pennsylvania, passed an
unreasonably light sentence to the Cravers charged with the death of
adopted Russian boy Vanya Skorobogatov in August 2009 (the body of a
seven-year old child had about eighty injuries). Although the
prosecution called for the capital punishment believing that Vanya
Skorobogatov died through his foster parents’ fault, the Cravers were
released in a court room after a 1.5-year imprisonment.

Adoptive mother of a Russian boy Daniil Bukharov Jessica Bigley,
Alaska, who was filmed to openly abuse him, was found guilty of minor
offense in August 2011. The administered punishment includes a 180-day
imprisonment and a fine of USD 2,500 with a three-year test period.

Dmitry Zharkov came to the United States for medical treatment in 2008
and is staying with the Ekman family in South Carolina. Contrary to
their promises they have never launched the adoption procedure
although the boy’s US visa has already expired. As for Julia Oshchenko
even with the appropriate arrangements in place, the procedure of her
adoption by US national R.Silanksas has not been formally completed
either. The child was brought to the United States for medical
treatment in 2004 and is still there in violation of both Russian and
American laws.

EU Countries

The situation of non-citizens in the Baltic countries, Roma people,
migrants and refugees, and manifestations of racism and xenophobia are
particularly troublesome human rights issues in the EU.

These problems were voiced most clearly at the briefing on racial and
religious intolerance in Europe held on September 15, 2011, by
high-profile human rights NGOs Human Rights Watch, International
Federation for Human Rights and Amnesty International in the margins
of the 18th session of the HRC.

Human rights defenders expressed a deep concern over the situation of
national and religious minorities in the European Union that has
emerged in recent years. The situation of Muslim minorities as well as
Africans and Roma people was mainly subject to criticism. A particular
emphasis was placed on such issues as the ban on wearing pieces of
clothing traditional for Muslim woman (hijab, niqab, paranja etc),
raising obstacles to religious worships, appalling conditions of
detention of illegal migrants, deportation of Roma people etc. The
situation was described as a purposeful discrimination on the grounds
of race and religion. The main conclusion suggests that xenophobia and
intolerance are increasing in the EU while the far-right rhetoric is
growing more popular. It was noted that the trend is aggravating after
the well-known terrorist attacks in Norway. It was emphasized that the
European governments did not try to address it but, on the contrary,
were using these developments for internal political purposes. It
mainly concerned Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Meanwhile,
France was specifically targeted by the critics for its failure and
unwillingness to comply with appropriate European legislation.
Switzerland was criticized for banning construction of mosques in the
canton of St. Gallen.

Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty (on December 1,
2009), the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union became
mandatory for implementation by the EU structures and Member States.
It is applied, however, only in cases when Member States implement the
EU legislation; it is not applied when they adopt and enforce their
own national laws that are not directly connected with the EU law.

After the Charter had become effective, the European Parliament (EP)
started engaging in monitoring the human rights situation in the EU.
On December 15, 2010, its plenary session in Strasbourg adopted the
resolution ”Situation of fundamental rights in the European Union
(2009) – Effective implementation after the entry into force of the
Treaty of Lisbon”. The latter stated that the situation with human
rights in the EU countries is far from being good. The most serious
concerns were raised by the issues in such fields as freedom of
movement; privacy and personal information protection; rights of
refugees and migrants; human trafficking; protection of victims of
crime; rights of detainees; protection of children, including from
maltreatment, sexual exploitation, pornography and negative influence
of the Internet; freedom of mass media; combating racism, xenophobia
and anti-Semitism; discrimination, including against ethnicities; the
absence of a strategy of social integration of the Roma
(Gypsies).”Sanctions for using a language other than the official
language of a Member State” were considered an infringement on the
fundamental rights.

The criticism of the European Parliament toward the EU is
characteristic of a halfway approach and has no concrete target: they
only indicated problems without attributing them to specific
countries; there are no concrete examples of human rights violations.
The resolution provides only one such episode, which concerns the
non-compliance by the European Commission and Council of the European
Union with the 2007 EP recommendations with regard to the alleged use
of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal
detention of prisoners.

On the whole, however, the EU competence with regard to human rights
regulations is quite limited since protection and promotion of human
rights remain the prerogative of its Member States. As far as
consistency of national legislations with the provisions of the EU
Charter of Fundamental Rights and other fundamental legal documents of
the UE is concerned, it is monitored by the European Commission.
Lately, it has twice warned the EU Member States that steps might be
taken with regard to the violations of the Charter, including
initiating legal action in the European Court. The first case was
related to the deportation of Roma from France (late summer-early fall
2010); the second one concerned the adoption by Hungary of the law on
mass media limiting the freedom of expression (December 2010). In both
cases, the countries preferred not to take the issue to court and
agreed to modify their legislations in compliance with the
recommendations of the European Commission. Despite the successful
resolution of the above situations, the EU problems have not been
fully eliminated and continue being discussed on various levels.

The reports by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), which since
2007 is the main body monitoring human rights situations, admit that
the existing mechanism for application of the EU anti-discrimination
legislation is not effective enough; which is especially noticeable in
the situation of increased racism and xenophobia. It is noted that the
EU existing legal instruments and their practical application do not
yield due results in terms of combating discrimination. The registered
crime related to racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism is on the
increase everywhere although their statistical registration practices
leave much to be desired (for example, the data on
anti-Semitism-related crimes are satisfactory collected only in 6 EU
countries). There is also poor awareness among the citizens on their
rights and the existence of organizations supporting victims of such

Regular public opinion surveys by the FRA among the UE States’
citizens show that about 75 per cent of those interviewed are not
aware of their rights and have no idea of where they could refer in
case of violation of their rights while migrants and minority
representatives virtually have no knowledge of the EU
anti-discrimination laws.

According to the FRA, the Roma, while being the EU largest ethnic
minority, are suffering, more than any other population group, from
discrimination, poverty, unemployment, unsatisfactory living
conditions and low education and healthcare levels. The life
expectancy among Roma in the EU countries is on average 11-15 years
shorter compared with that of their native population.

There has been practice of deportation of Roma into Bulgaria and
Romania. According to the European Roma Rights Centre, in 2009 about
10,000 Roma were deported from France and 100 from Germany; in 2010,
23 Roma were deported from Denmark, 50 from Sweden, 100 from Italy and
8,000 from France.

Some EU countries (Czech Republic, Greece, Slovak Republic) are still
practicing segregation of Roma children in schools, concentrating them
in special classes for the mentally retarded.

A year later after the ”Roma scandal” [1] in France, Viviane Reding,
the Vice-President of the European Commission and EU Commissioner for
Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, said that the European
Commission had taken steps to bring the legislations of the 27 EU
countries in consistence with the 2004 Directive on the right of EU
citizens and their families to move and reside freely on the
territories of Member Countries; she also noted that 16 countries had
already successfully implemented the guidelines of the European
Commission. As of August 11, 2011, however, 11 countries (Austria,
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Republic of Malta, Poland,
Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Great Britain) have not yet made the
necessary changes to their legislations, which can lead to their cases
being possibly referred to the European Court. That concerns 75
provisions of the national legislations of the EU countries related to
family members’ rights to entry and permanently reside, residence
permits for citizens from third countries and provision of safeguards
against deportation.

In 2010, the FRA conducted a survey among almost 900 asylum seekers.
It showed that many of them are unable to receive clarifications on
the procedure of granting asylum in their native language. In France
and Greece, those documents are printed only in 5 languages while the
applicants represent over 100 nationalities.

Noticeable human rights violations were observed with regard to
granting asylum and immigration policy during the refugee seekers
influx from Northern Africa into the EU countries in spring 2011. As
of May, Italy, France and Malta have received about 25 thousand people
from Tunisia and 11-12 thousand from Libya. In the refugee camps on
the island of Lampedusa and on Malta, there was no access to adequate
medical and legal assistance while the sanitary and hygienic
conditions left much to be desired.

Under the EU Dublin Regulation, which determines the procedure for
considering asylum applications, applicants should wait for the
decision on their cases in the country of their entry into the EU
territory. Such practice led to infringements of the rights of this
group of people.

In this context, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued the
judgment on the case M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece, proving the human
rights violation during the examination of the refugee status

The ECHR likened the attitude to asylum seekers with abuses and
inhuman treatment, as the persons while awaiting a decision on their
applications had no livelihoods, shelter, medical and legal
assistance. Currently, such practice has been suspended. However,
since in Greece and Italy there is still a significant number of
persons awaiting for their applications being examined and the
conditions of their detention in the camps were not improved, their
rights are still being violated in these countries.

According to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA),
the situation of refugee children unaccompanied by the parents causes
concern, especially the problem of their inadequate access to
healthcare, as well as their placement in the asylums for refugees
together with adults.

In the EU countries the manifestations of racism represent a serious
concern in such areas as employment, healthcare, education and
housing. According to the FRA, ”the racial hate crimes are committed
every day”. However, from its point of view, lack of the mechanism of
comparable statistics collection hampers the analysis of this
phenomenon and European fight against it. At the same time although
the efforts to establish such a mechanism have been taken, they were

Information about ethnic discrimination in employment more often came
from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Romania.
According to the FRA, in the area of labour in 2009 the following
groups suffered most from discrimination: North Africans in Italy
(30%), Roma in Greece (29%), Roma in the Czech Republic (27%),
Africans in Malta (27%), Africans in Ireland (26%), Roma in Hungary
(25%), Brazilians in Portugal (24%), Turks in Denmark (22%), Roma in
Poland (22%).

According to the FRA, in 2010 in the UK the unemployment among ethnic
minorities was two times higher than among the Englishmen. A
noticeable inequality was noted among migrants/minorities and majority
population. This is typical for migrants in Italy and ethnic Russians
in Estonia.

As it follows from the FRA 2009Annual Report, the public opinion
surveys revealed that the police officers stopped in the streets the
minority representatives more often than those of majority population.
On the average the police officers stop 33% of all North Africans, 30%
of Roma, 27% of sub-Saharan Africans, 22% of the Central and Eastern
Europe representatives and the former Yugoslavs, 21% of Turks.

Even before the terrorist attacks perpetrated in Norway the increase
of hate crimes in Internet aroused concern of the FRA. However, the
Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime
(entered into force in 2006), requiring Member States of the Council
of Europe to criminalize the dissemination of information calling for
racism or xenophobia through Computer Systems was ratified by only
eleven EU countries- Germany, France, Denmark, Cyprus, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Finland.

In 2010, Germany and Kosovo concluded an Agreement on the gradual
repatriation of Kosovar refugees, of whom about 10 000 were Roma. In
2010, 116 children returned to Kosovo, but 75 per cent of them
experienced serious difficulties in schools, because having lived in
Germany for 15 years they spoke local languages poorly or did not
speak them at all.

This runs contrary to one of the fundamental principles set forth in
Article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states
that ”in all actions concerning children,…the best interests of the
child shall be a primary consideration.”

According to the European Association for Injury Prevention and Safety
Promotion, more than 19 per cent of children in the EU countries are
subjected to physical violence in the family. The increase was noted
in the number of judicial examinations of cases related to child
sexual abuse, including those committed by the Catholic Church
representatives and senior officials (for example, in Austria, the
Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium). At the same time, only ten EU
countries (Austria, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Luxembourg, Malta, the
Netherlands, Romania, Finland, and France) ratified the Council of
Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual
Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.

”Non-citizens” in Latvia are still deprived of the opportunity to
participate in the elections to the European Parliament. And it is in
spite of the fact that the quota of the Members of the European
Parliament from Latvia (as well as other EU Member States) is
calculated on the basis of the total population in the country, i.e.
it also takes into account the ”non-citizens” living there.

In 2008, two petitions about the violation of the rights of
”non-citizens” during the elections to the European Parliament: from
Latvia (over 16,000 signatures collected) and Estonia (over 3,000
signatures collected) were sent to the European Parliament. According
to the results of the hearings, the European Parliament gave
recommendations to Latvia in favor of the claimants. However, no
changes to the voting procedure have been made.

The fact of the deprivation of the Latvian ”non-citizens” of the
voting right in the European Parliament was noted in the OSCE/ODIHR
Report concerning the elections to the European Parliament of 2009. In
spite of the facts that, in the ODIHR’s view, the commitments to the
OSCE related to the domestic elections require granting electoral
rights only to citizens of the Member States, the situation with
elections to the supranational body is essentially different. It is
evidenced by the fact that the EU Member States offer the citizens of
other EU countries the opportunity to vote in its territory, and the
example of the UK granting the right to the citizens of the
Commonwealth, i.e. the States which are not EU Members at all.
According to the ODIHR, as it stands, the issue goes beyond the
responsibility of an individual State and needs to be addressed at the
EU level. Brussels should develop minimum standards of voting rights
that would contribute to the implementation of ”the fundamental
principle of the European Union – the principle of equality.”


According to a number of international and local human rights
organizations, the human rights situation in Bulgaria remains
unsatisfactory. It is stated in the Report of the UN Human Rights
Council on Bulgaria of November 4, 2010, containing 113
recommendations addressed to the authorities of the country aimed at
improving the situation in this area. In particular, attention is paid
to the disproportionate use of force by law enforcement authorities,
infringement of the minority rights, use of violence against children
and persons with psychological disorders who are under the tutelage of
the State and living in specialized state institutions, rampage of
racist and xenophobic sentiments in society, violation of freedom of
expression, exerting pressure on the mass media.

The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee expressed the similar evaluations.
One notes an increased number of the accusatory decisions passed in
2010 by the European Court of Human Rights against Bulgaria (71 in
total) the overwhelming majority of which (61) relate to the
non-observance by the State of the main provisions of the European
Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Despite the
repeated reminders of the need to bring national legislation into line
with international standards in respect of the greater responsibility
for the use of force by law enforcement authorities and use of
firearms, it has not been done yet. Many incidents involving officials
of law enforcement authorities are still being registered.

Great Britain

The British coalition government seeks to maintain the image of a
vigorous fighter for human rights around the world. Yet, lately London
has had to make excuses for the wrongdoings of the British authorities
in this area.

1. Due to response to the disorders in August 2011, their suppression
by the law enforcement services and automatic issuance of verdicts to
the participants in the disorders by the judiciary system, the human
rights activists brought charges against the authorities for
interference in the separation of powers and politization of the
criminal proceedings. The disorders were caused among other things by
numerous murders of ethnic minorities’ representatives committed by
policemen, racial profiling, lack of trust to authorities and their
institutions in society and discontent with imperfection of judicial
and law enforcement systems as a whole.

After the August events the British courts began to automatically
issue guilty verdicts to those who participated in the disorders. By
September, the number of prisoners exceeded the detention capacities.
According to human rights activists, the conditions in penal
facilities have been the worst lately; the conditions are largely
antisanitary. The Wandsworth prison report ”added fuel to the fire”;
this report listed the facts of abuse of prisoners’ rights (no access
to basic hygiene, etc.). Every month, up to 32 prisoners attempt to
commit suicide in protest against detention conditions; up to 11 death
cases are recorded each month and 4 of them are usually suicides.

2. In September 2011, the special civil commission headed by William
Gage, finished a three-year inquiry into the death of Iraqi citizen
Baha Mousa and infliction of grave bodily injuries to another 9 Iraqis
detained by British soldiers in Basra in 2003. The commission
concluded that the soldiers of the 1st Bn Queen’s Lancashire Regiment
used illegal and impermissible means of interrogation of prisoners of
war, in fact – torture. Beatings caused death of one of 10 detainees.
The Ministry of Defence was officially recognized guilty for failing
to inform the soldiers of the interrogation standards.

The chairman of the commission identified 4 soldiers who bear personal
responsibility for the death of B. Mousa, including Cpl Donald Payne
(the only British citizen who was convicted for this crime, sentenced
to one year in prison in 2006 and then acquitted) and Colonel Jorge
Mendonca, who as the head of the unit should have been aware of the
wrongdoings by his subordinates. The commission also identified 19
more servicemen who had been involved in ill-treatment of prisoners,
including the chaplain of the Regiment.

It is expected that the conclusions made by the commission will
significantly influence the British Ministry of Defence, which has
already become a subject of more than a hundred compensation claims
submitted by the Iraqi citizens. The criminal proceedings on Mousa
case are likely to be resumed.

3. In August 2011, the British media published materials on close
contacts between British secret services and special units with the
Gaddafi regime. Specifically, in 2004 the British initiated the arrest
of A. Belhadj in Thailand, who was one of the leaders of the Libyan
Islamic Fighting Group (today he is the head of the Tripoli Military
Council). Then, in collaboration with the CIA he was transported to
his home country where British intelligence officers took part in his
”interrogations” after he had been tortured by the Gaddafi special

Furthermore, it was reported that the British secret services followed
the opponents of the Gaddafi regime residing in the territory of Great
Britain and regularly reported all their steps to Tripoli. London also
helped in training Libyan servicemen while SAS officers were sent to
Libya to instruct the Libyan special forces.

4. The law enforcement agencies also abuse human rights. In July 2011,
the Thames Valley Police kept track of those who came to see a
documentary about nuclear weapons. It was considered a pressure on
citizens and infringement of the freedom of assembly. Police officers
toke note of car registration numbers of those who attended the
screening, and they also filmed and took photos. Similar measures had
been taken in Great Britain earlier against environmental protesters.
Peter Burt, director of the Nuclear Information Service, said that
such measures taken against political activist was a ”hallmark of
totalitarian regimes”.

5. The so-called ”Newsgate” has become one of the biggest scandals
related to infringement of the right to privacy, inviolability of
correspondence and telephone conversations. The newspaper ”News of
the World”, which journalists hacked phones of celebrities and
politicians, as well as victims of resonant crimes and their
relatives, was closed. Police and judicial investigations are also
underway; a dozen of journalists and private detectives were arrested.
The senior officials of the Scotland Yard had to resign. Law
enforcement officers might be sentenced to imprisonment.

6. For the last quarter of the year, several cases were recorded when
suspects died due to unprofessional actions of the police officers
during the arrest. Philip Hulmes, 53, and Dale Burns, 27, had a heart
failure after Taser. Jacob Michael, 25, died from the allergic
reaction to pepper spray after he had been beaten by 11 police
officers in front of his relatives and neighbors.

7. Another resonant lawsuit over the fact of torture, violence, other
forms of violent or degrading treatment and punishment was the case of
Kenyan businessman Omar Awadh Omar who sued the British authorities to
recognize an involvement of the secret services in kidnapping
terrorist suspects. On September 17, 2010 (two months after the July
terrorist attack in Kampala) he was kidnapped by the Ugandan secret
services and accused of arranging the explosion that took 76 human
lives. At the interrogations he was beaten and tortured. According to
Omar Awadh Omar, officers of American and British secret services
participated in the inquiry. In particular, he said that in January
2011 persons who introduced themselves as MI5 officers, showed him for
identification photos of British citizens who had ties in Somalia or
had visited this country. Representatives of the British Foreign
Office and Home Office traditionally refuse to comment on the
situation related to the activities of the secret services. They try
to excuse themselves stating that on March 29 they published an
instruction for the members of the British diplomatic missions
obliging them to report cases of torture even if an interrogated
person is not among those whom they have to render consular

8. The UK Home Office does not abandon the practice of forceful
deportation of illegal immigrants, including deportation to those
countries where they might be subject to torture and ill-treatment. In
May 2010 it was announced that the government did not intend to refuse
from ”diplomatic guarantees” and would expand their application. At
the same time, it was stated that such guarantees were enough to lower
the risk of torture. In accordance with this practice, the immigration
services deported a group of more than 20 Tamils to Sri Lanka in July
2011. Yet, the deportation did not run smoothly; several illegal
immigrants preferred to attempt suicide, and one of them said that he
had received several threatening calls from Sri Lanka. Now they are in
hospital, but the immigration authorities intend to send them home
when they leave it.


The state of the Hungarian penal system, deficiencies in the execution
of punishments, poor conditions in prisons and pretrial detention
centers (duration of stay in detention facilities, at the pre-trial
stage, overcrowded cells, poor feeding etc.) give rise to complaints
of international and local human rights organizations.

The situation with the Roma population is a permanent problem of the
Hungarian authorities (according to the official data, there are
190-200,000 Roma and according to independent experts this number
amounts to 1 million people and it is likely to rise almost to 1.5
million by 2050). The human rights organizations are concerned about
the consistent trend in the Hungarian society towards reprehension and
openly negative attitude to the Roma and growth in anti-Roma

After a number of severe attacks on Roma communities in 2008-2009,
Hungarian HGOs reported new similar cases. In September 2010, the
Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe Framework Convention for
the Protection of National Minorities expressed concerns in relation
to attacks on Roma and noted that despite the arrest of the alleged
perpetrators, the ”atmosphere of fear” persists in the country.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee expressed its concern with
discrimination against Roma people in education, housing, health care
and political participation, as well as with the fact that collection
of statistics broken down by ethnic origin is not carried out in the

Both international and Hungarian human rights organizations found out
a number of structural weaknesses of Hungary’s criminal justice
system. One of them is that hate crimes are not qualified as such and,
therefore, are not properly investigated. In November 2010, in
materials, prepared for the United Nations Human Rights Council’s
Universal Periodic Review of human rights situation in Hungary,
Hungarian non-governmental organizations also expressed their concern
with the fact that crimes tend to be qualified as ”common” rather
than as hate crimes with racist motives as an aggravating factor. As a
result, there are no publicly available reliable statistics reflecting
the real number of racially motivated crimes in Hungary.

In Hungary, there are problems related to freedom of speech. Despite
all the protests, in September and December 2010 the Hungarian
parliament adopted two new legislative acts on mass media. Both acts
were criticized by local non-governmental organizations, press and the
international community because of their possible consequences,
including restrictions on the contents of articles, lack of clear
rules for journalists and editors and too wide powers of the new
regulatory body. All this might result in an unjust limitation of
freedom of speech. The newly established National Media and
Communications Authority (NMCA) has the right to impose large fines
(up to 730,000 euro in case of over-the-air mass media) should it
decides that the content of the programs contradicts ”public
interests”, ”universal moral values”, and ”national order”. Fines
can also be imposed for ”unbalanced” news reporting.

In Hungary there have been attempts to revise history, including the
results of World War II. Janos Lazar, head of the ruling Fidesz
party’s parliamentary group, announced the plans aimed at amending the
existing criminal code of the country and thus creating a legal basis
for holding liable those people who were engaged in suppression of the
”Revolution and Liberation Struggle” in 1956, as well as the
functionaries of the former regime of Janos Kadar. Their actions are
supposed to be qualified as crimes against humanity with no statute of
limitation, and assessment of constituent elements of criminal acts in
such cases will be based upon the decisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal
and other international legal acts adopted in line with them. That
would serve as a legal basis for a legislative rule making it possible
to reduce retirement pensions of a range of people (former party
functionaries and public servants, security officers, militia
employees, Young Communist League functionaries, etc.); the obtained
funds will be distributed among ”victims of political repressions”.
Janos Lazar emphasized that the new Hungarian constitution creates a
foundation for adopting such measures, as it disavows the legislation
of 1944 – 1990, when Hungary was ”under foreign occupation”. This
attempt to ”punish” representatives of the ”socialist past” and to
distort the Nuremberg Trials decisions can be viewed as an obvious
intention to rehabilitate, in retrospect, the regime of Horty, who
pushed Hungary to fight against the USSR on Hitler’s side, as well as
to justify the crimes of Hungarian fascists who intensely worked,
among other things, on ”Final Solution of the Jewish Question”.


Recently, trends in human rights situation in Poland have been studied
by several international organizations. The fact that Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe in its Resolution 1787, adopted on
January 26, 2011, classified Poland as one of the countries with
serious problems with regard to the execution of the decisions of the
European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), was most widely discussed. The
main Polish problems include judicial red tape, unreasonable temporary
detentions for unjustifiably long periods, over-crowding of prisons
and poor health care of inmates. The existence of such problems was
proved by the recent verdicts of the ECHR against the Republic of
Poland: in January-February 2011, the Strasbourg Court obliged Warsaw
to pay an indemnity of two thousand euro to Mr. Zbigniew and one
thousand euro to Mr. Oskar for violations of confinement standards,
and 10 thousand euro to Mr. Kupchak (case 2627/09) for a failure to
provide the inmate with necessary medication.

In December 2010, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
(FRA) presented a report on the observance of the rights of refugee
children in the European Union countries, mentioning Poland among the
most troubled countries in this regard. Thus, centers for temporary
stay of refugee children are often over-crowded with inadequate food
and health care. Besides, according to the Agency’s assessments,
Polish tutors and teachers are not sufficiently trained to work with
refugee children. The FRA report also emphasizes that children
trafficking problem cannot be excluded.

Recently human rights defenders in Poland have often stated that
Polish investigative authorities do not pay enough attention to
manifestations of anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and related
intolerance. Thus, according to statistics, investigators closed 55
per cent of such cases in 2007, and 77 per cent – in 2010, because
”elements of crimes could not be established”; besides, an
accusation was made in 36 per cent and 16 per cent of the cases
correspondingly. Having taken these facts into account, the Polish
Prosecutor-General forwarded to prosecution offices a circular letter
recommending to carry out a more thorough analysis of this kind of
offenses with due account for recent amendments to the Criminal code.
In particular, new provisions of the Criminal code criminalized
promotion of fascist symbols in the Internet and simplified the
procedure of prosecuting participants of rallies and demonstrations
for crying out anti-Semitic or racist slogans. Human rights defenders
are looking forward to a revision of such notorious cases as the
offense against Ms. Zavanovskaya, a Judaism teacher of Maria
Curie-Sk3odowska University in Lublin, committed by a professor of the
same university Mr. Edynak, and the case of Mr. Petrasevic, director
of the theatre NN in Lublin working on the history of the Jewish
community of that city, whose apartment was broken into. In both
cases, law-enforcement authorities did not find any ”traces of
anti-Semitism” and considered those cases to be just acts of
hooliganism because the aggrieved persons were not Jewish. Polish
experts believe that accusations can now be made against football
fans, who unfolded banners with anti-Semitic slogans during the match
in Zheshuv in May, 2010.

As well, the Prosecutor-General’s office had to interfere in order to
revise the sentence for a notorious case related to the vigilantism
towards a family of Roma people on behalf of Limanov (Malopolskie
province) residents in July 2010. The local prosecutor’s office
eventually made accusations only against the Roma people themselves,
having recognized them as instigators of the clash. After the protest
of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR), the
Prosecutor-General’s Office carried out an analysis of all the
manifestations of xenophobia in Poland and sent for additional
investigation 13 out of 48 similar cases initiated during the first
six months of 2010. As a result, the prosecutor’s office of the city
of Limanov considered the events of July 2010 to be acts of incitement
to racial and ethnic intolerance and resumed investigation.

The story of the two children from a family-type orphanage, six and
nine years old, infected with HIV, who were refused admission to
day-care centers, schools and private educational institutions of
Torun, was widely publicized by Polish mass media. After human rights
defenders, the HFHR above all, interfered, on January 5, 2011, the
Polish Ombudsman for children Mr. Michalak published a statement
denouncing any discrimination of the disabled and ill children.
According to him, the educational institutions and the authorities of
Torun committed violations of Article 32 of the Constitution of


Relevant European bodies and human rights organizations continue to
criticize the Romanian authorities with regard to the human rights
situation and note a number of serious violations.

Above all, attention is drawn to the unsatisfactory situation with
regard to the rights of Roma people, particularly in terms of ensuring
their access to the labour market and creating conditions for
receiving proper education.

Another systemic problem, related to human rights observance in
Romania, is the violation of citizens’ rights for unbiased court
administration. What is more, the situation is aggravating. The
citizens of Romania demonstrate the lowest in the European Union level
of confidence in the legal system – 26 per cent, and this figure is
decreasing every year.

Human rights organizations are also concerned with the situation in
the penitentiary system due to poor conditions of confinement,
over-crowding of wards and lack of health care. According to them,
only one third of penitentiary establishments in Romania conform to
the minimal standards in this area.


Among the drawbacks of the human rights protection in Finland
(particularly those pointed out in the reports of the UN Committee
against Torture and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, ECHR
decisions) that have attracted special attention throughout 2011, the
following can be noted:

In the area of investigation and court proceedings, the periods of
investigation and court proceedings are unduly extended (up to eight
years from the opening of the investigation to the announcement of the
court decision), inopportune and insufficient provision of legal
assistance, non-observance of the rights of persons under
investigation during search and seizure procedures. ECHR have adopted
numerous decisions in this regard, including in 2011.

The following problems relate to discrimination of refugees and immigrants:

1) employment discrimination, which affects to a considerable extent
the Russian-speaking population of Finland. In 2010, the Report of the
Commissioner for Minority Rights on this topic was presented,
revealing that the unemployment rate among Russian-speaking immigrants
is 31 per cent, with 17.6 per cent among immigrants and 8.8 per cent
in the society;

2) social discrimination of immigrants, first of all of Roma and the
Russian-speaking ones (mostly in everyday life). In September 2011, a
fine was imposed on an owner of a flea market who refused to lease a
market stall to a Roma woman referring to his previous negative
experience with Roma;

3) manifestations of national intolerance on the part of indigenous
population. Ethnic clashes are rather frequent in Finland. In
particular, clashes occur among different ethnic groups of immigrants:
e.g., in June 2010, a mass scuffle broke out in a Helsinki amusement
park between the Somalis and the Kurds. Cases of vandalism against the
property of immigrants and their associations are more and more
common. In 2010, three attacks were made against the property of the
first ever Buddhist temple in Finland, which is under construction;

4) intolerance shown by representatives of public authorities towards
cultural peculiarities of private life of various nationalities. In
May 2011, the attention of mass media was focused on the thesis paper
by Johanna Hiitola of Tampere University, in which she proved a
prejudiced attitude towards immigrants by Finnish courts in cases
involving foster care. In more than 300 cases examined by the
candidate, problems related to child-rearing in immigrant families
were always attributed to the personal qualities of parents and their
incapability to raise children in a civilized way due to cultural
characteristics of their countries of origin. But as far as Finnish
parents were concerned, the main reason for their failure always
seemed to be ”exhaustion”, and in cases with immigrant parents, this
reason was never taken into consideration;

5) redirection of refugees to other EU countries where receiving an
asylum is much less likely;

6) lack of humane treatment of refugees and immigrants in cases of
family reunification. In 2010, wide public attention was drawn to the
cases of the so-called ”grandmothers”: decisions on deportation were
adopted in respect of elderly and gravely ill Egyptian Eveline Fadayel
and Russian Irina Antonova who visited their relatives in Finland with
tourist visas. Irina Antonova’s relatives agreed to the deportation,
while Eveline Fadayel’s relatives sheltered her; afterwards the
Finnish authorities issued her a visa as an exception. Both women died
in 2011. The relatives of the deported Russian filed a lawsuit for the
compensation for moral damage. In September 2011, the Turku
Administrative Court began to examine a similar case of a 87-year-old
Kosovo Albanian, Ramadan Kostanica. In 2010, the Finnish Parliament
deemed it inappropriate to amend the legislation in order to resolve
that problem.

7) lack of experts to work with refugees and immigrants. For instance,
the report of the United Nations Committee against Torture noted the
complete absence of representatives of national minorities in the

A high rate of domestic violence on the whole and in relation to
spouses in particular; widespread violence and victimization among
students; high suicide rates; extremely high rates of mental disorders
among children and youth and lack of knowledge about the underlying
causes; high latency of sexual crimes and insufficiently tough
punishments for them are also observed. For instance, in August 2011,
the sentence passed on four men guilty of committing a rape of a
14-year-old girl triggered wide public indignation. They were given
from 40 days to 6 months of conditional sentence including a penalty
of 500 to 3 000 euro. There has been another noteworthy case in the
year: a man who had conditional sentence for raping a child continued
to work as a football coach of underage girls, since provision of
information on prior convictions by persons working as volunteers was
not required by law.

Violations in the area of psychiatric/neurologic care have also been
indentified: lack of independent expertise and medicolegal
investigation of compulsory hospitalization, performing involuntary
electroconvulsive therapy, unjustified prescription of potent
psychotropic drugs when treating the attention deficit and
hyperactivity child disorder (from the report of the UN Committee
against Torture).

Violations of the freedom of speech principle pointed out in the ECHR
decisions are caused by the restrictive interpretation barring the
mass media from interfering into private life which is applied in

The gender pay gap in the area of remuneration for work of equal value
in private sector – the ‘female euro’ was worth 81 euro cent in 2010.

Yet another challenge is the lack of a consistent national policy
towards the Russian-speaking population of the country, although this
is the third largest ethnic group after the titular nation and the
Swedes. The recommendations of the Council of Europe Committee of
Ministers to ensure the rights of the Russian-speaking population as a
national minority are poorly implemented. Finland disregarded the
recommendation of the UN Working Group on Minorities to establish a
special advisory body on the issues of the Russian-speaking population
despite the appeals by local organizations of Russian-speaking

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has repeatedly noted the
lack of legislative and political guarantees in Finland of the right
of the child to express his/her opinion to the official authorities on
the issues of his/her interest; excessive numbers of children removed
from families (16 thousand children are now separated from their
families) and insufficient knowledge of the underlying causes;
prolonged examinations of guardianship disputes.

Regarding human rights shortcomings in Finland which are important for
the Russian side, the following cases remain of utmost relevance:

1. Salonen Case. In 2008, Russian and Finnish national Rimma Salonen
took out to Russia her 5-year-old son Anton without consent of his
Finnish father. The latter immediately called the police, and a
criminal case was opened. When the mother found it out, she decided
not to go back to Finland. In 2009 the father took the child from his
mother by force in the territory of the Russian Federation and brought
him to Finland in the trunk of the diplomatic car of the Finnish
Vice-Consul. Rimma Salonen, who came to Finland after her son, was
convicted of international abduction and was deprived of her custody
rights. According to Rimma Salonen, free legal assistance provided to
her was so insufficient that the lawyer refused to listen to her and
seemed to be interested in supporting the prosecution rather than
defending her interests. The Embassy recommended another lawyer to
her. At the present moment Rimma Salonen is allowed to see her son
once or twice a month in the presence of social workers. Initially
they were not allowed to speak Russian during these meetings and the
court confirmed this decision as lawful. After the Russian side drew
the attention of the Finnish side to the fact that this prohibition
did not comply with international human rights standards, de facto it
was lifted. Meanwhile, social workers still do not allow her to talk
about Orthodox religion during the meetings (even though the mother is
an active churchwoman and the son is a baptized Orthodox). In June
2011, Rimma Salonen’s representative prepared a complaint for
submitting to the ECHR.

2. Putkonen Case: in 2010 Helsinki social workers took Julia Putkonen,
Finnish citizen, away from her mother Valentina Putkonen, citizen of
the Russian Federation, and decided that she should stay with her
father Jouni Putkonen, citizen of Finland, in Saint Petersburg where
he lives and works. At the present moment, Julia lives in Russia, her
mother is allowed to see her.

3. Rantala Case: in December 2009, Robert Rantala, who has dual
Russian-Finnish citizenship, was taken away by social workers from his
parents – Russian citizen Inga Rantalaand and Finnish citizen
Veli-Pekka Rantala. The boy ran away from the orphanage (according to
the Finnish side, it was his mother who took him from it) and was
returned to his parents following Presidential Ombudsman for
Children’s Rights Pavel Astakhov’s intervention. In June 2010 the
mother of the boy, having his father’s written consent, took him to
Saint Petersburg. Inga does not plan to return to Finland where she
has to appear before court on charges of inflicting bodily harm on her
son, which was the main reason why the boy was taken away from his
parents. According to Inga, she is trying to escape trial not for fear
of punishment, but in order to prevent her son from being returned to

4. According to the ruling from the Russian court, Clara
Sitnova-Toivonen, citizen of the Russian Federation living in Finland,
was the guardian of her grandson V. Bogdanov, who was taken away by
Finnish social workers in 2009 and placed in an orphanage. During the
holidays, which the boy was allowed to spend with his grandmother, she
took him to Saint Petersburg to their relatives and, at the boy’s
request (he is older than 12), transferred custody rights to them, as
the boy wanted to live in a family rather than in an orphanage. When
she came back to Finland, legal proceedings were initiated against her
for child abduction.

5. A 15-year old daughter of I. Tiensuu was taken away from her mother
in autumn 2010 following a suicide attempt. According to her mother,
the girl tried to commit suicide after being raped and it had nothing
to do with the situation in the family. Both mother and daughter filed
written objections against the girl’s placement to an orphanage. The
reply to the Consular Office’s request was that, according to the
Finnish legislation, any suicide attempt gave grounds for taking a
child away and that Finnish social workers considered the requirement
of the Consular Convention between Finland and the USSR to inform
consular offices of a detention of any national of the Sending state
inapplicable to children being taken away.


More and more often France becomes a target for criticism from
international and domestic human rights organizations (Amnesty
International, the International Federation for Human Rights,
Reporters without Borders and others). Human rights activists are
increasingly concerned with the current governmental policy aimed at
toughening immigration policy, stepping up fight against illegal
migration, as well as new approaches to and requirements for
immigrants’ integration into French society, conditions in French
prisons and interference in the work of mass media.

French authorities’ expulsion campaigns of Romanian and Bulgarian Roma
(who flooded the country after the citizens of Romania and Bulgaria
were allowed visa-free access to the Schengen states for 90 days)
provoked the strongest response from human rights activists. Starting
from July 2010, Paris has been dismantling illegal Roma camps and
expelling their inhabitants back to their home countries (at the
expense of the state budget), which has drawn criticism not only from
human rights activists but also from Brussels.

The second large-scale expulsion campaign that also resulted in many
protests of human rights activists concerned the natives of North
African countries (mainly Tunisia), who tried to get to France
illegally through the Italian island of Lampedusa and continental
Italy under the pretext of the Arab Spring. Paris took severe measures
– border control at the Italian-French border was temporarily
restored, intruders were caught and headed back home.

Human rights NGOs fiercely criticize any attempts by the government to
tighten requirements for integration of legal immigrants into French
society. Particularly, in the past year the legislation was amended to
make it more difficult for immigrant families to reunite, obtain the
right for refuge and French citizenship. The law passed under Jacques
Chirac yet which banned wearing religious symbols in state educational
institutions is being strictly observed. It is prohibited to wear
hijab in public places, to conduct religious ceremonies and to pray in
the street.

French officials sweep away all accusations of human rights activists.
The authorities promise to intensify the fight with illegal
immigrants. It is noted that not only Arabs and Roma, but all illegal
immigrants regardless of their origin are being expelled.

The immigration law, which came into force at the end of 2007 and
restricted the right for family reconciliation, allowing DNA tests in
order to prove family links, is widely criticized even by the State
Ethics Commission.

The ECHR and the UN Committee against Torture regularly register
violations of the ‘non-refoulement’ principle and of the state’s
obligation to ensure effective right to legal assistance.

The French judicial system is often criticized by the EU and human
rights NGOs. Investigations are unreasonably prolonged; as the process
of moving the cases on to courts. During court proceedings, access to
case files for defendants is extremely limited. Ill-treatment of legal
and illegal immigrants and French citizens of foreign origin by
policemen is becoming more and more common during preliminary
detention and repatriation process. All human rights organizations
note an actual impunity of French policemen as well as biased
approaches of judges and the inadequacy of their decisions in similar

According to Amnesty International and the Council of Europe
Commission, French prisons are the worst in the European Union due to
their unsatisfactory state in terms of overcrowding and unsanitary

France was criticized for the law adopted in March 2004 to prohibit
wearing religious symbols in public schools that characterizes it as
infringing on the rights to freedom of religion and restricting the
right to education. Muslim girls face the choice – either to remove a
head covering or leave a public school.

Human rights activists were especially concerned with the situation
related to the deportation of Roma.

On August 19, 2010, deportation of Roma to Romania and Bulgaria began.
In total, the government planned to deport about 700 Roma on a
voluntary basis. Each deported adult received 300 euro and a child 100
euro from the government. On August 20 and 26 airplanes with Roma left
for Romania.

On September 9, 2010, the European parliament urged France to
immediately suspend the deportation of Roma migrants to Bulgaria and
Romania. Actions by Paris were condemned by the United Nations.

France ignored the European Parliament’s call to suspend the
deportation of Roma. In view of Viviane Reding, European Commissioner
for Justice, Paris violated the EU laws on the freedom of movement.

There are about 400,000 Roma in France, the majority of which live in
that country for centuries. All of them are French citizens, their
nomadic life is considered to be a cultural heritage and the law
obliges local authorities to allocate plots of land to Roma camps.
There are also about 15,000 descendants from Eastern Europe, mainly
from Romania and Bulgaria.

In 2009 about 11,000 of Eastern European Roma were expelled home, but
many of them soon returned to France. Since the beginning of 2010
France expelled to Romania and Bulgaria about 8,000 Roma with 1,000 of
them in August only.

The scandal with Roma has lead to toughening of immigration
legislation in France. An initial version of the draft immigration law
was supplemented with provisions that any foreign individual who
threatened the life of policeman, gendarme or any other
law-enforcement official could be deprived of French citizenship.

Moreover, draft law provides for a simplified procedure for the
expulsion of illegal Roma residents and includes a directive on return
that allows an administration, in addition to expulsion, to prohibit
the return to the European Union for 3 to 5 years.

Federal Republic of Germany

The report of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights, published in the end of May 2011, raised a range of concerns
about the situation with human rights in Germany, particularly in
connection with the persistence of social and labour discrimination of
refugees and migrants, limited access to the labour market for the
persons with disabilities, poor living conditions in the nursing homes
for the elderly, the lack of preschool institutions for children, the
prohibition of strikes for some categories of state officials, the
gender-based discrimination in employment and professional career.

A special emphasis is placed on the need to address child poverty
(according to the Committee, 2.5 million of children in Germany live
below the poverty threshold).

The majority of human rights concerns are related to the migration
policy of Germany. Actions taken in this area by the German government
were criticized by Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe
Commissioner for Human Rights, who said that migrants should not be
required to learn the language of the country of stay and adapt to the
national peculiarities of life in Germany as soon as possible. In his
letter to the Federal Minister of Interior of Germany of November 15,
2010 (Thomas de Maizière at that time, the incumbent Minister of
Defence), Thomas Hammarberg noted the discriminatory policy of Berlin
towards the representatives of Sinti and Roma and called to abandon
the practice of their deportation to Kosovo.

The report of the Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on the
human rights situation in Germany (December 2010) indicated the need
to create more favourable conditions for encouraging national
minorities to use their native tongues in daily life.

The report submitted to the Human Rights Council during its 14th
session (June 2010) by Githu Muigai, the UN Special Rapporteur on
contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and
related intolerance, highlighted the intensification of the ingrained
racist attitudes in Germany and the insufficiency of efforts made by
the national authorities to eradicate these problems. It also
criticized legal regulations on stay applied in Germany to refugees
which does not grant them a right to a free choice of a place of

Well-known human rights NGOs, including Amnesty International, Human
Rights Watch and others, have repeatedly described the facts of
xenophobia and racism, deficiencies of the penitentiary system and
deterioration of the situation of migrants and refugees. The human
rights defenders are concerned with the refusal of Germany to sign and
ratify the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. According to Amnesty
International, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany receives
annually up to 12 thousand complaints concerning violations of
political, economic, social, national and religious rights.

The NGO accuses security forces of detaining persons suspected of
involvement in terrorist activities and extraditing them illegally to
the States of their nationality (and highlights the lack of
“diplomatic guarantees” that suspects will not be subject to torture).
In this context, the human rights community notes that in January 2011
the German Federal Ministry of Justice declined the proposal of
Wolfgang Neskovic, a Bundestag deputy from the Left Party, to request
extradition of 13 CIA agents from the United States of America. They
are suspected of abducting Khaled al-Masri, a German national of
Lebanese origin, in Macedonia in 2003 and illegal detention in a
prison in Afghanistan. In 2007 the Administrative Court of Munich
satisfied the request of the Prosecutor’s Office for issuing arrest
warrants against those agents, but the German Federal Ministry of
Justice “soft-pedaled” the case.

To provide additional facts of violations it can be mentioned that in
January 2011 mass media published information that mail correspondence
of the German soldiers serving in Afghanistan was secretly examined,
allegedly, by officers of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and
Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD).

In 2010 the ECHR ruled against Germany in 26 cases concerning
violations of fundamental rights and freedoms, related primarily to
the refusals of the judicial authorities to release dangerous
offenders, who had served their prison sentences for grave offenses,
but were still considered dangerous for the society. The Court asked
the German lawmakers to revise relevant regulations.

Human rights defenders particularly regret that Germany has not yet
ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption, as well as
the Council of Europe criminal and civil law conventions on


Sweden has been criticized for human rights violations by the
international institutions (the UN, the European Court of Human
Rights, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament) and by the
leading non-governmental human rights organizations (Human Rights
Watch and Amnesty International).

In particular, in 2011 the UN Human Rights Council drew attention of
the Swedish authorities to the need to take actions to combat racism
and xenophobia, hate crimes and discrimination of migrants and
representatives of ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, as well
as to eradicate violence against women.

Quite many cases and complaints against Sweden are brought before the
ECHR, most of them referring to the European Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (an average of
more than 400 cases and a dozen of condemnatory judgments per year).

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has
repeatedly criticized the Swedish policy towards national minorities
and migrants, noting that the Swedish migration authority often
refuses to grant residence permits to people who really need an

The human rights organizations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty
International reiterate in their reports that the Swedish migration
authority sometimes refuses to accept applications for asylum from
nationals of Eritrea. As a consequence, refugees are exposed to a risk
of being deported to the country of their origin, although the Office
of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees advised the
governments of all countries to suspend the forced return of people to
that country.

When deciding on asylum issues, particularly those with political
background, the Swedish authorities sometimes use double standards. An
example of such practice is the politically motivated refusal of the
Swedish side to extradite those accused of committing grave crimes
(Magomed Uspaev and Aslan Adaev) to Russia. The provision of all
evidences of their involvement in criminal activities, including
gangsterism and terrorism, to the Swedish authorities has had no

There is still an urgent need to address problems related to racial
discrimination, particularly in employment, as the Swedish companies,
in most cases, prefer to recruit native citizens. According to the
Center against Racism NGO, the difference in the numbers of immigrants
and native citizens working in their professional areas today is about
20 per cent.

The Council of Europe and some international human rights
organizations note that Sweden does not make enough effort to comply
with the Council of Europe convention on the rights of national
minorities signed in 2000. According to experts, Sweden is not active
enough in registering its people, speaking the languages of national
minorities (there are five languages with such status in Sweden). It
is emphasized that the Swedish authorities are responsible for
providing all children of the representatives of national minorities
with an opportunity to receive education in two languages: their
native language and the Swedish language.

Furthermore, in January 2009 the law on examination of electronic
messages (2008:717) entered into force. According to the law, the
special services of Sweden may track any relevant information on the
Internet and tap mobile and stationary phones of any person suspected
of criminal or terrorist activities without a warrant issued by
judicial authorities. It is noteworthy that the abovementioned
“anti-terrorist” law does not preclude the continued operation of
Kavkaz-Center website run by the Chechen combatants at the server of
the Swedish Internet service provider.

Baltic States

Discrimination policy by the Baltic States authorities towards
Russian-speaking minority remains practically the same.

The unresolved problem of mass statelessness in Latvia (about 330,000
non-citizens) and Estonia (about 100,000 non-citizens) and resulting
violations of the rights of Russian-speaking minority in the said
countries are of particular concern. Despite the continued
recommendations by international and human rights organizations the
procedure for naturalization has not been simplified for older persons
and children of non-citizens are not automatically granted birthright
citizenship. Thus, the problem of statelessness is being

The problem of granting active and passive voting rights to
non-citizens in Latvia and active voting right in Estonia at municipal
elections remains unresolved despite the fact that this category of
residents of Baltic States represents good-faith taxpayers. That also
refers to concern expressed by the United Nations Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) with restrictions on
non-citizens’ rights to participate in political parties.

CERD is concerned with an excessive focus on Estonian language and use
of language sanctions, and all the more so because punitive measures
do not motivate national minorities to study state language and to the
naturalization. The same situation prevails in Latvia.

With Latvia and Estonia having mass statelessness and extremely low
naturalization as their main problems, narrowing of Russian
information and cultural and educational space and persecution of
veterans of the Great Patriotic War and law-enforcement authorities of
the former USSR is also taking place in Lithuania, besides the
above-mentioned countries.

Of special concern is the policy continued in all three Baltic states
to rewrite the history of World War II (glorification of Fascist
henchmen, public meetings of Waffen SS legionnaires, desecration of
monuments, demonstrations and camps of nationalist youth, persecution
of veterans sacrificing their health and often their lives to liberate
Europe, including Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia from Nazi
enslavement), equalization of Nazi and Soviet regimes, attempts to
glorify Nazis and their local collaborators. This policy is one of the
main factors to promote neo-Nazi, racist and extremist sentiments that
provoke manifestations of nationalism, xenophobia and anti-semitism,
racial and religious intolerance.


A distinctive feature of the human rights situation in the Latvian
society is mass statelessness. According to the Office of Citizenship
and Migration Affairs of Latvia, as of July 1, 2011, it amounts to
319,267 people (about 14.3 per cent of the country’s population) and
is gradually decreasing mainly due to mortality and migration.

A total of 79 restrictions of rights of ”non-citizens” are
maintained, including such fundamental ones as the right to vote and
be elected. This also includes the bans on professions (47 in total).
”Non-citizens” in Latvia cannot hold state and municipal offices,
serve as judges, prosecutors, be elected as associate judges and serve
in the army. They are also denied of the right to establish political
parties, conclude real estate transactions without the consent of the
municipal authorities, etc.

The authorities do not recognise ”non-citizens” as national
minorities. Latvia ratified the Framework Convention for the
Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) on May 26,2005, with two
reservations that cancelled the provisions of the Convention, under
which national minorities in places of their compact residence are
given the opportunity to communicate in their native language with the
authorities, as well as to use the native language in topographical
names. Furthermore, the additional declaration adopted by the Latvian
Parliament upon ratification clarifies that the said Convention does
not apply to ”non-citizens”, whereas more than 50 per cent of the
population living in the largest cities of Latvia (Riga, Daugavpils,
and Liepaja) is Russian-speaking in terms of its ethnic composition.

In recent years, the rate of naturalization is steadily falling (from
19,169 people in 2005 to 2,336 people in 2010), and the policy of
integration of the Latvian society came to a deadlock. In the document
approved by the Latvian Government in October 2011 ”The Major Issues
of the Policy of National Identity and Social Integration
(2012-2018)” key guidelines are formulated aimed at full assimilation
of the Russian-speaking population. This programme states that the
priority areas of activity of the Latvian authorities in this sphere
are as follows: consolidating the positions of the Latvian language
and culture, ensuring adherence to European democratic values,
”forming a cohesive national memory” based on loyalty to the concept
of ”the Soviet occupation”.

The consequences of such a policy had been so negative that they
became a subject of permanent concern of European human rights
institutions and other international organisations. Problematic human
rights situation in Latvia has recently been noted, inter alia, by the
OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek (in
November 2010 at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna, in
February 2011 during a visit to Latvia, in April 2011 in the remarks
made at the International Peace Institute in New York and the Woodrow
Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.); the
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg (in
December 2010 at the 4th Council of Europe Conference on Nationality
in Strasbourg); the Committee of Experts on the Application of
Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour
Organization (in December 2010 at the meeting of the ILO Committee).

On March 30, 2011, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
(CMCE) adopted a resolution on the implementation by Latvia of the
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM).
This made possible the publication of the assessments by an
independent monitoring body of the FCNM – the Advisory Committee (AC).
The resolution generally confirmed the assessments by the AC. It notes
that the problem of persistent significant number of ”non-citizens”,
including among children born after August 21, 1991, requires a
priority solution. It points to the unacceptability of language
discrimination in the sphere of labour and communication, the
reduction of opportunities for education in the languages of the
national minorities in Latvian public schools. It contains a call for
Latvia to eliminate the shortcomings concerning the participation of
the national minorities in the life of the society, including
municipal elections.

On May 5, 2011, the 11th session of the working group of the United
Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) on the Universal Periodic Review
(UPR) in Geneva considered the situation with human rights in Latvia,
including on the basis of the report prepared by the Government of the
Republic of Latvia on the human rights situation in the country. The
report contains, as usual, a rather blurred picture, which does not
give a full understanding of the true state of affairs in this sphere,
whereas not all Latvian NGOs by any means were involved in preparing
the report. First of all, those are excluded that represent the
Russian-speaking population. Among them is the Latvian Human Rights
Committee (LHRC).

In this regard, the LHRC submitted an alternative paper to the Office
of the High Commissioner for Human Rights prepared on the basis of its
own research in the area of mass statelessness, language
discrimination, the unequal situation of minorities on the labour
market, the significant demographic differences between Latvians and

The LHRC, in particular, draws attention to the fundamental
differences in the estimates and points contained in these materials,
although both were based on the same pattern. For example, the
Government of the Republic of Latvia mentions the international
documents to which the Latvian authorities acceded, and the LHRC
refers to those that Latvia does not hasten to join because they
provide for the right to submit individual complaints to international

Following the discussion of the situation in Geneva, in which the
representatives of 43 Member States of the UN, including Russia,
participated, a whole range (122) of practical recommendations was
offered to the Latvian side.

On September 6, 2011, the Government of Latvia at a closed meeting
considered the recommendations of the HRC following the discussion of
the human rights situation in Latvia in Geneva at the 11th session of
the working group of the HRC on the UPR on May 5, 2011. As appears
from the press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia on
this matter, a number of key claims, in particular, the immediate
elimination of the status of ”non-citizens”, are completely
unacceptable to Riga.

The situation of ”non-citizens” deprived of voting rights was
described as ”a challenge for Latvia” by the Head of the Limited
Election Observation Mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions
and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in
Europe (OSCE/ODIHR) Konrad Olszewski, who was in the country in
September 2011. In his opinion, the Latvian Government does not pay
enough attention to the issues of social integration, while the OSCE
has no effective leverage but to constantly remind of its human rights
recommendations and periodically draw attention to the situation in
this area. ”The fact that ”non-citizens” do not participate in the
elections and remain without representatives,” emphasised Mr.
Olszewski, ”still is a difficult task.” He also noted the absence in
Latvia of the right to stand for election as independent candidates,
which contradicts its OSCE commitments.

The inaction of the Latvian authorities and their virtual disregard
for multiple recommendations of the international institutions
prompted a number of Latvia’s human rights organisations (the Union of
Citizens and ”Non-Citizens”, the Humanitarian Perspective, and the
LHRC) to request information from 12 international organisations in
August 2011 on how these bodies respond to Latvia’s non-fulfilment of
these recommendations. It notes, in particular, that from 1995 the
number of ”non-citizens” declined by approximately 380 thousand
people (from 700 thousand to 319,267 people). 40 per cent of them
acquired Latvian citizenship through naturalization, 32 per cent died
in this status, 17 per cent emigrated, and 11 per cent took
citizenship of the third countries. At the same time, the process of
naturalization has gradually slowed down in recent years: only about 1
per cent of ”non-citizens” undergo this procedure annually.

On September 9, 2011, the Head of the United Congress of Russian
Communities Alexander Gaponenko, a ”non-citizen”, demanded from the
Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia to recognise the
article of the Law on Elections to Local Authorities, which secures
the right to elect the self-government institutions only for the
citizens of Latvia, as inconsistent with the Constitution of the
country. Mr. Gaponenko’s argumentation is based on the fact that
Article 91 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia guarantees
the implementation of human rights without any exceptions or

On August 28, 2011, at the regional conference of the Russian
compatriots of the Baltic States in Riga a prominent human rights
activist, the representative of the LHRC Vladimir Buzaev promulgated
the report ”Ethnic Policy and Demography of the Russian Population in
Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia”, in which he virtually accused these
countries’ authorities of the genocide of the Russian population.

To substantiate his version, Mr. Buzaev referred to three features
that are characteristic of such actions.

The first one is the deliberate creation of the living conditions for
an ethnic group aimed at its total or partial physical annihilation.
The second includes measures intended to prevent child births within
such group. The third is the forcible transfer of children from one
ethnic group to another.

In respect of Latvia, it is manifested, according to the author, in
the fact that the mortality rate among the national minorities is on
average higher by 18 per cent, and the birth rate is by 25 per cent
lower than those of the Latvians. In comparison with 1990, the number
of students in Latvian schools decreased by 14 per cent, and of
Russian schools – by 64 per cent. In 2009 the number of first-grade
pupils in Russian schools was 20 per cent lower than the number of
seven-year-old non-Latvians, while the figure for Latvian schools was
12 per cent higher than that for seven-year-old Latvians, because due
to the closure of Russian schools, the Russian-speaking parents have
to send their children to schools with education in the Latvian

The discrimination policy of the Latvian authorities with regard to
national minorities leads to the intensification of interethnic
confrontation in the Latvian society and unties the hands of the
radical nationalists, who from the 10th Saeima (from October 2010)
wage an ever-strengthening attack from the parliamentary rostrum on
the positions of the Russian language in the country. In practice,
this has already been manifested in the adoption of their bill on a
severe increase in the fines for the failure to use the state language
and the expansion of the list of professions that require a high
proficiency in Latvian.


According to the latest data provided by Statistics Lithuania,
national minorities account for 13.2 per cent of the Lithuanian
population. [2] Representatives of national communities living in
Lithuania, as well as a number of authoritative international
organizations view the official Lithuanian policy as sometimes
inconsistent with the principles of international law regarding the
protection of the rights and interests of national minorities. The
Polish minority of the country is especially insistent in expressing
its discontent, enjoying the support of Poland, a strategic Lithuanian
partner in the European Union, and its officials. In the last two
years, a number of Russian-speaking political and social organizations
act together with the Polish community to defend their rights. Thus,
two largest national diasporas share basic similar goals directed
against the policy of local authorities seeking to assimilate the
country’ minorities in disregard to the fundamental international
instruments, which include the Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of
the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE. [3] Official data
provided in recent years by Statistics Lithuania clearly confirm the
trend towards downsizing of national communities. [4]

Lithuania has not acceded to the European Charter for Regional or
Minority Languages (Strasbourg, 5 November 1992) despite the fact that
within its territory the nationals of the state ”traditionally use”
minority languages and the said languages are ”the mode of expression
of a number of people justifying the adoption of the various
protective and promotional measures provided for in this Charter”.

National minorities report a significant setback in pursuing their
rights over recent years: in 2009, the Department of National
Minorities and Emigration of the Government of the Republic of
Lithuania [6] was dismantled, the Law “On National Minorities” (of
November 23, 1989) expired [7] leaving many of its provisions
unimplemented. It has become significantly more difficult for national
minorities to receive information in their native language. [8] The
Seimas began to discuss amendments to the Law on Science and Studies
of the Republic of Lithuania to substantially reduce the number of
teaching hours in native languages, as well as to introduce a single
state language exam for students of both Lithuanian schools and
schools for national minorities. The demands of national minorities to
use their names according to the rules of their native language remain
unsatisfied. Disregarding the established practices and European
legislation Lithuania has banned the use of minority language (along
with the state one) in geographical names, even in localities where
its representatives comprise more than 80 per cent of total
population. In 2008, the Administrative Court banned the use of
Russian and Polish languages for signs and topographical indications
in the places of compact residence of national minorities (Vilnius and
Åalèininkai districts), the ruling also contradicts the provisions of
Article 11, Paragraph 3 of the Framework Convention. In 2010 alone,
there had been reported several administrative punishments in form of
fines against local self-government officials and entrepreneurs for
public use of the Polish language (along with the official language,
of course).

The new version of the Lithuanian Law on Education (adopted on March
30, 2011) does not comply with certain provisions of the OSCE
documents and does not reflect the opinion of Russian and Polish
communities that had managed to collect over 60 thousand signatures
against it on the eve of a vote in the Seimas. Thus, according to the
Charter of Paris for a New Europe of November 21, 1990, the CSCE
participating States undertake to improve the situation of national
minorities (not to worsen it), and according to the Paragraph 33 of
the Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human
Dimensions of the CSCE (29 June 1990) to provide such protection, they
”take necessary measures after due consultations, including contacts
with organizations or associations of such minorities”. It should be
also noted that in their comments regarding the amendments to the
Lithuanian Law on Education, Lithuanian officials were referring to
statistics not directly related to students of national minorities’
schools (it is about how successful national minorities’ schools
graduates enter Lithuanian high schools and graduate from them).

Besides, the Polish and Jewish communities demand speedy resolution of
issues related to property restitution, noting the infringement of
their rights compared to the representatives of the titular nation.

A report on Lithuania published in September 2011 by the European
Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) highlights the legal
vacuum in the regulation of the situation of national minorities left
by the expiry in 2010 of the 1989 Law on National Minorities and views
it as a serious flaw in the human rights protection. The provision of
the Law on Presidential Elections that impedes Lithuanian citizens of
non-Lithuanian origin from standing for presidential elections has
been also subject to criticism.

ECRI pays traditionally close attention to the situation of Roma. It
is noted the Program for the Integration of Roma into Lithuanian
Society for the years 2008-2010 had not produced any tangible results,
despite some positive initiatives undertaken to remedy the situation
in the field of education. The most problematic areas are the
employment of Roma and provision of housing to them.

The Commission draws attention to the continued manifestations of
anti-Semitism already reported in the previous monitoring cycle.

There is a lack of clear policies in relation to the situation of
other national minorities. The role of the Council of National
Minorities is minimized in the situation when its advice practically
is not being sought. ECRI draws attention to the problems of national
minorities concerning the implementation of the right to get education
in their mother tongue: scarcity in minority language textbooks, lack
of properly trained teachers, actually increasing share of education
in Lithuanian language in minority schools, in other words, the actual
displacement of other languages from the learning process.

The international community’s evaluation of Lithuania’s human rights
performance (on October 11, 2011, the UN Human Rights Council in
Geneva reviewed the human rights record of Lithuania as part of the
Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights of UN Member States)
indicates serious persistent problems of human rights in Lithuania –
the discriminatory policy of the authorities towards national and
linguistic minorities, manifestations of racism and anti-Semitism,
poor condition of the prison system, human trafficking, violation of
human rights of children, women and people with disabilities, etc. UN
Member States made a significant number of recommendations to
Lithuania. Russia especially stressed the need to eradicate the
manifestations of racism and neo-Nazi attempts to revise the outcome
of World War II and cease the glorification of Nazi henchmen and
prosecution of anti-fascist veterans, as well as the discrimination
against Lithuania’s Russian-speaking population in both cultural and
linguistic spheres. In October 2011, during the examination of
Lithuania’s human rights performance by the UN Human Rights Council in
Geneva under the Universal Periodic Review, Lithuanian Minister of
Justice Remigijus ÅimaÅ¡ius actually equated the Soviet Union to the
Nazi Germany in his statement, saying that ”both regimes violated
human rights” and ”occupied Lithuania”. Such offensive remarks made
by an official representative of the state being the
OSCE-Chairman-in-Office are especially intolerable.

Distortion and falsification of facts and events related to World War
II, the ”Soviet period” of Lithuania and the period of gaining
independence, are growing in scale in Lithuania and, in fact, become
the pillars of state policy. Lithuania continues to launch large-scale
campaigns linked to ”important” dates associated mainly with the
”black pages of the Soviet past” and country’s ”fight” for
independence: the 20th anniversary of shooting of the ”border
guards” in Medininkai (in August 2011, on the request of the
Prosecutor General’s Office of Lithuania the District Court of Vilnius
has ordered the arrest in absentia of three citizens of Russia: A.
Ryzhov, C. Mlynnik and A.Laktionov, suspected by the Lithuanian side
of murdering Lithuanian ”border guards” at the ”checkpoint” in
Medininkai on July 31, 1991, and issued a European Arrest Warrant),
the 22nd anniversary of the ”Baltic Way” campaign, the 20th
anniversary of the death of Arturas Sakalauskas, who is called ”the
last victim of the occupation of Lithuania” and ”a defender of the
Supreme Council”, a remembrance day of the ”Soviet repressive
organs” victims in Tuskulenai, etc. Top governmental officials and
the foreign minister regularly participate in such events reiterating
the well-known ”postulates” about “Soviet occupation”, the need to
compensate the ”damage”, ”Soviet genocide of Lithuanians”. The
Lithuanian side places a strong emphasis on the ”historical
significance” of the Treaty on the Foundations of Inter-State
Relations between the Republic of Lithuania and the Russian Soviet
Federal Socialist Republic (as it contains a reference to the
annexation of Lithuania in its preamble).

Consistent efforts to establish the vision of occupation in the legal
framework of the country are mainly being undertaken by the
legislative authorities, mass media and partisan NGOs. Thus, the
conservative government has recently approved an idea to grant the
status of victims of occupation of 1939-1990 to those who after the
restoration of independence of the Republic of Lithuania were forced
to undergo military service in the Red Army. In addition, a draft law
was introduced to the Seimas designed to grant a status of the
participant in resistance to the Soviet occupation regime not only to
those who fought against the first occupation of 1940-1941 but also to
those who fought against an occupation regime in 1944-1990.

Lithuanian authorities both in the country and international fora also
continued to aggressively raise the issue of crimes of Soviet
law-enforcement structures during the events of January 13, 1991. To
promote it, including in the anti-Russian context, in addition to
multi-level actions concerning an incident in Vienna with M.V.Golovaty
Vilnius also used the trial against Algirdas Paleckis, chair of the
Socialist People’s front, prosecuted for his public statements running
counter to the official Lithuanian version of the events of January
13, 1991, in Vilnius (some witnesses gave evidence for A. Paleckis in
the court proceedings. Meanwhile, Lithuanian authorities are trying to
hush up those facts).

Vilnius continues to make considerable efforts to inflate the historic
significance of heroic struggle of Lithuanian partisans, the so called
Forest Brothers. The state-supported action such as the opening of the
monument in honour of the fighters for the freedom of Lithuania who
maintained contacts with western countries through the Baltic Sea in
1944-1953 in Sventoji received a wide coverage.

Despite the fact that the year in memory of the victims of the
Holocaust was announced in Lithuania and the law on compensation of
immovable property of Jewish religious communities was adopted, the
official Vilnius continues to shade inconvenient historic facts
related to the extermination of Jewish population of Lithuania during
World War II with the participation of Lithuanians themselves. Various
anti-Semitic actions by nationalists which are not virtually
suppressed by public authorities should be noted.

Demonstrations by young Neo-Nazis have been organized in Vilnius in
recent years. In August 2011 the National Youth Union of Lithuania
using the public funds organized a summer camp in Deveniskes, a place
inhabited by national minorities, under nationalist slogans
”Lithuania for Lithuanians” and ”cleaning out Slavic and Germanic

Characteristically, historic claims of Lithuania go beyond the Soviet
period. The theme of the uprising of 1831 against the Tsar power is
actively engaged through a number of commemorative events.

Historic themes are also widely covered in local periodicals.
Bookstores have plenty of tractates, including by the Chairman of the
Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense Arvydas Anusauskas,
telling about the crimes of the Soviet totalitarian regime and heroic
resistance of Lithuanians to Soviet occupants. Recently, a latest
offer appeared on sale -a book in Lithuanian by Timoty Snyder
explicitly called ”Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin” and
published with assistance by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of Lithuania. However, to be fair, it should be noted that
local people do not hunt for such literature.

Local school teaching books also advocate a biased approach towards
history. In view of local Russian experts, they give a one-dimensional
overview of the centuries-old Russian history with a focus on Ivan the
Terrible, Peter I, Lenin and ”bloody” Stalin. The school history
curriculum consciously portrays an unattractive image of Russia which
should be afraid of.


Estonia has about 100,000 non-citizens whose legal status is a special
invention of Estonian authorities to ensure that this group of people
be not subject to international conventions, including the 1954
Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961
Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, and be excluded from
official statistics showing the number of stateless persons. Too high
language requirements and absence of the automatic granting of
citizenship to children of non-citizens and policy towards
assimilation of our compatriots pursued by Estonian authorities
resulted in lower rates of naturalization. In 2010 only 1,184 people
received Estonian citizenship (7,000 people in 2005).

Today there are no grounds to believe that in the near future Estonian
leaders will be ready to take real measures to overcome existing
situation, although relevant international organizations, local
communities and even members of Estonian parliament proposed such
steps to this end as automatic granting of citizenship to children of
holders of grey aliens’ passports, simplified naturalization of
stateless persons born in the territory of the Estonian Soviet
Socialist Republic/Estonia, full or partial abolition of language
requirements for granting citizenship to all those who reached pension
age and not only to those born before January 1, 1930, as now.

Another systematic problem of Estonia is practical non-operation of
provisions of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National
Minorities. That instrument was ratified by Estonia on November 21,
1996, with a declaration that only citizens of the Republic of Estonia
may be considered as ”national minority”. On that basis the
authorities have long refused to accept requests by municipalities of
places inhabited by Russian-speaking minority to grant an official
status to the Russian language referring to the ratification law.
Currently, non-citizens account for considerably more than the
required 50 per cent in area in the Republic where they constitute a
majority of the population but the situation persists.

At the same time, municipalities of the North-East part of the country
where our compatriots mostly live adapted to the present situation
(records are managed in Russian, including discussion of and voting on
various issues with final documents and protocols in the state
language being backdated) and do not intend to draw the government’s
attention to that issue again being aware of its firm position.

Another acute problem is the policy pursued by the Government of
Estonia aimed at full abolition of Russian-language education, at the
level of gymnasiums for the time being. Despite the fact that existing
Estonian legislation (Law on the basic school and gymnasium) provide
for a possibility to study not only in Estonian but also in other
languages, the Ministry of Education and Science does not believe in
the need to strictly implement the rules of law. The plan to develop
an education system for 2011-2020 that was made public does not
provide for studies in public schools in languages other than
Estonian. Over many years relevant higher educational institutions do
not train teachers for Russian schools. The former and current
Minister of Education Tonis Lukas and Jaak Aaviksoo, respectively,
said that the norm in the said Law that schools can exist with
instruction in other languages than Estonian is an exception that will
be never allowed and thus demonstrate both legal nihilism of some
Estonian leaders and disrespect towards their legislation. Starting
from the current academic year 60 per cent of disciplines in all
gymnasia will be taught in Estonian that can but lower the quality of
education first of all of Russia-speaking pupils.

The parliamentary elections held in March 2011 that conserved the
previous political landscape do not give grounds to expect positive
changes in the human rights in the near future. In this connection one
should note an opinion of human rights activists of the Legal
Information Centre for Human Rights based in Tallinn that Estonian
authorities skillfully play in that field and even a few cases
identified in recent years and publicized by the centre are
interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights, as a rule, against
claimants due to lack of clear signs that their rights were infringed

Estonia continues to see increasing Neo-Nazi manifestations. This
August an annual sports and military competition Erna 2011 funded by
the Ministry of Defence was organized again to virtually glorify
actions by the Abwehr subversive units in the rear areas of the Red
Army in August 1941. Public meetings of Waffen SS legionnaires that
became traditional are held in Estonia, the ”Bronze Soldier”
(monument to the Liberators of Tallinn from Nazi invaders) was removed
from the historic centre of Tallinn.


On the night of May 26, 2011, the Georgian police scattered the group
of protesters in front of the Georgian Parliament. One of the
protesters died, dozens, including women, were brutally beaten. Not
only protesters, but journalists as well became victims of the
repressions. All this is just one more evident proof of the critical
situation with human rights in Georgia. Tbilisi’s actions became
another flagrant violation of the right to peaceful assembly and
freedom of opinion and expression. Respective strict recommendations
were addressed to the Georgian authorities this January during the
first stage of the Universal Periodic Review procedure undergone by
Georgia in the framework of the UN Human Right Council.

In August 2011, the Amnesty International published a report
criticizing Tbilisi for the forced deportation of temporarily
displaced persons (TDP) from temporary shelters. The report notes that
as a result of armed conflicts in the 1990s and 2008 TDP currently
represents about 6 per cent of the Georgian population (247,000
people). For more than 20 years the majority of them have not been
able to exercise their right of return, have not received permanent
accommodation and experienced considerable difficulties in employment
and accessing medical services in the absence of social and economic

In the midst of new deportations started this July human rights
activists note that Tbilisi’s policy leads to the deterioration of the
TDP situation and goes against Georgia’s international legal
obligations. In particular, the rights of the TDP to preliminary
notice of deportation, return to their original places of residence,
compensations and new adequate accommodation are not ensured. Georgian
Government also does not take measures for social adaptation and
economic support of the victims, moving people to isolated and less
developed regions of the country with limited employment

It is noted that in the period from June 2010 to January 2011 more
than one thousand people were moved from Tbilisi to remote parts of
the country with no basic infrastructure and extremely hard living

Although in 2005 the Georgian Parliament ratified the Council of
Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities,
Tbilisi made a number of substantial reservations regarding its
implementation. Particularly, Georgia stressed that it was not
possible to guarantee the Convention’s full entry into force until the
territorial integrity of Georgia is restored. Concerning support and
development of minority languages, the Parliament pointed out that the
state is obliged to provide national minorities with an opportunity to
learn the official language, but did not acknowledge the state’s
obligation to support minority languages and promote their
development. At the present time the Georgian Parliament continues to
delay the ratification of the European Charter for Regional or
Minority Languages that is strongly recommended by the Council of
Europe in order to create a legal framework corresponding to European
standards for the protection of human rights.

The draft resolution by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of
Europe (CMCE) on Georgia’s implementation of the Framework Convention
for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) in 2010 notes that
the main challenge the authorities face is ensuring language rights of
the national minorities. Despite the fact that the Georgian
authorities take efforts to ensure the teaching of Georgian for the
minorities, these efforts clearly do not satisfy the existing
requirements. Participation of the national minorities in the
cultural, social, economic and public and political life is noticeably
limited. A concern has been expressed that the escalating
interreligious tension in Georgia has a particular influence on the
situation of national minorities.

The concluding observations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of
Racial Discrimination (CERD) on Georgia’s reports on the human rights
situation in the country in August 2011 point out the absence of
legislation for the protection of minorities. It is noted that the
Criminal Code does not have any anti-racist regulations. Racism is not
considered an aggravating circumstance in a crime. Experts think that
these factors explain the small number of court cases on racial
discrimination. Instances of preconceived attitude and domination of
negative stereotypes about ethnic and religious minorities in mass
media, public statements by politicians and school textbooks are
causes for concern. In addition, the experts noted that some
minorities have been openly presented as ”enemies” since the 2008
conflict. They expressed concern over the messages about arbitrary
detentions and ill-treatment of foreigners by law-enforcement

The experts observed poor knowledge of Georgian among the minorities,
which is an obstacle to their full integration into society, adequate
education, employment and representation in government institutions.
Ignorance of Georgian language is also cited as a reason for multiple
arbitrary detentions by the police. Another negative factor is the
lack of detailed statistics on many social groups, including
minorities, TDP and refugees. It was noted that a large number of
children are not registered at birth. A few paragraphs in the text
deal with discrimination against Azerbaijani and Armenians, oppression
of Roma, obstruction to repatriation of Meskhetian Turks, distressed
state of the TDP and refugees who for many years have not been
supported by integration programs.

The Report of the UN HRC Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued
after their visit to Georgia (final text is planned for release by the
next session of the Human Rights Council in March 2012) arrives at the
conclusion that judicial authority is in complete dependence of
executive authority in the country. The Working Group was shocked by
the situation in the penitentiary system, where possible release
entirely depends on the prisoner’s money and connections. The Report
mentions that the law-enforcement officials in the country enjoy
almost complete impunity.

Georgian authorities intentionally pursue discrimination policy
towards Azerbaijani, the largest national minority in the country. The
total number of ethnic Azerbaijani in Georgia is about 300,000 people
(about 7 per cent of the country’s population).

In the region of Kvemo Kartli Azerbaijani sector in middle schools is
systematically reduced and Georgian applicants are given preference in
public service employment. In addition, some incidents leading to the
aggravation of interethnic relations took place here in December 2004
and March 2006.

Georgian enclaves are being purposefully formed in the areas of
compact settlement of Azerbaijani.

The Law on Cultural Heritage envisaging an additional tax for the
inhabitants of Tbilisi’s historical part adopted by the Georgian
Parliament led to discrimination against ethnic Azerbaijani. The
historical part is where mostly resides the city’s Azerbaijani
population, the majority of which have low income. Representative of
the Azerbaijani community claim that this is an attempt to drive
Azerbaijani out of the capital using economic levers.

The map of Georgia containing Azerbaijani villages under Georgian
names posted on the official web-site of the Georgian state register
can be considered one of the latest anti-Azerbaijani provocations that
triggered public response. Those included 5 villages in Marneuli
district and 12 villages in Tsalk district – all of them in the region
of Kvemo Kartli (Azerbaijani name is Borchali). Starting from 1990s,
38 localities have been renamed, and this trend continues. Such
actions of the Georgian authorities undoubtedly hurt national feelings
of the local population and do not help raise their popularity. As a
result, immigration of Azerbaijani to the neighboring Azerbaijan is
becoming mass-scale.

In 1944, there was mass deportation of Meskhetian Turks (about 90,000
people) from Georgia to Middle Asia. Upon its accession to the Council
of Europe in 1999, Georgia undertook to adopt within two years a law
on repatriation of Meskhetian Turks granting them Georgian citizenship
and to provide for their return within the next decade (i.e. till the
end of the current year). The relevant law adopted in Georgia in 2008
has declarative character and does not provide for any real incentives
or guarantees for repatriates. The return process depends on a number
of severe restrictions and bureaucratic requirements which are
difficult to meet. Repatriation virtually does not take place. This
issue is occasionally raised in the framework of the OSCE, in
particular by its High Commissioner on National Minorities K.
Vollebaek. In the conclusion of the Advisory Committee on the Council
of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National
Minorities for 2008 it is noted that there are many difficulties with
repatriation ranging from requirements to file applications to
financial problems of implementation of the Meskhetians’ integration
programs. In its Report on Georgia in 2010 the European Commission
recommended the country to take urgent measures for integration of the
Meskhetian population that should relate not only to Meskhetian Turks
but also to local Georgian population, which is still hostile towards
the Meskhetians, in particular in the regions historically inhabited
by the Meskhetian Turks’.

On July 26, 2010, Chairman of the International Meskhetian Turks
Community ”Vatan” S.M. Barbakadze was arrested in Georgia. The
circumstances of the case show that his arrest has no legal grounds
and is a provocation aimed to prevent mass return of Meskhetian Turks
to Georgia. After the arrest of S.M. Barbakadze his son R.S.
Barbakadze addressed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights N.
Pillay and to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights T.
Hammarberg. In January 2011, S.M. Barbakadze was sentenced to 11- year
imprisonment and a large fine. The health situation of that aged man
has further considerably worsened during imprisonment. The
international human rights institutions and non-governmental
organizations continue to closely follow his case.

According to official data, the Armenian community in Georgia consists
of 246,000 people. Due to a high level of emigration of the Armenian
population from Georgia to Russia, Greece and other countries of
Europe, which is mainly preconditioned by difficult socio-economic
situation and unemployment in the country (about 35 per cent of
working-age population of Georgia), already in early 1990s most of the
Armenian intelligentsia and successful businessmen left the country.

In accordance with the resolution of the Georgian government the
”bilingual education” system was introduced, according to which
Armenian schoolchildren are taught the school disciplines in their
native language only in primary school, and then such disciplines as
chemistry, physics, mathematics etc. are taught in the Georgian
language and the history of Armenia is taught in the Armenian

The district of Samtskhe-Dzhavakheti inhabited by Armenians (Dzhavakh
in Armenian) is in disastrous socio-economic situation. About 40 per
cent of the population have to travel to Russia in winter to earn
their livelihood (about 20,000 people have Russian citizenship). The
administrative positions in the local self-government are
predominantly occupied by Georgians. In January 2009 the situation was
aggravated by the arrests of the director of the Armenian youth center
”Akhaltsikhe” G. Minasyan and of the president of the charity
organization ”Charles Aznavour” S. Akopdzhanyan charged by Georgian
authorities of separatist activities and espionage. The action was
unanimously condemned by Armenian public organizations both in Georgia
and Armenia (including the parliamentary ones). In June 2009 the
deputy of the Armenian National Assembly, chairman of the expatriates’
union ”Dzhavakh” Sh. Torosyan was refused entry by Georgian border
control officials. In this connection the MFA of Armenia expressed an
official protest to Tbilisi.

Russian citizens, primarily ethnic Georgians, coming to Georgia on
private business, become targets of provocations and abuse by Georgian
special services. Different spying scandals that are being invented
become more and more far-fetched.

They have worked out the following scheme: confiscation of passport,
”invitation for an interview” during which the Russian citizen is
proposed ”cooperation”; while arms, illegal drugs or counterfeit
money are ”found” with those who refuse. V.V. Vakhania, Doctor of
Law and member of Russian Journalists Union, and P.G. Bliadze, retired
lieutenant-colonel of the Russian army, were imprisoned on such
fabricated ”cases”.

Doctor of Law V.V. Vakhania residing in Moscow has worked for a long
time for Russian Prosecutor’s Office and is a member of the Union of
Journalists of the Russian Federation. In 2008 he also received
Georgian citizenship.

In summer 2008 V.V. Vakhania arrived on private business with his wife
and three children in his hometown of Zugdidi. In October 2008 trying
to return to Moscow with his family V.V. Vakhania was not admitted to
an airplane. Without any explanation, his documents were confiscated,
and he was being forced to admit spying for Russia.

On March 11, 2009, a journalist accused V.V. Vakhania of threatening
her, and on March 15 his house in Zugdidi was searched. In the course
of the search an assault rifle with ammunition and grenades were
”found”. At the end of March 2009 V.V. Vakhania was arrested on
clearly fabricated charges: Illegal Interference into Professional
Activity of Journalists (Article 154 of the CC of Georgia) and Illicit
Purchase, Keeping, or Sale of Fire-Arms (Article 236 of the CC of
Georgia). On September 11, 2009, the Zugdidi District Court sentenced
him to four-year imprisonment.

According to his relatives, though V.V. Vakhania is seriously ill he
is refused proper treatment and is not allowed to undergo a medical
examination. It is said that prison doctors intentionally give him
pharmaceuticals that further aggravate his health situation.

In May 2009, a retired Russian lieutenant-colonel P.G. Bliadze came to
Georgia to resolve family problems. When crossing the border already
Georgian special services proposed to make a video recording of his
declaration that he was ”Moscow agent” and participated in plotting
the rebellion at the Mukhrovani military base. A month later he was
arrested after a firearm (a gun) had been planted on him, as in the
case of V.V. Vakhania. During the investigation P.G. Bliadze was being
numerously promised, including by the appointed lawyer, an immediate
release in exchange to a video recording of him admitting to
”cooperate with Russian special services and participate in
anti-Georgian activities”.

In November 2009, the Tbilisi City Court found P.G. Bliadze ”guilty
of illicit purchase and carrying of firearms” and sentenced him to
five-year imprisonment.

The court proceedings have been rather formal from the very beginning.
Motions and protests were declined without any explanation. Only
officers of the Ministry of Interior of Georgia who participated in
P.G. Bliadze detention were invited as witnesses.

Georgian special services attempted to use a similar scheme against
Y.M. Kenkadze, a Russian citizen and a former serviceman (residing in
the Krasnodar region, arrived to Georgia at the end of September 2009
to meet his mother).

When entering the country he already felt an increased attention – a
border officer carefully noted his Georgian address and telephone
numbers. On October 26 two persons who called themselves ”Special
services officers” came to Y.M. Kenkadze’s house having shown no
identity cards. Without any explanation, they confiscated his Russian
foreign passport and asked him to ”come to an interview after making
a call on the indicated telephone number”.

Only because Y.M. Kenkadze turned for official assistance to the
Section of Interests of the Russian Federation at the Embassy of
Switzerland in Tbilisi he managed to leave the country safely. The
consular officers urgently issued him a laissez-passer and accompanied
him to the Armenian border. The Swiss party was duly informed of the

On May 13, 2010, in Georgia, there were arrested Yu.D. Skrylnikov,
Yu.A. Marchuk and M.I. Vyalov, citizens of the Russian Federation (the
latter also has Georgian citizenship), on charges of counterfeit money
production and distribution.

On October 7, 2010, the Batumi City Court found Skrylnikov, Marchuk
and Vyalov guilty of committing a crime under Article 212 of the
Criminal Code of Georgia (production or distribution of counterfeit
money or securities) and sentenced Marchuk and Vyalov to six-year
imprisonment, and Skrylnikov as the one who organized it to 18-year.
He was also fined 12,000 Georgian laris (about 70,000 US dollars).

The information obtained while visiting the arrested Russians by a
consular official of the Russian Federation Interests Section of the
Embassy of the Swiss Confederation in Georgia gives rise to a
reasonable suspicion that the initiated criminal case has been trumped
up. Thus, it has turned out that the counterfeit banknotes in
Skrylnikov’s and Marchuk’s possession amounting to 3,800 USD and 2000
USD respectively were found only two hours after their arrest, and
that in both cases the attesting witnesses were Georgian Ministry of
Interior officials.

It should be also noted that Marchuk and Vyalov had earlier served on
the Russian military base in Batumi, and one of Skrylnikov’s sons is a
serviceman of the North Caucasus Military District of the Russian
Armed Forces. During interrogations at the pretrial detention center
Skrylnikov was mainly asked questions concerning his son’s service
(official position, responsibilities, etc.).

On November 5, 2010, Tbilisi announced the detention of 13 persons on
the charge of spying for Russia. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of
Georgia published a list of the detainees. Yu.D. Skrylnikov, a
Ministry of Interior retiree, shortly before convicted in Batumi
to18-year imprisonment ”for distribution of counterfeit banknotes”
also appeared there. The trial of the above-mentioned persons ended in
Batumi on July 6, 2011. Nine persons accused of spying were sentenced
to 11 to 14 years. Skrylnikov got the most severe sentence (14 years).
The Court did not take into consideration the fact that the Russian
citizen was seriously ill and could not move on his own.

The Georgian authorities fail to implement their commitments on the
provision of legal assistance undertaken in accordance with the
Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family
and Criminal Matters signed in Minsk on 22 January 1993 to which
Georgia is a party despite its withdrawal from the CIS. Inter alia, it
ignores requests by Russia to extradite persons so that they could
serve sentences in the Russian Federation.

For example, V.G. Gudushauri was arrested by Georgian law-enforcement
authorities in June 2006 between two border-crossing points: ”Verkhni
Lars” (Russia) – ”Kazbegi” (Georgia). In 2007, he was sentenced to
10-year imprisonment on the charge of theft and spying. In August
2009, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation sent a request
to the Georgian side to extradite Gudushauri so that he could serve
his sentence in the territory of Russia. There was no reply to this

In 2008, P.P. Siukaev, a Russian citizen, was sentenced by a Georgian
court to 9.5-year imprisonment for the crime under paragraph 262(2) of
the Criminal Code of Georgia – illegal acquisition and possession of
narcotic substances. According to our information, the criminal case
has been trumped up by Georgian Ministry of Interior officials who
planted heroin on him. Court hearings were rather formal, evidence
against Russian citizen have not been carefully studied. The appeal
petition to a court of appellate jurisdiction was not considered. The
Chamber of Cassation of the Supreme Court of Georgia did not change
the sentence either.

According to P.P. Siukaev, during the investigation, officials of
Georgian special services explicitly told him that he could receive a
probation sentence should he provide information about his service in
the internal armed forces of Russia.

In violation of the generally recognized international rules, the
Georgian authorities prevented Russian consular officials from
visiting Russian citizens in penitentiary facilities. The permission
is usually issued after continued reminders and only thanks to
assistance of the Embassy of Switzerland. In case of P.G. Bliadze,
that took several months.

On April 19, 2011, Z.R. Blizadze-Rodionova, a Russian citizen and a
close relative of an staunch oppositionist of the current Georgian
regime N.A. Burjanadze, was attacked during the customs control
procedures in Tbilisi airport. The innocent woman has been detained
for more than 4 hours and suffered injuries of varying severity.


In Canada, the human rights situation remains complicated. The country
has been criticized, mainly in the regular report Returning to Human
Rights issued in July 2011 by the international NGO Amnesty

In the report, the treatment of indigenous citizens was called a
national shame. According to the report, it has been a long time that
the Federal and Province Governments do not admit the right to land
and there has been gross inequality of the indigenous citizens as for
access to health, fresh water, education and accommodation. According
to the research conducted by a team from the McGill University, the
rights of Inuits to nutrition are systematically violated (6 out of 10
Inuits are undernourished) which leads to mass prevalence of diabetes
and cardio-vascular diseases in this group of the population.

Here increasing cases of ill-treatment by the police should also be
added. For example, in November 2010, Ottawa was shocked by video
recordings that were made public and that captured beating and
degrading treatment of a detained underage girl by police officers.
Also, there is multiple evidence of misuse of power by the police in
Vancouver during mass disturbances after the Stanley Cup finals in
June 2011, as well as of using service dogs to disperse demonstrators.

In Canada, indigenous women and underage girls suffer from violence
and discrimination. In 2010-2011, the Federal Government significantly
reduced financing of women rights organizations, studies and services
of lawyers to protect women’s equality.

Observance of the rights of refugees and immigrants in Canada also
raises concerns of the human rights activists. Treatment of refugees
from a ship Sun Sea who arrived to Canada from Bangladesh in August
2010 was called a ”procedural abuse” by a Federal Court judge. The
draft law C-49 that was proposed to resolve the situation was
criticized by all the opposition parties as violating human rights
principles such as prohibition on arbitrary detention and arrest.

Deportation without charge or trial of more than 30 people accused of
military crimes and crimes against humanity caused a wide response in
the local human rights community.

Also, when abroad, citizens of Canada do not enjoy sufficient
protection from their government. The list of countries where
incidents occur is quite long: China, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Iran,
Egypt, the USA. In some cases, the Government of Canada refused to
interfere or limited itself to minimal interference; in other cases,
in view of the citizens, its interference never brought any positive
results. Despite enquiries and rulings of the Supreme and Federal
Courts, the cases are not being investigated.

In that country, as well as in other countries, one can hear local
politicians calling for limiting access to Internet under the pretext
of fighting extremism, but taking into consideration the lack of
efficient mechanism that could curtail freedom of electronic mass
media and reduce universal access to web resources.

Violations of International Humanitarian Law within the Context of
Actions of NATO and the Libyan Sides During an Armed Conflict in Libya

The NATO operation in Libya was accompanied by a large-scale
propaganda campaign to support the Alliance’s mission to protect the
civilians. At the official level, the NATO leadership has completely
denied civilian casualties in the aftermath of missile and bomber
strikes of the coalition forces coordinated by the Alliance’s military
command structures, indirect victims resulting from the blockade of
the Western regions of Libya as well as the destruction of civilian
infrastructure. It was stated that the targets for the bombings were
thoroughly selected to rule out civilian casualties. The point that
”if it had not been for NATO, there would have been much more
casualties” was promoted in relation to direct support provided by
NATO to the National Transitional Council of Libya (NTC). The
Alliance’s leadership tried to portray such reports solely as
propaganda of M. Gaddafi.

By implementing the concept of collective responsibility, NATO
members, in essence, set a main goal of the overthrow and murder of
the colonel (according to some sources, the order to eliminate M.
Gaddafi was given to units of the armed forces of the USA, France and
UK). They had placed stake on provoking unrest among the population on
the territories controlled by Gaddafi and interrupting normal life

The coalition forces under NATO command committed the following
violations of international, including humanitarian, law:

1.According to various information, intensive bombardment in the first
days of the campaign (and even before the operation was headed by
NATO) led to civilian casualties: from 64 to 90 civilians were killed,
including up to 40 in Tripoli, and 150 people were injured; on May 13,
2011, in the city of Brega, 13 were killed and 50 imams were wounded
during a collective prayer; 9 people were killed in the course of the
bombardment of Tripoli on June 19; 15 people, including 3 children,
were killed as a result of NATO bombing on June 20, 2011; 8 civilians
of Tawergha were killed on June 28, 2011; during the bombing of a
hospital in Zliten on July 25, 2011, not less than 11 people,
including medical staff, were killed.

The most egregious case was registered on August 9, 2011, when in the
aftermath of the missile and bomber strike on the village of Majar 85
people, including 33 children and 32 women, were killed. Finally,
according to numerous reports, victims among civilian population were
registered during the fight over Sirte and Bani Walid (when artillery
and tanks were used).

Various evidence provided by eyewitnesses and media (in some cases,
even pro-NATO media publications in the West) indicates that a
considerable part of this information is true. Moreover, the exact
casualties taking into account the number of NATO tactical air
missions and the intensity of bombing have not been determined.

2. On the night of May 9/10 2011, the NATO air strike resulted in a
serious damage to civilian infrastructure in Tripoli, including the
house of parliament, the centre for children with disabilities, burns
centre and the city court. The bombing of the University of Tripoli
was reported on June 12, 2011. The water supply system providing the
majority of the Libyan population with drinking water was hit on July
22, 2011. NATO forces also attacked the airport of Tripoli, energy
infrastructures and food warehouses. NATO representatives asserted
that all targets were military. The strikes targeted at civilian
facilities have substantially aggravated the humanitarian situation in
the country.

The television centre in Tripoli suffered bombing on July 30, 2011,
and, as a result, 3 people were killed and 15 injured. Irina Bokova,
UNESCO Director-General, and the International Federation of
Journalists which is the major association of media workers levelled
harsh criticism at NATO. The representatives of the Alliance have
denied the attack on the television centre.

3. Using an arms embargo regime as a pretext, the Navy of the NATO
countries taking part in the operation practically cut off the access
of fuel to the territories controlled by M. Gaddafi. In particular,
the oil tanker ”Cartagena” owned by the Libyan government and at the
time transporting fuel to Tripoli was intercepted in August by the
rebels directly supported by NATO forces. There were also other cases
of broad interpretation of the embargo regime, i. e. disrupting
shipments of nonmilitary cargoes to the capital of Libya.

The actions of the coalition forces under NATO and rebels’ command led
to serious problems with fuel supply (for instance, as a result of
blocking the pipeline in Zawiya) and, consequently, to the shortages
of electricity in the Western regions of Libya, all that in summer
heat during Ramadan. Problems with providing the population with food
and medical aid were registered on the territories controlled by M.

4. In the course of the operation, there were cases when NATO
coalition forces ships did not come to the rescue of ships suffering
distress in the Mediterranean with Libyan refugees aboard. In
particular, the PACE and the Human Rights Watch organization called
for an investigation on the failure to offer assistance to the boat
with migrants who had had to return to Libya on April 10, 2011, after
two weeks in the open sea (only 9 of 72 passengers survived). A
similar case was registered at the beginning of August when, according
to some reports, the coalition forces ship failed to render assistance
to another boat with migrants aboard, which caused a loss of more than
100 lives. Judging by the total number of refugees trying to escape
from Libya at the time of the conflict, the list of victims of NATO
undisguised neglect of the maritime law should include other cases as

5. NATO did not take any effective measures on the numerous crimes
committed by the former Libyan armed opposition and registered by
international human rights NGOs, including killings, violence, ethnic
crimes, etc., which essentially promoted such actions taken by rebels.
The representatives of the Alliance countries’ leadership just
criticized that practice.

The report by the Amnesty International cites various examples of
human rights violations committed against members of M. Gaddafi’s
armed forces and supporters of his regime as well as against suspected
mercenaries, and notes the use of torture. The majority of the
detained were arrested by local paramilitary authorities and armed
groups without any court ruling. The work of Libyan courts was
suspended after the National Transitional Council of Libya (NTC) had
come to power. The prison conditions in Libya do not correspond to
international standards: minors are kept in the same wards with
adults, women prisoners are guarded by men, etc.

Having examined the deaths of 53 people in a deserted hotel in Sirte,
the Human Rights Watch has come to the conclusion that the mass
shooting was perpetrated by opposition detachments. Taking into
consideration that some people were shot after their capture, human
rights advocates regard the actions of opposition members as a war
crime according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal
Court. The organization demanded that the NTC of Libya immediately
start the investigation on mass slaughter in the course of
establishing control over Sirte and bring those guilty to justice.

The extrajudicial murders of former regime representatives and
supporters were perpetrated with tacit consent of NATO members who
were just urging Libyan authorities to show tolerance. A separate
inquiry should be made in M. Gaddafi’s assassination, including from
the standpoint of foreign countries’ participation in it. The Office
of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the representatives of
Russia, USA and other states and a number of reputable international
human rights NGOs have called for an investigation.

Presenting the United Defender operation as a model for the conflict
settlement, the Alliance’s leadership is seeking to hush up such
facts. The Western media either wants to demonstrate its independence,
in most cases reproducing the NATO stance. The new Libyan authorities
are neither interested in the exposure of discreditable facts.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia

December 2011

[1] In July 2010, Paris has started eradicating illegal Roma
settlements and sending the settlers back to their home countries
(spending the French budgetary funds), to the discontent not only of
human rights activists but Brussels, as well.

[2] Excluding 3.7% of the population of Lithuania, whose nationality
was not specified.

[3] According to which, ”Persons belonging to national minorities
have the right freely to express, preserve and develop their national,
cultural, linguistic or religious identity and to maintain and develop
their culture in all its aspects, free of any attempts at assimilation
against their will”.

[4] For instance, Russians made up 9.4% of the population of Lithuania
in 1989, 6.3% in 2001 (last census) and 4.8%. in 2011, according to
Statistics Lithuania. In other words, Russian population has almost
halved over the twenty years of Lithuania’s independence. Thus,
according to Vladas Gaidys, a Lithuanian sociologist and head of
Market and Opinion Research Centre ”Vilmorus Ltd.”, ”the
assimilation is one of the major reasons why the number of Russians
has decreased” A similar trend is being observed with other
communities in Lithuania (the downsizing of communities in the period
between 1989 and 2011): Ukrainians from 1.2% to 0.6%, Belarusians from
1.7% to 1.1%, Poles from 7% to 6%, Jews from 0.3% to 0.1%. At the same
time, the share of Lithuanians in total population has increased from
79.6% in 1989 to 83.1% in 2011.

[5] Part I of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

[6] Created by the Decree of the Government of Lithuania of 14.02.2003
to be in charge of national minority policy.

[7] In 2009, the Seimas didn’t extend its duration as it used to do before.

[8] According to Statistics Lithuania, 44 Russian-language
publications were being published in Lithuania in 1995 compared to
only 16 in 2009. The total circulation of publications in Russian is
also decreasing: from 14.7 million copies in 2008 to 11.8 million
copies in 2009. The airtime share for programs in Russian and other
national minorities’ languages on state television is decreasing too.
It is now 0.7%. For instance, the duration of ”Russian Street”, a
program for Russian-speaking audience, has been reduced from 30 down
to 13 minutes due to its allegedly low ratings.