Title

Uzbekistan: Stifled Democracy, Human Rights in Decline

Thursday, June 24, 2004
11:30am
2203 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC
United States
Members: 
Name: 
Hon. Christopher Smith
Title Text: 
Chairman
Body: 
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Statement: 
Name: 
Hon. Benjamin Cardin
Title Text: 
Ranking Member
Body: 
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Name: 
Hon. Joseph Pitts
Title Text: 
Commissioner
Body: 
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Name: 
Hon Mike Mcintyre
Title Text: 
Commissioner
Body: 
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Witnesses: 
Name: 
Lorne W. Craner
Title: 
Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Body: 
Department of State
Statement: 
Name: 
Hon. Lynn Pascoe
Title: 
Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs
Body: 
Department of State
Statement: 
Name: 
His Excellency Abdulaziz Komilov
Title: 
Ambassador to the United States
Body: 
Republic of Kazakhstan
Statement: 
Name: 
Martha Olcott
Title: 
Senior Associate
Body: 
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Statement: 
Name: 
Abdurahim Polat
Title: 
Chairman
Body: 
Birlik Party and Representative Human Rights Watch
Statement: 
Name: 
Veronika Leila Szente Goldston
Title: 
Advocacy Director for Europe and Central Asia
Body: 
Human Rights Watch
Statement: 
Name: 
Frederick Starr
Title: 
Director
Body: 
The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Statement: 

This hearing focused on the human rights and democratization process in Uzbekistan. Despite Uzbekistan’s signing of major agreements promising multi-party elections and other democratic reforms, Uzbekistan has not implemented policy that would move it in this direction.  The hearing looked into what measures the U.S. could take within the OSCE to speed the democratization process in Uzbekistan.

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  • Northern Ireland: Stormont, Collusion, and the Finucane Inquiry

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  • Helsinki Commission to Hold Hearing on Northern Ireland: The Stormont House Agreement, Collusion, and the Finucane Inquiry

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  • Chairman Smith Condemns Brutal Murder of Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov

    WASHINGTON—Following tonight’s reports of the shooting death of peaceful opposition leader and former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, Helsinki Commission Chairman Chris Smith (NJ-04) issued the following statement:   “I condemn the brutal slaying of Boris Nemtsov in the strongest terms possible. The gangland-style murder of a leading Russian dissident on the streets of Moscow raises the question of whether bullets have replaced the ballot box in Russia, and whether any peaceful opposition voice is safe. We mourn Mr. Nemtsov’s death and send our deepest condolences to his family and friends.” According to Russian officials, Mr. Nemtsov was shot four times in the back on a street near the Kremlin. A leader of Russia’s political opposition, he was a co-founder of Solidarity and a key organizer of a scheduled March 1 protest in Moscow. Mr. Nemtsov served as First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia under President Boris Yeltsin. He spoke at a Helsinki Commission event in Washington in November 2010 at the world premiere of the film “Justice for Sergei.”

  • Chairman Smith and Serbian Foreign Minister Support OSCE Role in Promoting Peace in Ukraine

    WASHINGTON–On February 25, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, held a hearing at which Ivica Dacic, the Foreign Minister of Serbia and Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), testified as to his plans for Serbia’s 2015 leadership of the OSCE. The chief issue facing the organization is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the humanitarian needs of the people of eastern Ukraine, including the OSCE’s role in monitoring the Minsk cease-fire agreement. Both Russia and Ukraine are among the 57 member states of the OSCE, the world’s largest regional security organization. Opening the hearing, Chairman Smith said that Foreign Minister Dacic’s leadership of the OSCE “comes at a moment of tragedy, of tremendous human suffering.” Smith emphasized that “one OSCE member – the Russian government – is tearing the heart out of a neighboring member, Ukraine.” “Understanding that the OSCE is a consensus organization – meaning that the Russian government has an effective veto over many significant actions – we believe that the OSCE is still able and responsible to speak the truth about the conflict, to find ways to limit it, and to help the people of Ukraine,” he said. Foreign Minister Dacic emphasized that “the Serbian Chairmanship will make every effort to help restore peace in Ukraine.” In its role as Chairman of the OSCE, Dacic said, “Serbia brings to the table good relations with all the key stakeholders, and we are making every effort to serve as an honest broker and use our leadership role to utilize the OSCE toolbox impartially and transparently.” Foreign Minister Dacic also discussed the fight against human trafficking and anti-Semitism with Chairman Smith.  Other members of the Helsinki Commission participating in the hearing included Senator Ben Cardin, and Congressmen Joe Pitts, Alcee Hastings, and Steve Cohen.

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