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(en) KOLOKOL No 3 - November 2002

From Harry Mulder <kolokol_be@yahoo.co.uk>
Date Sun, 10 Nov 2002 02:55:51 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

KOLOKOL No 3 - November 2002
A circular letter with (often old) news about Eastern
Europe and Russia 

I've decided no longer to recirculate things which
readers can simply subscribe to, I mean Warhead's
newsletters in English, mainly about Poland, and
A-Info News Service, which is international and allows
you also to choose a language. It takes me a lot of
the little time I have in general available and,
moreover, I pass only my selection on and mostly only
after some time. Both give mainly news from and about
While I intend to concentrate in future on less easily
available information I will now pass on a few items
from the Russian Prima Newsagency, which has taken
over part of the job of the human rights weekly
Ekspress Khronika, as examples. Prima Newsagency has a
website with Russian and English versions of their
For those who know Russian and are interested in
Chechnya I draw the attention to the "Separatist"

For those who like a personal note I mention that I'm
approaching the end of a bit more than two months
spent at the Nashville Greenlands in Nashville,
Tennessee, USA, helping Patrick O'Neill to look after
the house and the garden while Karl Meyer was
revisiting his Chicago. Karl has returned meanwhile
and is now readying himself for the yearly mass demo
of November 15-17 at the gates of the School of
Assassins in Fort Benning, Georgia, where military in
the service of Latin American dictators dear to the US
government are trained in the worthy job of torturing
and killing opponents to those dear dictators one by
one or in groups instead of with weapons of mass
destruction. Two years ago, Karl, in the company of
1700 others, crossed the "No trespassing" line at Fort
Benning and as a non-repentant sinner got six months
in various US prisons to work on his autobiography, in
which, among other things, he will describe the 1962
San Francisco-to-Moscow walk for peace in  which he
took part, and his various violations of US laws that
made him a connoisseur of the US penitentiary system. 
Perhaps also about how he was once beaten to the
ground and kicked there by the holder of an anarchist
literature table, perhaps because he was reading only
and not buying, or, perhaps, because he had probably
humiliated the table holder by making it irrefutably
clear at a public discussion  they had had shortly
before, that he, Karl, by nonviolently refusing to pay
federal taxes and thereby withholding support to the
US war machine, had more effectively resisted the
State, with the price tag attached to it, than, for
instance, that table holder who held that
(revolutionary) violence was unavoidable if it came to
put an end to capitalism, and paid those federal taxes
("withheld from his wages"). Karl had got up with his
painful ribs and went to sit in the front row (the
table was in a room where a follow-up discussion
without partisans of nonviolence in the panel was to
be held) to listen to what the table holder was going
to tell about the need for revolutionary violence. 
I could have gone to the SOA too but I decided to use
the spare time between my obligations in Nashville and
my return to Europe to see friends in San Francisco
and Detroit whom I may not see for a while. 
As a matter of fact, I'll have spent twice three
months in the US this year (in Spring in connection
with the San Francisco anarchist bookfair followed by
several weeks at the Nashville Greenlands) and was
already suspected when re-entering the country at the
end of August of wanting to live in the US. Which
freedom loving average person (i.e. not a student or
in the teaching profession or retired) wants to live
in a country where a maximum of two weeks of holidays
a year is quite normal and freedom consists mainly in
the freedom to spend the money earned during the other
50 weeks on the new! new! new! gadgets and wrappings
needed to keep the economy growing? Anyway, I want to
space my stays in the US a little. 
This stay offered me the opportunity to have a table
October 26. My sales covered my costs even less than
at the anarchist bookfair in San Francisco in Spring,
although in New Orleans my table cost me $7 and a book
only instead of $60. But the programme and still more
the people around the bookfair make that, if you want
BOOKFAIR you should immediately sign up with initiator
G.K. Darby of Garrett County Press e-mailing to
gkdarby@earthlink.net  Apart from global traders AK
Press you would be in the company of local celebrities
like New Mouth from the Dirty South, Soft Scull press
and Holy Virility Distribution with their
ErotographAmania love letters, not orthodox 
linguistically, as the anarchAfeminists, but loveable.

www.indymedia.org - international news in English
The A-Infos News Service , news about and of interest
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Websites from Russia - mostly in Russian 
Kropotkin conference 9/10.12.2002 
Prima News Agency   (human rights issues) 
www.prima-news.ru  Russian and English
paper "Separatist"  www.separatist.narod.ru   about
Sibirskaya Konfederacia Truda, Omsk 
their library www.library-skt.omsktown.ru  
Alyans Kazanskikh Anarkhistow, Kazan 
http://anarchive.da.ru - anarchist, run by Mikhail
http://polnoch.da.ru - situationist, run by Mikhail
http://www.shubin.newmail.ru - writings by Aleksandr
Shubin, mostly history and ecology
http://kulac.narod.ru/titul.htm - run by Seversk
syndicalist group 
http://russia.indymedia.org - information on Russia 
http://novsvet.narod.ru  tables of contents of paper
"Novy Svet", Cruel-Peterburg, since beginning

Polish Addresses
Warhead: newsletters
P.O. Box 43, 15-662 Bialystok, Poland 
www.PoProstu.pl - news and reflections in Polish 

The fate of thirteen Chechens - whose extradition is
sought by Russia - has become small change in today?s
intricate political game between Moscow and Tbilisi.
The Kremlin appears to be using the arrested Chechens
and the current situation in Pankisi for putting
pressure on the neighboring state [Georgia] which is
gradually escaping from its control. Tbilisi, in turn,
is trying to cajole its Big Neighbor by giving its
unwilling consent to extradition of the Chechens and
intensifying its military-and-police operations in the
Pankisi Gorge area. As for the plight of Chechens, it
worries neither Moscow nor Tbilisi. In political game
of this sort there is no space for bothering with
humanitarian or legal issues. 
Meanwhile, legal aspects of this case are worthy of
being discussed. Even assuming that Russia presented
convincing evidence of the Chechens? guilt, their
extradition to Russia would be unlawful. International
legislation forbids extradition to a country where a
fair justice and the right to life could not be
ensured. Georgia does not dispute these norms. 
However, having surrendered five of the arrested
Chechens, the Georgian authorities feigned to be
simpletons who took Russia?s word on trust. Just guess
what sort of fair justice awaits the Chechens in
Russia when all trials of Chechens - both accused of
terrorist acts and involvement in illegal armed
formations - have been held in recent years behind
closed doors, in prison colonies or pre-trial holding
facilities. The public was banned from these trials,
and journalists were required to have special
accreditation. Lack of open legal procedure in the
country could hardly be the evidence of the fair
administration of justice. 
The office of Russia?s prosecutor general assures
Georgia the Chechens? life is not at risk because, it
says, Russia has declared a moratorium on the death
penalty. But is there any person who has ever seen
such document in Russia? No, because there is no such
thing as the document on the death penalty moratorium.
It?s just that the official propaganda machinery in
Russia has succeeded to convince the entire world,
including the Council of Europe, of the existence of
such moratorium in the country. But here how things
stand in reality. 
In 1992, Russia sought entry to the Council of Europe.
For that it should have joined the European Convention
for Human Rights, one of the optional protocols to
which, to wit, protocol #6, calls for not using the
death penalty in times of peace. On February 28, 1996,
Russia did sign the European Convention and became a
member of the Council of Europe. On May 5 of the same
year, the State Duma ratified the Convention. Upon its
entry to the Council of Europe, Russia had pledged to
sign, within one year, and to ratify, within three
years at latest, the sixth protocol on the abolition
of the death penalty. 
The sixth protocol, however, was signed only on April
16, 1997.The State Duma was expected to ratify it by
February 28, 1999, which she had not. Russia saw its
presidents come and go, but the death penalty still
Accepting Russia into its fold, the Council of Europe
has demanded that Russia would have introduced a
moratorium on the death penalty until the sixth
protocol came into force. According to Council of
Europe?s forecasts, it could not have taken longer
than three years. 
But Russia is known for doing things slowly. No
moratorium had been announced at the time of Russia?s
joining the club, or one month after or later. It has
not been introduced until now. No arrangements had
been made on who and how would have introduced this
moratorium. It certainly could have been introduced by
a State Duma resolution, or a presidential decree. But
the State Duma had failed to vote it into a law, and
the presidents just did not wish to. Neither the
former president nor the current. Instead, on May 16,
1996, president Yeltsin issued a decree ?On stepwise
reduction of the use of the death penalty in
connection with Russia?s entry to the Council of
Europe?. This decree, a faint resemblance to the
proper moratorium, recommended the government to work
out a draft law on joining the sixth protocol, urged
parliamentarians to reduce the number of penal
articles carrying the death punishment, and ordered
the ministry of the interior and the office of the
prosecutor to humanely treat death-row inmates. Not a
word about scraping the death penalty. The government
propaganda machinery and servile press immediately
trumpeted that to be the moratorium on the death
penalty. Many bought that without bothering to look
into the decree?s text. 
It looks as if everyone rejoiced to get at least this
tiny bit from the government. Or, perhaps, they
believed Yeltsin, who publicly declared that people
were no longer executed in Russia. Or, perhaps, they
just pretended to believe not to irritate Russia?s
unbalanced democracy. 
After that everything has come to a standstill.
Advocates of a death culture were happy that there was
no law to forbid executions, while its opponents
continued to live on the president?s pledges. The
situation would have been the same if not for
complaints filed with the Constitutional Court by
three convicts, two of which were sentenced to death,
and one was acquitted. Having been tried by a regular
common court, they called for a jury trial, which
began to emerge in some places in Russia.
Unfortunately, a jury system has not been yet
introduced in their home regions. Just had not had
time to do so - Russia is known for doing things
slowly. The convicts, including the acquitted,
considered it unfair that some people could be tried
by the jury and others could not. The Constitution
Court agreed with them, ruling on February 2, 1999,
that the death penalty could not be awarded by courts,
either the jury or not, until equal conditions were
established in all regions and places across Russia.
Because all defendants are equal in court, and have
the right for a fair trial. This ruling still stands
good and will continue to remain in force until a jury
system is introduced on the entire territory of the
country. But as soon as a jury system starts
functioning in Russia in full, there will be no legal
obstacles for passing the death sentences. 
Officials at the Russian ministry of justice promise
to introduce a jury system in all regions of Russia by
the end of this year. Though they might be lying as
usual: it might happen a month or two later. But
whenever it happens, the ban of the Constitutional
Court on the death penalty will immediately lose its
legal force. Should the trial of the extradited
Chechens end by this time, they would be sentenced to
imprisonment, if not, they could be executed. 
That?s the actual state of affairs in Russia on the
death penalty. Those who seek the truth will take that
into consideration, while those who need a politically
acceptable lie, will certainly content themselves with
the assurances given by the Russian prosecutor
general?s office. 
(Prima News Agency 24.10.02)

Yerevan, ARMENIA. On the evening of October 22, in
downtown Yerevan, an unknown attacker threw a hand
grenade at journalist Mark Grigoryan, deputy director
of the Caucasian Institute of the Press, and ran away.
The journalist received injuries of various gravity.
Immediately after the incident, he was rushed to the
emergency hospital for a surgical operation. The
hospital medical staff declared him to be in
satisfactory condition the next morning. 
Law enforcement officers stated on their arrival at
the scene that Mark Grigoryan was not a target of the
attack and just had the bad luck to be there at the
wrong time. However, the victim of the attack and his
colleagues believe the attack is related to his
professional work. As they told PRIMA today in
hospital, Grigoryan had been working on a big article
about the October 27, 1999 terrorist act in
parliament. To write the article, he met with a great
number of political figures and other competent
persons. The article has been commissioned by a
British publication. 
Investigators from the prosecutor?s office also came
to the hospital today to talk to the journalist. Local
authorities ordered that a criminal investigation be
opened in connection with this incident under article
of ?premeditated murder?. 
(Prima News Agency 23.10.2002) 

Kiev, Odessa, Ukraine. At an October 23 press
conference in Odessa, members of the local history and
research group "Truth and Times? presented a copy of
the report prepared by the Main Political Bureau, or
the GPU, a Soviet-time security service, on the
Belgian writer Georges Simenon, author of 80 detective
novels featuring police superintendent Maigret. The
report contains information on Simenon?s movements and
contacts during his visit to the Soviet Union in 1933.

The document was found in the GPU and KGB archives in
Odessa. It says, among other things, that Simenon
together with his wife and four other foreigners
arrived at Odessa sea port as tourists on board of the
liner Qivinale. Simenon and his wife were allowed to
disembark, whereas the other foreigners were sent back
home because of ?visa irregularities?. GPU agents also
reported that the Simenons boarded the s.s. ?Georgia?
to go to Batumi. According to the report, Simenon had
made no ?vicious counter-revolutionary? remarks during
his ten days in the Soviet Union. 
The historical-and-research group ?Truth and Times?
intends to send a copy of the report to Belgian
journalist Jean-Claude Rigas for a documentary he is
preparing to mark Simenon's 100th birthday. 
(Prima News Agency 23.10.2002) 

Moscow, RUSSIA. On October 24, Russian authorities
handed over Murad Garabaev, a former citizen of
Turkmenistan now holding Russian citizenship, to the
Turkmen authorities, Garabaev?s lawyer Anna
Stavitskaya told PRIMA. 
Murad Garabaev was arrested in late September of this
year by Russian police at the request of the Turkmen
authorities who accuse him of embezzlement. 
The wellknown human rights defender Sergei Kovalev had
formally reminded the prosecutor general?s office that
the Russian Constitution forbids the extradition of
Russian citizens. What makes things worse is that
Turkmenistan is a totalitarian state without an
impartial judicial system. 
Anna Stavitskaya has immediately appealed to the
Moscow city court. 
(Prima News Agency 24.10.02)
"Kolokol Publications" circulates also newsletters on
Bangladesh, Iraq, the U.S. (American Voices), Canaan
(Palestine/Israel) and religious anarchism. 
To receive these newsletters, to ask to stop sending
them, to comment on them or to offer materials, please
write to <kolokol_be@yahoo.co.uk>.

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