The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.
* Monitoring the conduct of elections in OSCE member states.
* Examining issues relating to press freedom and freedom of speech
* Reporting on conditions in prisons and psychiatric institutions
As pointed out, unemployment among ordinary Slovaks in the east of the country is also high. Although there is little evidence of inter community tension, people are, albeit mutedly, critical of the Roma regarding them as lazy, unreliable and untrustworthy. While the Slovak press adopts a responsible line on the subject, their correspondence columns often seethe with anger over what readers consider to be favouritism shown to Roma asking why “they” can’t have fewer children and clean up their act. Their critics point out that Roma lie when they say they have to steal because they can’t afford to buy food alleging that most of the goods stolen were drink and cigarettes and that they get into debt due to the shark like interest rates imposed on them by local money lenders. Not all of these accusations are false. For example, BHHRG saw an advertisement for something called Expres Financial a money lending outfit outside the Rokoko supermarket used by Roma in Čierna nad Tisou.
The British Helsinki Human Rights Group (BHHRG) traces democracy and human rights in the fifty seven OSCE member states from the US to Central Asia. The BHHRG is a registered charity (UK). It does not have investments from any government and is subordinated to voluntary donations. Its basic aim is to provide unique research information to all people interested in human rights articles in the OSCE region. It's also necessary to underline, that all reports of our organization are created by specially educated authors. Majority of reports are being done directly from the place of events.
Monitoring and analyzing the passage of elections in OSCE member states;
Analyzing issues according to such topics as press and speech freedom;
Reporting on situations in asylums and prisons;
Researching conditions in psychiatric institutions and covering immigration issues.
Exactly four years after the so-called Rose Revolution, the two key leaders of Georgia's People Power revolution are at each other's throats.
“Georgia has made stunning progress in carrying out substantial economic, judicial and state reforms… that should allow Georgia to become a prosperous liberal market economy and a fully-fledged democracy governed by human rights and the rule of law. Georgia has set an example for the whole region and beyond.” Council of Europe reporters Matyas Eorsi & Kastriot Islami (13 September 2007)
"The style of Saakashvili’s governance … has made dishonesty, injustice and oppression a way of life. Everyday repression, demolition of houses and churches, robbery, ‘kulakization’, and murders, I would stress, murders, have become common practice for the authorities.” Ex-Defence Minister Irakli Okruashvili in Tbilisi (25th September, 2007)
On Friday 2nd November, 2007, the centre of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, was occupied a huge crowd demanding the resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili. It was exactly four years since Saakashvili had cried foul about Georgia’s parliamentary elections and set in train the protests which brought him to power on 23rd November, 2003.
Troubles in Transnistria: Why not a referendum to decide the issue?
HITS: 13186 | 19-02-2008, 15:39 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Moldova , PR and human rights, World health
The West and its surrogate agencies have shown themselves resolutely uninterested in the conduct of elections in Transnistria. After a month of impasse on the PMR-Ukrainian border, the OSCE in Vienna announced that it would not recognise the results of any referendum held in Transnistria to allow the local population to express its opinion on its fate. Igor Smirnov has been president of the breakaway region since 1990. During an interview with BHHRG he pointed out wearily how often the West – the “international community” as it calls itself - has ignored elections in Transnistria or prejudged them. Last December’s parliamentary elections had been won by the opposition but the West still denies legitimacy to such polls even though it accepts, for instance, that Montenegro’s Milo Djukanović has held power as premier or president or now again premier for almost 17 years. Despite the fact that the West has been happy to accept the disintegration of both the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, it remains strangely fixated on preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the post-Soviet states whose claim to political legitimacy is often shaky to put it mildly.
Sex and the Peacekeepers, or the “Who, Whom?” of Human Trafficking
HITS: 9691 | 19-02-2008, 15:30 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Moldova , PR and human rights, Analyzing
Any adult knows that it takes two for prostitution to exist. There must be a client as well as a whore. Forced prostitution requires three participants: the passive women, the man who pays, and the pimp who cashes in on his girl’s subjection to another man’s desires. Prostitution, forced or voluntary, depends as with any other product, legal or illicit, for demand to foster supply. Where is the market for sex slaves from Moldova, Ukraine or even Transnistria? Although US, EU and OSCE mediators and monitors wax indignant about the alleged human trafficking via Transnistria, they are remarkably reticent about where the women and girls forced into prostitution are obliged to work as sex-slaves. The answer is that they are overwhelmingly deployed to satisfy the sexual needs of US, EU and OSCE personnel and soldiers in Kosovo, Macedonia and Bosnia. If the West had not intervened in the Balkans and deployed tens of thousands of mainly male personnel to control the region, the sex trade would not exist there to remotely the degree that it has boomed since 1995. Such is the poverty of most local men in the Balkans that even if they wished to exploit Moldovan or Ukrainian girls and women they could not afford to.
HITS: 12643 | 19-02-2008, 15:14 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Moldova , Political science, Political leaders
The economic and social implosion of Moldova since 1991 is routinely blamed on Transnistria but according to all the Western reform models promoting “shock therapy” the loss of the heavily industrial part of the country should have been pure gain for the rest of Moldova. According to the post-Communist market dogmatists industry was a handicap to prosperity and the sooner smokestacks ceased to pollute the higher the standard of living would be. Under successive governments since 1991 Moldova to the west of the Dniestr has followed the nostrums of “shock therapy” to the letter and its population has endured a catastrophic fall in its standard of living, mass emigration and the humiliation of seeking economic salvation in prostitution or the sale of body parts. It is an index of Moldova’s industrial and social collapse that it no longer buys electricity from the Transnistrian power plant which used to supply it. Despite its favourable reputation among Western “experts” as a model of economic reform and democracy, Moldova’s political system has been repeatedly criticised at home. In the run up to the re-election of Voronin’s Communists in 2004, opposition group’s made wide-ranging charges of electoral malpractice which were dropped after Voronin made publicly supportive statements about US policy and anti-Russian jibes.
HITS: 9844 | 19-02-2008, 15:07 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Moldova , Political science
On 3rd March, 2006, the Ukrainian customs authorities suddenly implemented a new system of control along the 310 mile-long border (c. 5000 km) with the internationally-unrecognised republic of Transnistria (PMR). The Ukrainians announced that henceforth they would only permit goods bearing official customs stamps from the Republic of Moldova to enter Ukraine or to transit across its territory. Until 3rd March, the Ukrainian customs had accepted PMR’s customs stamps as validating goods for import into Ukraine or for transit across its territory. The effect of this sudden unilateral act was to produce a dilemma for the Transnistrian authorities in Tiraspol. Either they could accept the Ukrainian act as a fait accompli which would mean effectively transferring customs revenues to the Moldovan capital Chisinau and renouncing their economic sovereignty and therefore their self-proclaimed independence since 1990, or they could refuse to comply with the Ukrainian demands and in effect accept an embargo on their exports with all the severe economic consequences which would flow from stopping the country’s exports.
Is the West helping to thaw or re-ignite a "frozen conflict"?
HITS: 9418 | 19-02-2008, 14:15 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Moldova , PR and human rights, Analyzing
Across the former Soviet Union, the status of four unrecognised states with de facto independence has remained unsolved since 1991. Three of these so-called “frozen conflicts” – Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia – are in the Caucasus, close to oil and gas pipelines. Each has a friendly neighbour – Armenia for Karabakh, Russia for Abkhazia and South Ossetia – which inhibits attack by the nominal sovereign, Azerbaijan or Georgia. The fourth unrecognised state, Transnistria, is sandwiched between its sovereign claimant Moldova and Ukraine. Since March, 2006, Moldova and Ukraine, backed by the EU and United States have tried to bring rebel Transnistria to its knees with a de facto blockade. Western analysts, who have backed secessionist movements in the Balkans have demanded the enforcement of Moldova’s sovereignty - until now.
Sandwiched between Iran and Turkey close to the trans-Caucasus oil pipeline, Armenia is at a sensitive geostrategic crossroads. Will Parliamentary elections trigger another colour-coded revolution?
Parliamentary Elections Briefing Introduction
Even before Armenians went to the polls on 12th May, 2007, for parliamentary elections, the political atmosphere had become heated with accusations from the opposition and allied NGOs that the government was planning to rig the outcome while the government accused opposition leaders of treasonable behaviour. A week before the vote, the police arrested the last foreign minister of the former President Levon Ter-Petrossian accusing him of money-laundering, while the opposition countered that a prominent pro-government party leader and magnate was buying votes by funding charitable activities. Threats of mass demonstrations against President Robert Kocharian if his parliamentary allies won the elections – as opinion polls predicted – raised the spectre of another “People Power” revolution in the former Soviet Union.
HITS: 9663 | 13-03-2007, 08:19 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Serbia , Analyzing, War and peace
This report was first published in January, 2002. Nearly, four years later, the issue of CIA renditions to European countries where suspects are possibly tortured is being investigated. As Le Monde quoted BHHRG's 2002 report in an article published on 25th November, June: "<…> "prison secrète" américaine a existé dans un camp de l'OTAN au Kosovo...existence" we are reprinting the report. Also, published is BHHRG's Mark Almond's February, 2002 New Statesman article "Nightmare at Camp Bondsteel".
The international community, which governs the former Yugoslav province of Kosovo and Bosnia & Herzegovina, bases its legitimacy on the concept of the rule of law. On 12th February 2002, indeed, the trial began in The Hague of the former Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic. This trial is intended to embody the way in which the international community is working towards the realization of the rule of law in the Balkans in particular and in international affairs on a global scale.