July 3, 2002

Alternative service bill

With the crucial second reading on alternative Service scheduled for 14 June in the State Duma, human rights activists warned at the press conference on 29 May that the bill might be passed that makes alternative service not very different from military service. Several amendments give reasons for concern. (03-JULY-2002)

July 3, 2002

Alternative punishment

Judges in the Russian Federation have begun sentencing petty offenders to community service as an alternative to prison in a pilot project aimed at exploring ways to relieve overcrowding in the country’s dilapidated prison system. (3-JULY-2002)

July 3, 2002

Bush on democracy and war in Chechnya

During his visit to Moscow George Bush made an important public speech. He stopped at the issue of the Chechen Republic, which is sensitive for the Russian Federation, by drawing parallels with operations in Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. (03-JULY-02)

July 1, 2002

The bill on alternative service is turned into the law on alternative slavery

On 19 June, after four hours of heated debate, the Russian State Duma approved the government-backed bill on alternative military service in a crucial second reading. About 300 amendments – mostly from liberals – have been submitted to the Duma since the bill was passed in the first reading in April. However, the four pro-Kremlin centrist factions that form the Duma majority blocked the passage of most of them. (01-JULY-2002)

April 30, 2002

Alternative Military Service law passed by the Russian State Duma

The Russian State Duma passed an Alternative Military Service draft law proposed by the government. Two alternative drafts proposed by the deputies were rejected. The version of the draft law that was proposed by government  sets the term of service to 4 years (normal military service is 2 years). It also requires that the draftee proves that he should be provided with the right for alternative service. (30-APR-2002)

April 30, 2002

Council of Europe condemned the Russian Federation for mistreatment of prisoners

On April 23 Council of Europe published a report, condemning the Russian Federation for cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners and inmates of detention centers and police stations. The Russian prison population is nearing 1 million (total population of the Russian Federation is about 144 million). (30-APR-2002)

April 30, 2002

Police breaks up peaceful anti-nuclear waste imports demonstration in Moscow

Police and Kremlin security officers forcefully broke up a peaceful demonstration against a law that President Putin signed in July. The law allows spent nuclear fuel to be imported for reprocessing. 24 activists and 6 journalists, including cameramen from Reuters and Ekho TV company were detained by police at the demonstration held on red Square on 25 April – the eve of the 16th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. (30-APR-2002)

April 9, 2002

Legislation on alternative military service

The State Duma plans to discuss the draft law on alternative military service in the Russian Federation. The right to conscientiously object is provided in the Russian Constitution, however there is still no Federal law on Alternative Military service. (09-APR-2002)

April 9, 2002

Postponed hearing on capital punishment

In August 1999 Boris Yeltsin submitted the so-called Protocol #6 of the European Convention on protection of human rights and liberties for ratification by The State Duma. On ratification the Russian Federation will totally abolish capital punishment. However, on 1 March the Parliament once again postponed the hearing on ratification of the “sixth protocol.” (09-APR-2002)