Pussy Riot to the gulags, Torture in Tajik prisons and Lenin in Ulaan Baatar

A quick round up for our readers, while a few longer posts are hammered out:

Back to the Gulag: Where Are the Pussy Riot Convicts Being Sent? – The Atlantic takes a crack at guessing where two members of Pussy Riot, being moved out of Moscow, may be sent. The term “gulag” isn’t used because the current conditions are reportedly vastly improved, rather they are called “penal colonies” but either way, it’ll be a long, hard sentence. A women who spent time in a penal colony in Russia points out that they are likely to be sent to the harshest region due to their political connotation. The two women, young mothers, asked to be held in Moscow for the duration of their sentence but that request was denied. It’s a horrible, harsh sentence for the human rights activists all over Russia, many who have spent years in the colonies. For an idea of what life is like there, the article gives a brief snapshot and links to more resources on life in the current penal colonies.

Tajik Torture Claims Put Prisons Under Scrutiny – RFE/RL reports there are claims that the only way for Tajik inmates in the penitentiary system to avoid abuse, including what is being called torture, was for the relatives to pay bribes to prison officials ranging from 200-500 USD. A former inmate additionally reported that guards acted with impunity  thinking their ties to people in high places would protect them. A spokesperson for the penitentiary system defended the prisons, saying that “UN’s special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, had told him the situation in Tajik jails was much better than in other Central Asian countries.”

Goodbye, Lenin (Bayartai, Lenin Bagsh): Good article offering a general sketch of the changes Mongolia has gone through in recent years, and just as importantly, linking to a lot of great information on Mongolia. Mongolia’s economy grew 17% in 2011 and is on track to continue such growth in the coming years. This is a good place to start understanding the country, its rapid urbanization and economic expansion.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: