Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Military Space News .




SUPERPOWERS
Rights focus urged for EU-Russia summit
by Staff Writers
Brussels (UPI) Dec 20, 2012


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Human rights advocates are urging the European Union to demand at this week's summit in Brussels that Russia relent on its internal crackdown on dissents.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are to meet Friday with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton as part of a long-running effort to update the strategic partnership between the two sides.

Leading the European Union's agenda will be human rights, including the role and freedom of non-governmental organizations at a time when Russia had implemented a new law forcing on-governmental organizations that perform advocacy work and accept foreign funding to register as "foreign agents."

The arrest and imprisonment of the punk rock band Pussy Riot and continuing fallout from the 2009 death in prison of whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky also were on the minds of European critics of Russia's human rights record in the run-up to Friday's EU-Russia summit.

Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director of Human Rights Watch, on Tuesday urged Van Rompuy, Barroso and Ashton to "convey a clear sense of alarm at the crackdown of the past six months" while meeting with Putin and Lavrov.

The European Union, he said, "should press the Russian leadership to stop trying to choke off free speech and assembly and any sign of dissent."

The NGO law passed by the Russian Parliament in July, Human Rights Watch said, tries to "demonize" the groups in the public eye "as spies and traitors."

Another law, adopted in November, expands the definition of treason "in ways that could criminalize international human rights advocacy," Human Rights Watch said.

The European Parliament this month overwhelmingly adopted a report on Russia that also takes the Kremlin to task on human rights as Brussels and Moscow work to replace their Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which dates from 1997.

Hannes Swoboda, an S&D Group MEP and rapporteur on the EU-Russia agreement in the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, said during the debate that while he wants improved relations, "Russia must also play its part and show clear commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

"The recent laws on NGOs, treason and espionage are worrying at best as they threaten freedom of expression by intimidating civil society in Russia," he said.

Meanwhile, Green Party MEP Werner Schulz, deputy chairman of the EU-Russia parliamentary cooperation committee, last week called for a travel ban on anyone allegedly involved in the death of Magnitsky, a lawyer who was arrested and died in a Moscow prison while trying to expose a Russian government corruption case.

"Unlike the officials guilty of his death, he is still being persecuted, even posthumously," Schulz said. "Visa liberalization without binding human rights criteria is not acceptable.

The EU should impose an entry ban for all people incriminated in the Magnitsky case and should simultaneously facilitate visas for Russian citizens."

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom told the Parliament last week that as the European Union's third-largest trading partner, Russia is "indispensable" when it comes to ensuring security on our continent.

But, she vowed, the summit would include "and honest exchange of views on unresolved issues and unsatisfactory developments," such as the Pussy Riot and Magnitsky cases, the crackdown on NGOs and pending legislation that would ban "propaganda of homosexuality" among those under age 18.

.


Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SUPERPOWERS
Outside View: Ticking time bombs
Washington (UPI) Dec 19, 2012
To most observers, irrespective of "sequestration" that would remove an additional $500 billion from defense spending over the next decade, the most dangerous of ticking time bombs at the Pentagon is budgetary. The impact of any financial contraction will be magnified by the swelling retirement and medical accounts that gobble up huge proportions of the budget. And transitioning ... read more


SUPERPOWERS
U.S. seeks double Israel missile funding

NATO chief denounces Iran's allegations on Patriots

Russia shuts down Azerbaijan radar station: Baku

Turkey assures Russia Patriot missiles for defence: diplomat

SUPERPOWERS
Raytheon awarded contract for SM-2 production

Brazil invests in rocket technology

Brazil, S. Africa collaborate on missile

Scud attacks signal Syrian regime alarm

SUPERPOWERS
Boeing Demos Unmanned Little Bird for Republic of Korea Army

Boeing's Reusable, Unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Begins Second Flight

Mystery Air Force space plane launched

US drone strike kills at least three in Pakistan

SUPERPOWERS
N. Korea satellite appears dead: scientist

AEHF Team Completes Major Integration Milestone Ahead Of Schedule

US Air Force selects Raytheon to develop future Protected SATCOM System

General Dynamics Awarded Contract Under New U.S. Army Rapid-Acquisition Communications Program

SUPERPOWERS
NGC Provides Attitude Heading Reference For Sikorsky's S-76D Helicopter

Lockheed Martin Wins Role on Army Software and Systems Engineering Contract

Integrated soldier kits for more troops

Britain's Charles shown Tata's new military-grade steel

SUPERPOWERS
Boeing Raises Dividend 10 Percent and Resumes Share Repurchase Program

Ruag picks up Rosebank Engineering

Russia and Libya: will they restore military and technical cooperation?

Russia's arms export plan exceeded

SUPERPOWERS
Japan's Abe voices security concerns

Commentary: Geopolitical malignancy

US to deploy newest weapons to Asia-Pacific

US to open military ties soon with Myanmar: official

SUPERPOWERS
Nanocrystals Not Small Enough to Avoid Defects

Nature Materials Study: Boosting Heat Transfer With Nanoglue

New optical tweezers trap specimens just a few nanometers across

How 'transparent' is graphene?




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement