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Luzhkov Libel Case, Abkhaz Election, Hammarberg on Rights


Incumbent Abkhazian President Sergey Bagapsh represents stability, says analyst in Radio Svoboda interview.

Incumbent Abkhazian President Sergey Bagapsh represents stability, says analyst in Radio Svoboda interview.

Moscow Court Upholds Luzhkov Compensation Ruling
The Moscow Municipal Court on Tuesday upheld a ruling ordering REN TV and Leonid Gozman, co-chairman of the Pravoe delo (Just Cause) party, to pay 20,000 and 50,000 rubles, respectively, to Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov in compensation for claims Gozman made on the TV channel about corruption in Moscow. On December 25, Moscow's Tverskoi Court will hear a libel case brought by Gozman against Luzhkov in which he is claiming 642 million rubles in moral damages from the Moscow Mayor for calling him a "slanderer."

Gozman said that the court’s ruling defied common sense, since the Prosecutor’s Office and the President have openly stated that the level of corruption in Moscow as "monstrous." "...Today, “ he said, "the Moscow Municipal Court and Yuri Mikhailovich Luzhkov stood against the position of the Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation, the President of the Russian Federation and most importantly -- against the position of the Russian people."
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"Now the Interests of Russia and Abkhazia Coincide"

Speaking with RFE after the reelection of Abkhaz president Sergei Bagapsh this weekend, Abkhaz political scientist Arda Inal-Ipa said that Bagapsh represents stability for the breakaway republic and has gained popularity partly as a result of his non-confrontational rhetoric and for building productive relations with Russia. Assessing Abkhaz attitudes toward Russia, Inal-Ipa refuted the notion that the public is completely pro-Russian. "It [the public] simply understands that now the interests [of Russia and Abkhazia] coincide. There was a time when Russia helped Georgia and put forward various projects for uniting Abkhazia with Georgia which were completely unacceptable here [in Abkhazia]."
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EC Human Rights Commissioner Says State Must Educate Public
In an interview with RFE, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg advocated integrating human rights with a realist agenda. In Moscow for the two-day conference, "The Ideas of Sakharov Today", he said, "...if someone comes to the conclusion that he shouldn't discuss human rights because it could damage relations in the areas of energy and security, then that's wrong." Hammarberg also said that it is the duty of the state to educate the public about the fundamental values enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights.
[read in Russian]
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