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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Estonia, NATO and the War on Iraq
HITS: 1993 | 1-05-2003, 16:42 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Estonia , PR and human rights, Analyzing
Estonia’s entry into NATO and the EU should have been significant issues, but BHHRG’s impression was that NATO entry was not at the forefront of average voters’ minds – perhaps people fail to appreciate the costs of NATO entry which demands that 2% of a country’s GDP be spent annually on defence. All six parties that were predicted to make it into parliament favoured membership in both organizations, although, official opinion polls showed popular support for EU below that for NATO. In fact, Estonia has gained something of a reputation among Eurosceptics as the least enthusiastic of the candidate members. A group of British Eurosceptics recently set up a fund to help the Estonian ‘No’ campaign with its public relations, needless to say, all state funding, as well as assistance from Brussels goes to those in favour of accession to the union. Estonia’s referendum is planned for September, months after most of the other 10 countries have voted a sign, perhaps, that any lingering doubts will be put to rest when it is seen that everyone else has voted ‘Yes’.
HITS: 1825 | 27-12-2002, 22:41 | Comments: (0) | Categories: EU , Political science, Analyzing
“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which.” George Orwell, Animal Farm
Orwell’s satire on Stalin’s unscrupulousness is conventionally taken to be his reckoning with the Soviet dictator’s willingness to collude with Hitler on the eve of the Second World War. But the fact that Orwell wrote the fable in early 1944, the latter part of the war when “Uncle Joe” was the West’s ally - and the attempts by British censors to suppress the book - suggest that its target was more Capitalist-Communist connivance in general than the Nazi-Soviet Pact in particular. With the collapse of the Soviet bloc’s Communist regimes between 1989 and 1991 has Orwell’s satire lost its sting?