Russia Charges 16 More In Greenpeace Protest

Russia says FIFA investigator Garcia unwelcome

If convicted, each defendant could face up to 15 years in prison. Greenpeace International announced plans for a protest against the arrests, which it has characterized as an extreme overreaction. The activists were rebuffed on Sept. 18 while attempting to raise a protest banner on an oil drilling rig in Russia’s exclusive economic zone in the Barents Sea. Their ship was seized by Russian authorities the next day. On Saturday [Oct. 5] tens of thousands of people will take part in an emergency global day of solidarity, the organization announced on its website . Peaceful events are planned in more than 80 cities in 45 countries across the world. Greenpeace lawyers have lodged formal appeals against the continued detention, the statement said. Yevgeniya Belyakova, a coordinator of the Greenpeace Arctic program, criticized the piracy charges, which the organization has insisted are unwarranted since nothing was stolen. The charges pressed against our fellow activists have nothing to do with reality or common sense, Belyakova said in an interview. While doing our best to get them out of prison, we will continue our work to attract attention to the ecological problems of the Arctic. Russian President Vladimir Putin , who said last week that the activists were obviously not pirates, spoke on Thursday about the importance of Arctic oil exploration for Russia, whose economy is dependent on energy revenue.

Russia’s Original Sin

Credit: Reuters/Michael Buholzer By Steve Gutterman MOSCOW | Fri Oct 4, 2013 1:25am BST MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia made clear on Thursday that FIFA’s chief investigator Michael Garcia is barred from entering the country because he is one of the Americans blacklisted in a bitter dispute with the United States over human rights. Garcia is stepping up his inquiry into voting procedures for the 2018 and 2022 football World Cups. He plans to visit every country directly involved in the voting for the finals awarded to Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022. But Garcia, a former U.S. federal prosecutor, is on a blacklist Moscow issued in June after Washington named 18 Russians barred from the United States for alleged involvement in lawyer Sergei Magnitsky’s death or other gross rights abuses. Garcia is barred from Russia because of his role in the prosecution of Viktor Bout, a Russian who was long wanted by U.S. authorities on suspicion of arms trafficking and is now serving a 25-year prison term in the United States. Russia’s “Guantanamo List” includes Americans it accuses of involved in torture at prisons and those involved in what it says have been the unfair, politically motivated arrests of Bout and other Russians by U.S. authorities. “Let there be no doubt: We intend to react firmly to unfriendly attacks and unceremonious infringements on the rights of Russian citizens,” the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. “Anyone who is involved in such things should think hard.” The ministry said the United States would be to blame for any consequences of Garcia’s inability to enter Russia.

14 Greenpeace activists charged with piracy in Russia

After months of bitter conflict, President Boris Yeltsin had dissolved the country’s hard-line legislature and called new elections. Technically, the move was illegal. But Nemtsov’s political sympathies were clearly with Yeltsin. And so were his loyalties. It was Yeltsin, after all, who had appointed Nemtsov, barely in his 30s, as governor of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast two years earlier. “Personally, I agree with the president that there need to be early parliamentary and presidential elections,” a 33-year-old Nemtsov told reporters , before offering his caveats. “It does bother me that the president has not set a date for presidential elections…. And if you approach this from a legal perspective, unfortunately I must say that the way this was done fell outside the boundaries of the law.” Nemtsov wasn’t alone in backing Yeltsin’s move, albeit with grave reservations — even when the conflict turned violent and he ordered the army to shell and storm the parliament. Many at the time viewed his heavy-handed and extraconstitutional move as an example of when it is necessary to use illiberal means to achieve liberal ends. The parliament was dominated by nationalists and communists, after all. At the urging of Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, violent armed mobs had assaulted the Ostankino broadcast center and the Moscow Mayor’s Office. Parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov had even encouraged them to storm the Kremlin. So after vanquishing the retrograde legislature so decisively, the argument went, Yeltsin and his team could finally get on with the business of setting up a working democracy and functional market economy. Except that it didn’t quite work out that way. On the contrary, the violent resolution of Russia’s 1993 constitutional crisis set a series of precedents that continue to plague Russia to this day.

Soccer-Russia says FIFA investigator Garcia unwelcome

Garcia is stepping up his inquiry into voting procedures for the 2018 and 2022 soccer World Cups. He plans to visit every country directly involved in the voting for the finals awarded to Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022. But Garcia, a former U.S. federal prosecutor, is on a blacklist Moscow issued in June after Washington named 18 Russians barred from the United States for alleged involvement in lawyer Sergei Magnitsky’s death or other gross rights abuses. Garcia is barred from Russia because of his role in the prosecution of Viktor Bout, a Russian who was long wanted by U.S. authorities on suspicion of arms trafficking and is now serving a 25-year prison term in the United States. Russia’s “Guantanamo List” includes Americans it accuses of involved in torture at prisons and those involved in what it says have been the unfair, politically motivated arrests of Bout and other Russians by U.S. authorities. “Let there be no doubt: We intend to react firmly to unfriendly attacks and unceremonious infringements on the rights of Russian citizens,” the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. “Anyone who is involved in such things should think hard.” The ministry said the United States would be to blame for any consequences of Garcia’s inability to enter Russia. “Questions arising in connection with visa blacklists should be addressed to the initiators and executors of the extraterritorial and discriminatory ‘Magnitsky Act’, which contradicts norms of international law,” it said. (Editing by Greg Stutchbury) BEIJING (AP) — Rafael Nadal kept alive his hopes of wresting the top ranking from Novak Djokovic by rallying for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Fabio Fognini of Italy in the quarterfinals of the China Open on Friday. The Associated Press50 mins ago Save Dusty Baker is out as manager of the Cincinnati Reds, three days after his team lost the National League wild-card game to Pittsburgh.