RFE/RL (Un)Civil Societies, Vol. 1, No. 18: excerpts


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Subject: RFE/RL (Un)Civil Societies, Vol. 1, No. 18: excerpts

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RFE/RL (Un)Civil Societies, Vol. 1, No. 18: excerpts


RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
_______________________________________________________
RFE/RL (Un)Civil Societies
Vol. 1, No. 18, 14 September 2000
 
"Freedom of information is ... the touchstone of all
the freedoms." (UN Freedom of Information Conference,
1948)

.................

ESTONIA
 
ESTONIANS SPLIT OVER ETHNIC MINORITY ISSUE. A public opinion poll
taken last spring but released on 11 September showed that 46 percent
of ethnic Estonian respondents "agreed with the statement that the
departure of non-Estonians would benefit Estonia," the German press
agency dpa reported on 11 September.
 
GEORGIA

.................

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES AGAIN ATTACKED... Georgian police and security
officials fired blank anti-tank shells and used force to disperse an
outdoor gathering of some 700 Jehovah's Witnesses in the town of
Natuliki in northwestern Georgia on 8 September, AP and Caucasus Press
reported. A security official told AP the congregation had been warned
not to assemble in the town, which lies in the security zone on the
internal border between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia. ("RFE/RL
Newsline," 11 September)
 
.AS LOCAL MAYOR GIVES GREEN LIGHT. The police action against the
Jehovah's Witnesses' meeting also included attacks on journalists,
Rustavi 2 television reported on 8 September. The mayor of Zugdidi,
military and police officials had warned the meeting organizers that
they would not allow the convention to proceed, an eyewitness
reported. Despite several requests, the officials failed to provide
any written confirmation of a law prohibiting the proposed convention.
(Jehovah's Witnesses Current Affairs Office)

.................

HUNGARY
 
SLOVAK ADMINISTRATIVE REORGANIZATION WORRIES BUDAPEST. Hungary is
concerned about Bratislava's plan to revise Slovakia's territorial
administrative divisions, MTI reported on 9 September, citing a
Foreign Ministry press release. Foreign Ministry State Secretary Zsolt
Nemeth told Stefan Markus, Slovakia's ambassador to Budapest, that
Budapest believes that the change would worsen the chance of ethnic
Magyars to "influence their own affairs and use their mother-tongue in
contacts with the authorities" and would thus negatively impact
Hungarian-Slovak relations. Markus replied that the envisaged revision
is only "in the draft phase" and that the Slovak government is
examining ways to meet the Hungarian minority's demands. ("RFE/RL
Newsline, 11 September)

.................
 
LITHUANIA
 
THREE NEO-NAZIS REGISTERED TO TAKE PART IN ELECTIONS. Zenonas
Vaigauskas, head of Lithuania's Central Electoral Commission,
confirmed on 8 September that three members of the illegal National
Social Union have registered to run in the 8 October general
elections. Vaigauskas said, "If we had refused to register their
candidacies, we would have been taken to the higher court and would
have undoubtedly lost the case," BNS reported. The State Security
Service said earlier it has evidence that the three candidates forged
some of the 1,000 signatures necessary to be registered. Vaigauskas
said that despite charges being levied against the three neo-Nazis,
they remain innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The three
are running in individual constituencies, thus their party affiliation
does not play a role in the registration process. ("RFE/RL Newsline,"
11 September)

.................
 
NEW PUBLICATIONS, WEBSITES

.................

NEW JOURNAL ON EUROPEAN ETHNO-POLITICS SEEKS CONTRIBUTORS. The new
Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe (JEMIE) seeks
submissions of innovative scholarship, case studies, reports, and
materials concerning majority-minority relations. The journal,
published by the European Centre for Minority Issues, emphasizes
research on ethno-political tensions and new approaches to conflict
management. It encourages original and unpublished contributions from
all pertinent disciplines. Contributions should be sent to Managing
Editor Wes McKinney at: mckinney@ecmi.de. For more information, go to
the ECMI website at http://www.ecmi.de/jemie (International
Journalists' Network, 4-8 September)

.................

(Compiled by Catherine Cosman)

(Editorial Assistant: Yulia Aleksandrovskaya)

*******************************************************
Copyright (c) 2000. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.

RFE/RL (Un)Civil Societies is prepared by Catherine
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