BHHRG

About BHHRG

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

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Troubles in Transnistria: Why not a referendum to decide the issue?
HITS: 13277 | 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.[1]
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.[2]

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Sex and the Peacekeepers, or the Who, Whom? of Human Trafficking
HITS: 9746 | 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.

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Moldova the failed state as pro-Western model
HITS: 12726 | 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.

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Transnistria 2006
HITS: 9897 | 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.

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Is the West helping to thaw or re-ignite a "frozen conflict"?
HITS: 9465 | 19-02-2008, 14:15 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Moldova , PR and human rights, Analyzing

Transnistrians protest against the economic blockade imposed by Ukraine in March 2006 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.

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PMR - Presidential Elections Report
HITS: 2284 | 17-01-2006, 04:12 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Moldova , Elections

On 10th December, 2006, the unrecognized republic of Pridnestrovie (PMR) held its fourth presidential elections in a calm, orderly and efficient manner. The British Helsinki Human Rights Group sent two representatives to observe the elections for President and Vice-President of the Republic of Pridnestrovie (PMR) on December 10, 2006. The team visited polling stations in Tiraspol, Rybnitsa, Grigoriopol, Kamenka, and the villages of Podoina, Rashkov, and Malajesti. The observers met the Head of the Regional Electoral Commission in Grigoriopol and the representative of the Grigoriopol region on the Central Election Commission.
The election itself proceeded smoothly in every polling station visited by BHHRG. Both the electoral commissions and the electorate were well-informed on the electoral regulations and procedures. The chairman and secretary of the local commissions, as well as their deputies, had attended seminars on the correct conduct of the elections at the regional commission level. In turn, they had instructed the members of their local commissions in preparation of Election Day.

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