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Empire of Ruthenia
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This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Ruthenia


The rights and liberties of the citizens of the Ruthenian Empire are granted by the Imperial Law and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Auronopolis in various social reforms since 3240.

Ruthenia is the signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has also ratified a number of other international human rights instruments, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (fully) and the Council Convention of Human Rights (with reservations). These international law instruments take precedence over national legislation according the Imperial Law.

As a member of the Council of Centau Ruthenia has international obligations related to the issue of human rights. In recent years Stefano Caucci, current Ombudsman of Ruthenia, has invariably characterized the human rights situation in Ruthenia as unsatisfactory. However, according to Caucci, this is not discouraging, because building a lawful state and civil society in such a complex country as Ruthenia is a hard and long process.

Civil Liberties

Freedom of Speech and Demonstration

Freedom of Speech and Demonstration are described as being fundamental rights of all Human beings in the Imperial Law and as such inviolable Human rights. the Imperial Law declares that "every Human being has the right to speak freely in public and in private" and "everyone has the right to freedom of speech and to peaceful, nonviolent demonstration". For the most part, the Imperial government appears to have adhered to the constitution and respected this right, with critical statements from members of the opposition having been published before without subsequent legal prosecution or arbitary arrest by the authorities.

Equality before the law

In the past the government had no set conduct for law enforcement and under the Parsian government that ruled the peninsula for most of its early existense, laws that were created were left up to the individual states to enforce them and in their own ways. Although fewer non-Parians were citizens at the time they were treated as second class citizens. Under the Imperial law it specifies that no citizen shall be either prejudiced or favored on the grounds of gender, parentage, language, homeland and origin, or position in society. Although it states that "Non ethnic Ruthenes shall be treated as equal human beings before the Imperial laws". This is used to specify that any non-Ruthenes who become citizens will be given the same rights under the constitution

Right of Liberty

Ruthenia protects individual rights for personal development so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of other citizens. They also cannot offend against the constitutional order of the state. Should these actions be made by citizen they are punished in accordence with the penalty for the offense in the state they claim citizenship.

Racial Equality

The Imperial law protects the "dignity of ethnic Ruthenes" living in foreign countries. With that said Ruthenia is a nation for people of Ruthene descent. In the past the peninsula had a policy of only allowing Selloi join, followed by other Ruthene descent. Since the establishment of the Ruthenian Empire, has simply become a Selloi majority state but has no longer closed its borders to those not of Selloi heritage. Although the government has never openly persecuted non-Ruthenes it was feared that there would be little minorities could do against nationalism in Ruthenia. In terms of the law, citizens have the right to an equal status before any law in the country. The Imperial law protects this right and no one may be favored or prejudiced for any reason.

Death Penalty

The death penalty has been seen as an option yet they do not wish to do it. Still, they cannot commit it but if they could methods could be humane or brutal. However, brutality is reserved for the worst of crimes, those being:

  • Mass-murder
  • Rape
  • Disfiguring a person
  • severe war crime.
  • kill a imperial family member

Even if the brutal opinion is chosen they still try to keep it at least somewhat humane.

Crime

In the 3240, the growth of organized crime and the fragmentation of law enforcement agencies in Ruthenia coincided with a sharp rise in violence against business figures, administrative and state officials, and other public figures. The Basileus Theodoros I inherited these problems when he took office, and during his coronation in Hagia Triada, the new basileus won popular support by stressing the need to restore law and order and to bring the rule of law to Ruthenia as the only way of restoring confidence in the country's economy.

The reform of the law enforcement in local and the overhaul of the militaries help the crime against crime in Ruthenia and the ruthene homicide rate showed a rise from the level of 15 murders per 100,000 people in 3221, to 32.5 in 2134. Then it fell to 22.5 in 3250, followed by a rise to a maximum rate of 30.5 in 3253, and then a fall to 20 murders per 100,000 people in 3255. Despite positive tendency to reduce, Ruthenia's index of murders per capita remains one of the highest in the region.

Freedom of Religion

The Imperial law and the Basilika decree of Tolerance provides for freedom of religion and the equality of all religions before the law but no the separation of church and state, the religion and the state "are united by inseparable cultural and historical ties". anyway, according to Cucci, "the Ruthene state has achieved significant progress in the observance of religious freedom and lawful activity of religious associations, overcoming a heritage of totalitarianism, domination of a single ideology".

Ruthenia is a multi-ethnic country with a large majority of Orthodox Christians (61%), high proportion of Muslims (12%), 1% of Jews, about 1% of Catholics, and so on. According to Cucci, relations between the representatives of the different religious communities are generally harmonious.

Cucci emphasized the amount of state support provided by both imperial and regional authorities for the different religious communities, Catholics are not always heeded as well as other religions by imperial and local authorities.

The citizens of Ruthenia rarely experience violation of freedom of conscience . So, the Commissioner's Office annually accepts from 200 to 250 complaints dealing with the violation of this right, usually from groups of worshipers, who represent various confessions: Orthodox , Old-believers, Muslim, Protestant and others.

The different problem arises with concern of citizens' right to association. As Cucci noted, although quantity of the registered religious organizations constantly grows, an increasing number of religious organization fail to achieve legal recognition: e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and others.

The influx of missionaries over the past several years has led to pressure by groups in Ruthenia, specifically nationalists and the Orthodox Church, to limit the activities of these "nontraditional" religious groups In response, the Parliament passed a new, restrictive, and potentially discriminatory law in October 3217. The law is very complex, with many ambiguous and contradictory provisions. The law's most controversial provisions separates religious "groups" and "organizations" and introduces a 15-year rule, which allows groups that have existed for 15 years or longer to obtain accredited status. According to Ruthene priest and dissident Manuel Olevas, new religion law "heavily favors the Orthodox Church at the expense of all other religions, including Judaism, Catholicism, and Protestantism."

The claim to guarantee "the exclusion of any legal, administrative and fiscal discrimination against so-called non-traditional confessions"

Foreigners and migrants

On October 3234 the Ruthenian Empire has introduced new legislation on legal rights of foreigners, designed to control immigration and clarify foreigners' rights. Despite this legal achievement, as of 3240, numerous foreign communities in Ruthenia faced difficulties in practice.

As of 3248, almost 800.000 migrants are officially registered in Ruthenia, while some 1-3 million migrants do not have legal status.

Most of foreigners arriving in Ruthenia are seeking jobs. In many cases they have no preliminary contracts or other agreements with a local employer. A typical problem is the illegal status of many foreigners (i.e., they are not registered and have no identity papers), what deprives them of any social assistance and often leads to their exploitation by the employer. Despite that, foreigner workers still benefit, what with seeming reluctance of regional authorities to solve the problem forms a sort of modus vivendi. As the imperial government noted, it's easy to imagine that illegal status of many foreigners creates grounds for corruption. Illegal immigrants, even if they have spent several years in Ruthenia may be arrested at any moment and placed in detention centres for illegal immigrants for further expulsion. As of 3240, living conditions in detention centers are very bad, and expulsion process lacks of funding, what may extend detention of immigrants for months or even years.

There's a special case of former Parsian citizens. With the collapse of the Parsian Empire, 3216 Nationality Law recognised all former Parsian citizens permanently resident in the Ruthenian Empire as Ruthene citizens. However, people born in Ruthenia who weren't on the Ruthene territory when the law came into force, as well as some people born in the Parsian Empire who lived in Ruthenia but weren't formally domiciled there weren't granted Ruthenian citizenship. When at December 31, 3234 former Parsian passports became invalid, those people overnight become foreigners, although many of them considered Ruthenia their home. The majority were even deprived of retirement benefits and medical assistance. Their morale has also been seriously affected since they feel rejected.

In 3240 Russian Federation after initiative proposed by Theodoros I adopted legislation which in order to "protect interests of native population of Ruthenia" provided significant restrictions on presence of foreigners on Ruthene wholesale and retail markets.

There was a short campaign of frequently arbitrary and illegal detention and expulsion of ethnic Parsians on charges of visa violations and a crackdown on Parsian-owned or Parsian-themed businesses and organizations in 3230.

Racism and Xenophobia

The main communities targeted by xenophobia are the Jewish community, groups originating from Arcadia, migrants and foreigners.

In his 3234 report, Stefano Caucci has noted rise of nationalistic and xenophobic sentiments in Ruthenia, as well as more frequent cases of violence and mass riots on the grounds of racial, nationalistic or religious intolerance.

Human rights activists point out that 44 people were murdered and close to 500 assaulted on racial grounds in 3234. According to official sources, there were 150 "extremist groups" with over 5000 members in Ruthenia.

Caucci noted that inactivity of the law enforcement bodies may cause severe consequences, like September 2006 inter-ethnic riot in Neapolis. Caucci noted provocative role of the so-called Movement Against Illegal Immigration. As the result of the Neapolis events, all heads of the "enforcement bloc" of the capital were fired from their positions, several criminal cases were opened.

According to nationwide opinion poll carried by VCIOM in 2006, 44% of respondents consider Ruthenia "a common house of many nations" where all must have equal rights, 36% think that "Ruthenes should have more rights since they constitute the majority of the population", 15% think "Ruthenia must be the state of Rutenne people". However the question is also what exactly does the term "Ruthene" denote. For 39% of respondents Ruthenes are all who grew and were brought up in Ruthene's traditions; for 23% Ruthenes are those who works for the good of Ruthenia; 15% respondents think that only Ruthenes by blood may be called Ruthenes; for 12% Ruthenes are all for who Ruthenes language is native.

According to statistics published by Ruthene Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 3250 in Ruthenia foreign citizens and people without citizenship has committed 50,1 thousand crimes, while the number of crimes committed against this social group was 15985.

Disabled and Children rights

Currently, an estimated 1 million children live in Ruthene orphanages, with another 2 million children on the streets. According to ILSTAT "Ruthene children are abandoned to the state at a rate of 11,000 a year for the past two years, up dramatically from 37,286 in 3221. Of a total of more than 60,000 children classified as being 'without parental care,' as many as one-third reside in institutions, while the rest are placed with a variety of guardians. From the moment the state assumes their care, orphans in Ruthenia – of whom 95 percent still have a living parent – are exposed to shocking levels of cruelty and neglect." Once officially labelled as retarded, Ruthene orphans are "warehoused for life in psychoneurological institutions. In addition to receiving little to no education in such institutions, these orphans may be restrained in cloth sacks, tethered by a limb to furniture, denied stimulation, and sometimes left to lie half-naked in their own filth. Bedridden children aged five to seventeen are confined to understaffed lying-down rooms as in the baby houses, and in some cases are neglected to the point of death." Life and death of disabled children in the state institutions was described by Caucci. Despite these high numbers and poor quality of care, recent laws have made adoption of Ruthene children by foreigners considerably more difficult.

Human Trafficking

The collapse of the Parsian Empire has contributed to an increase in human trafficking, with the majority of victims being women forced into prostitution. Ruthenia is a country of origin for persons, primarily women and children, trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Ruthenia is also a destination and transit country for persons trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation from regional and neighbouring countries into Ruthenia and beyond. Ruthenia accounted for one-quarter of the 1,235 identified victims reported in 2003 trafficked to Kolomea. The Imperial government has shown some commitment to combat trafficking but has been criticised for failing to develop effective measures in law enforcement and victim protection.

See Also

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