EDITORIAL: Putin Blinks

 

EDITORIAL 

Putin Blinks 

We Russophobes scored a massive victory late last week when we forced down Vladimir Putin’s throat a laundry list of reforms of the European Court for Human Rights designed to help that court process its massive backlog of charges against Russia more efficiently. Russia was the only one of the 47 participating states which opposed the move, and when it was faced down by the whole of Europe there was only one thing for the cowardly Putin regime to do: Back down. 

So Putin blinked.   

He showed he can be beaten, he showed he knows how perilously weak Russia really is.   

The weakness is on every front:  economically, militarily, politically and socially.  Russia is a basket case of a nation relying entirely on bluff to dupe it’s enemies into dropping their guard long enough for it to take advantage.  What is needed now is for the world to take a lesson from this victory and use its opportunity to bring serious change to Russia before the benighted land descends once again into totalitarian despair. 

The news last week that Russia had been bested by the USA in natural gas output was a perfect encapsulation of the depths to which Putin’s Russia has fallen, and the looming litigation of the Khodorkovsky prosecution before the ECHR is a harbinger of doom for the Putin regime. The ECHR, newly ratified by Russia, can do no other but to condemn the barbaric atrocity that was the Khodorkovsky “trial,” and right behind that decision comes the massive onslaught of civil lawsuits aimed at recovering the assets of YUKOS investors which the Kremlin shamelessly pilfered. 

Now, the world must begin to give real teeth to the ECHR’s pronouncements.  World leaders must begin demanding that Russia stop its systematic violation of the basic principles of law upon which the ECRH was founded, must truly submit to the ECHR’s jurisdiction as its written agreement compels it to do.  Moreover, they must make it clear throughout Russia that the oppressed victims of the KGB regime of Vladimir Putin now have a place to turn for justice.  They must do whatever is necessary to give all Russian citizens real access to the justice that their government has promised them in writing. 

It’s sad testimony to the state of Russia’s domestic justice system that a foreign tribunal is their only hope for relief, but at least now there is some hope that this tribunal can begin the hard work of redressing the crimes of Russia’s modern KGB. 

22 responses to “EDITORIAL: Putin Blinks

  1. LA RUSSOPHOBE has pulled off something very big. Now to keep the pressure on until this monsterous government is broken.

  2. Or quite on contrary:

    http://www.rferl.org/content/Whats_Behind_Moscows_Decision_To_Finally_Back_Strasbourg_Reform/1930858.html

    Russian lawmakers first refused to ratify the protocol in December 2006.

    Then-President Vladimir Putin attributed the decision to what he called “politicized” rulings by the Strasbourg-based court, which regularly delivers judgments rebuking Russia for severe human rights abuses.

    Growing numbers of Russian citizens, disillusioned with their country’s flawed justice, are seeking redress against authorities at the Strasbourg court.

    Many of these cases relate to human rights abuses in war-battered Chechnya, including abductions, torture, and extrajudicial killings.

    More than 120 rulings already delivered by the court against Russia related to human rights abuses in Chechnya, and many carried heavy fines.

    Despite such results, Leach says Russian authorities have been obstructing the court’s work on Chechnya for many years.

    (…)

    So what’s behind the January 15 decision to approve the protocol?

    A pending $98 billion case brought against Russia by former oil giant Yukos, which contends it was unfairly prosecuted and driven into bankruptcy, is likely to be a factor.

    The court has been forced to postpone the high-profile trial several times in past weeks, citing the unavailability of Russia’s judge and government agent at the court.

    But sooner or later, that case will be heard. So Russian political analyst Nikolai Petrov suggests that Russia may be hoping to obtain a milder ruling by offering a sweetener and signing on to Protocol 14.

    “The consideration of the Yukos case has been postponed for months on various pretexts. Now that all the possibilities of delays have run out, the ratification lever is being used,” Petrov says. “The Kremlin is interested in mollifying the European Court as much as possible by improving Russia’s image with the judges.”

  3. [LA RUSSOPHOBE has pulled off something very big.]

    I hope that the way Kim has tiredlessly worked in Moscow day and night to pesuade the Russian parliament to to ratify these court reforms will earn her the well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize, as well deserved as that of Barak Obama. Muzzle tov(arisch)!

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    Your reading skills leave much to be desired. Misquote or mischaracterize us again and your banned. Got it, rodent?

  4. Kyrill: HAITI GOT WHAT IS DESERVED!

    http://grani.ru/Society/Religion/m.173436.html

    • I can’t read russian. Could you elaborate on the main points of the article for non russian speakers? Bolshoye Spasibo!

      LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

      It says that Kirill says Haiti got the earthquake because of its corruption, drugs and general immorality as a punishment from God.

  5. Protocol 14 was an amendment brought in to speed up the process of dealing with individual cases; the ECHR has a backlog of over 100 thousand cases 27,000 come straight out of Russia. All the other 46 council of Europe countries ratified between 2004 /2006. Only Russia refused… Why?
    Please could one of you Putin lovers give the rest of us a coherent, understandable explanation as to why the Russian Federation refused to sign this protocol, holding up progress for nearly 4 years?.
    We want to understand. (Arthur over to you).

  6. lol, its quite simple really its called bias and politically motivated rulings. A compromise of having a Russian judge on the 3 man panel in all rulings regarding Russia was accepted allowing the Duma to accept the protocol. This new protocol with anti-bias protection will force the ECHR to look at Russia objectively and unbiased. Of course there are other compromises that the COE has accepted.

    • Not really, it will only take 2 of 3 judges to reach a decision.

      Besides, Russia has fully deserved the hiding it has recieved at this particular court.

      Other countries are quite happy to recieve judgements from the court without having their own nationals sitting on the bench.

      Given that there are 46 countries that have already signed this protocol without requiring a judge of their nationality to be present, this shows that nobody else considers the court to be biased.

      Try again Peter.

  7. Game, set and match to Andrew

  8. Three judges one of which will be Russian. A Russian judge will sit on three committees if he feels the wrong decision is made, the original, the appeal and if referred by the Committee of Ministers for failing to comply. He will have 3 chances to demonstrate political motivation where he only needs to only convince one other judge.

    Several studies have concluded that judges ruling on these cases tend to rule in favour of their own governments. see “The Impartiality of International Judges: Evidence from the European Court of Human Rights”. This justifies Russia’s position considering some strong anti Russian governments out there. For example Estonia.

    Only one judge will decide if a case is to be referred to the ECHR or not.

    What the article also fails to mention is that protocol 14bis allow cases from the 46 member states (except Russia) to have cases rejected by 1 judge making it look like they had less cases brought.

    The UK, Italy, Turkey etc have all ignored rulings of the ECHR. Russia has done nothing most other COE members have done.

    • “Russia has done nothing most other COE members have done.”

      Yeah. Like plantiff Bitieva who was shot dead by a government death squad in her home, along with most of her family. Happens everywhere in Europe.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zura_Bitiyeva

      Of course, “most other COE members” are also repeatedly (again and again) found guilty of literally hundreds of brutal murders and forced disappearances (including victims found in mass graves), systematic torture, and massacres of their own citiziens by the state agents, etc.
      http://www.srji.org/en/legal/cases

      Nothing to see here – Russia is just like Estonia or Poland or France! If you think different, it’s because of your “Russophobia” and “double standards”.

      So thank you for opening my eyes.

      • March 20, 2009

        In 83 rulings to date, the European Court of Human Rights has held Russia responsible for serious human rights violations in Chechnya, including torture, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions. In nearly every ruling, the court called the Russian government to account for failing to properly investigate these crimes. In numerous cases, it also faulted Russia for failing to provide requested case files, which amounts to serious non-cooperation with the court.

        It has been just over four years since the court issued its first ruling on Chechnya. In these years, the Russian government has done the easy part: it has paid monetary compensation to the victims, as required by the court. But it has not meaningfully implemented the core of the judgments and taken other essential measures that follow from the rulings: it has not taken sufficient steps to ensure effective investigations, hold perpetrators accountable, or prevent similar violations from recurring.

        http://www.hrw.org/ja/news/2009/03/20/update-european-court-human-rights-judgments-against-russia-regarding-cases-chechnya

        Russia’s near-decade of failure to bring to justice those responsible for the torture, killings, and disappearances of thousands of people in Chechnya indicates the enormity of the task ahead. Indeed, as the number of judgments relating to Chechnya has grown, the European Court has used increasingly strong language in its rulings against Russia. For example, in Musayev and Others v. Russia (2007), which involved a massacre of civilians by Russian forces, the court expressed frustration that six years after the “cold-blooded execution of more than 50 civilians” in a village outside of Grozny, “no meaningful result whatsoever” had been achieved in the task of identifying and prosecuting the individuals responsible. In its unanimous decision, the seven-judge panel said that “the astonishing ineffectiveness of the prosecuting authorities in this case could only be qualified as acquiescence in the events.”

        Another challenge is posed by the growing hostility on the part of Russian officials toward scrutiny of Russia’s human rights record, and their frequent manipulation of the country’s geopolitical importance to Europe to discourage European leaders from engaging on human rights.

        Russia’s equivocal commitment to the European Court, manifested in its failure to ratify a key mechanism that would help the court expedite the processing of cases, is also a problem. It is the only Council of Europe country that has not ratified the mechanism-Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights-and its continued failure to do so means the court cannot adequately address its backlog of about 97,000 cases, 27 percent of which originate from Russia. As long as Russia refuses to undertake measures to properly investigate and prosecute crimes committed by its forces, the increase in the number of cases from Russia is likely to continue.

        • And some other snippet of the life (and death) in modern Russia, “no worse then in most other CoE countries”:

          Umayeva v. Russia (1200/03)
          Judgment issued December 14, 2008

          On January 23, 2000, Lipatu Umayeva and her family were among a group of about a hundred people, wearing white armbands to identify them as civilians, gathering to flee Grozny. The city had been under heavy bombardment, and Russian forces had warned the population to leave. As the fleeing group passed a Russian military post, they came under shelling and artillery and sniper fire. Umayeva received bullet wounds to her right arm, both hips, and left kneecap. As a result of her injuries, she became partially disabled and can walk only with difficulty. The criminal investigation into her case has not yielded any results. The European Court held Russia responsible for the indiscriminate shelling by federal forces of civilians trying to flee Grozny.

          Akhmadov and Others v. Russia, (21586/02)
          Judgment issued November 14, 2008

          Amkhad Gekhayev, 15 years old, and Zalina Mezhidova, 23, were driving home from work when military helicopters opened fire on their car. After one of the helicopters landed, several military servicemen put Gekhaeyev and Mezhidova into the helicopter and blew up the car. Two days later, the military delivered the severely mutilated bodies of Gekhayev and Mezhidova to a military commander’s office. Although the investigation into the killings identified the military servicemen involved in the attack, the investigation was repeatedly suspended and transferred to different investigators, with little progress. The European Court found the Russian authorities responsible for both deaths.

          Gekhayeva and Dugayeva v. Russia (1755/04)
          Judgment issued May 29, 2008

          On May 16, 2003, about 20 armed Russian servicemen forcibly entered the home of Sulimovna Gekhayeva. They wrapped adhesive tape around her eyes, nose and mouth; after the servicemen left and Sulimovna was freed by her neighbors, she discovered that her daughter, Kurbika Zinabdiyeva, and another female visitor, Aminat Dugayeva, were missing. An investigation into the kidnappings was suspended without having established the perpetrators. The European Court found Russia responsible for the kidnapping and presumed deaths of Zinabdiyeva and Dugayeva and noted, “with great concern,” that a number of disappearance cases had come before it, suggesting that “the phenomenon of disappearances is well known in the Chechen Republic.”

          (5,000 of people in Chechnya are known to have been “disappeared” without trace in the last decade – for a comparison, Pinochet’s regime “disappeared” the total of only 967 people during his coup and subsequent campaign against the leftist rebels.)

  9. Btw, Putin in the picture looks older than ever. Especially his hand looks just horrible.

    Unlike in the photoshopped shirtless photos.

  10. “Memorial” to challenge the MCC decision in Strasbourg

    http://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/12271/

    See earlier reports: “Moscow City Court reappoints consideration of Kadyrov’s and Orlov’s complaints to January 21,” “Orlov: list of authors of critical statement about “Memorial” in Chechnya was forged,” “HRC “Memorial” resumes its work in Chechnya.”

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