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H.Doc.107-100 PERIODIC REPORT ON THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO THE TALIBAN ...


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 107th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - -- House Document 107-98


 
                     EMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

   AN UPDATED REPORT CONCERNING THE EMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES OF 
   ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN, KAZAKHSTAN, MOLDOVA, THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, 
TAJIKISTAN, TURKMENISTAN, UKRAINE AND UZBEKISTAN, PURSUANT TO 19 U.S.C. 
                                2432(b)

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


July 16, 2001.--Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and ordered 
                             to be printed
                                           The White House,
                                          Washington, July 2, 2001.
Hon. J. Dennis Hastert,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: On September 21, 1994, President Clinton 
determined and reported to the Congress that the Russian 
Federation was not in violation of paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) 
of subsection 402(a) of the Trade Act of 1974, or paragraphs 
(1), (2), or (3) of subsection 409(a) of that Act. On June 3, 
1997, he also determined and reported to the Congress that 
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine were not in 
violation of the same provisions, and made an identical 
determination on December 5, 1997, with respect to Kazakhstan, 
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. These 
actions allowed for the continuation of normal trade relations 
for these countries and certain other activities without the 
requirement of an annual waiver.
    On June 29, 2000, pursuant to subsection 302(b) of Public 
Law 106-200, President Clinton determined that title IV of the 
1974 Trade Act should no longer apply to Kyrgyzstan, and on 
December 29, 2000, pursuant to section 3002 of Public Law 106-
476, he determined that title IV of the 1974 Trade Act should 
no longer apply to Georgia.
    As required by law, I am submitting an updated report to 
the Congress concerning the emigration laws and policies of 
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the Russian 
Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
    The report indicates continued compliance of these 
countries with international standards concerning freedom of 
emigration.
            Sincerely,
                                                    George W. Bush.
   Report to the Congress Concerning Emigration Laws and Policies of 
   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, 
            Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan

    This report is submitted pursuant to sections 402 and 409 
of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (``the Act''), following 
Presidential Determination Number 94-51 of September 21, 1994, 
and the accompanying report to the Congress, that the Russian 
Federation is not in violation of paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) 
of section 402(a) and paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of section 
409(a) of the Act; Presidential Determination Number 97-27 of 
June 3, 1997, and the accompanying report to the Congress, that 
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine are not in 
violation of paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of section 402(a) and 
paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of section 409(a) of the Act; and 
Presidential Determination Number 98-7 of December 5, 1997, and 
the accompanying report to the Congress, that Kazakhstan, 
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are not in 
violation of paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of section 402(a) and 
paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of section 409(a) of the Act.
    Pursuant to Section 302(b) of the Public Law 106-200, the 
President determined on June 29, 2000 that Title IV of the 1974 
Trade Act should no longer apply to Kyrgyzstan, and pursuant to 
section 3002 of Public Law 106-476, the President determined on 
December 29, 2000 that Title IV of the 1974 Trade should no 
longer apply to Georgia. Therefore, this reporting requirement 
is no longer applicable to Kyrgyzstan and Georgia.
    All current information indicates that the emigration laws 
and practices of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the 
Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and 
Uzbekistan continue to satisfy the criteria set forth in 
sections 402(a) and 409(a) of the Act in respect of all matters 
covered in those sections.

                                ARMENIA

    The Armenian constitution guarantees the right of its 
citizens to freedom of foreign travel and emigration, and that 
right is respected in practice. Persons subject to military 
service can legally be denied permission to travel abroad, but 
this seldom occurs. Members of religious organizations other 
than the Armenian Apostolic Church are required by law to 
obtain prior permission from the State Council on Religious 
Affairs to travel abroad, but this law has not been enforced 
since 1997. Since independence in 1991, upwards of one million 
Armenian citizens, approximately one-third of the population at 
independence, have emigrated or reside semi-permanently outside 
the Republic of Armenia.

                               AZERBAIJAN

    Azerbaijan's 1995 constitution guarantees the right of all 
citizens to travel abroad. The right to emigrate is officially 
recognized and protected by Azerbaijani law. Although this 
right is generally respected, there are frequent complaints 
from Azerbaijani nationals of Armenian parentage who are 
refused issuance of international travel passports. The 
government may only limit the right to emigrate in cases 
involving military draft liability, criminal record, or pending 
criminal charges, or previous access to state secrets (the last 
limitation does not pertain to emigration to other countries of 
the former Soviet Union).

                               KAZAKHSTAN

    The right to emigrate is protected by Kazakhstan's 
constitution and is respected in practice, but an exit visa is 
required to leave the country. Outright refusal to grant exit 
visas for temporary or permanent departure is rare and has 
generally been connected with government opponents subject to 
pending legal cases. An opposition leader, not given an exit 
visa last year to attend a conference in London, missed the 
conference but was subsequently granted the visa. Other 
opposition group leaders were given exit visas during the year. 
In a recent speech, President Nazarbayev advocated abolishing 
exit visas.
    The Department of Visas and Registration usually issues 
temporary exit visas within a month (applying through travel 
agencies is more expensive but faster). Exit visas for 
intending emigrants may be issued within three months, unless 
there are delays in processing applications through the local 
police or bureaucracy or in producing required documents about 
personal obligations.
    A law on national security prohibits persons who have had 
access to state secrets from taking up residence abroad for 
five years. In October, immigration police ordered an 
opposition figure to turn in his passport because he allegedly 
had access to state secrets in a previous government job. He 
refused toturn over his passport, but, when he tried to board a 
flight to London on November 25, 2000, border guards at the Almaty 
airport seized the passport, even though he claimed to have a valid 
exit visa and valid UK entry visa. The government alleged that the 
opposition figure refused to sign a standard non-disclosure agreement 
and follow other simple procedures prescribed by the law in order to 
maintain his passport. The opposition figure denied that he was ever 
asked to sign such an agreement. The government is not known to have 
used the Law on State Secrets to block the foreign travel of any other 
former official since the law's passage in 1999.

                                MOLDOVA

    The right of citizens to emigrate is guaranteed in 
Moldova's constitution and is respected in practice. 
Individuals wishing to emigrate must satisfy any outstanding 
financial and/or judicial obligations before emigrating. No 
reports of denial of emigration rights have been recorded in 
the first six months of 2001. Moldova's record on free 
emigration is one of the best in this NIS. The government 
eliminated emigration restrictions in 1991, and few 
difficulties with emigration have been reported in the ten 
years since independence.

                         THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

    Legal guarantees of the right to emigrate are enshrined in 
Russia's constitution and in law, and that right is respected 
in practice. Russian law details the procedures for obtaining 
travel documents and provides clarification of some 
controversial policies. However, the law gives the government 
the right to deny permission to travel abroad for given periods 
to Russian nationals who had access to classified material.
    The law provides a measure of transparency by requiring 
that any denial of exit permission on secrecy grounds must 1) 
specify reasons for and duration of the restriction, and 2) 
indicate the full name and legal address of the organization 
that requested the restriction. The law also formalized the 
status of an interagency commission that hears appeals of 
Russian nationals refused permission to travel based on secrecy 
grounds. As of the writing of this report, the Commission had 
held three sessions in 2001. During these three sessions, the 
Commission reviewed 74 cases, lifting restrictions in 58 cases 
(78 percent), leaving restrictions in place in 9 cases (12 
percent) and deferring decisions in 7 cases (9 percent). (These 
numbers are only a rough indicator of the commission's 
activity, as the level of secrecy involved in individual cases 
varies considerably and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not 
provided a full accounting.) NGOs such as ``Movement Without 
Frontiers'' that have worked with the commission from its 
initiation complain that the degree of transparency in the 
commission's work has recently decreased, as human rights 
activists are no longer granted free access to the appellants.
    From 1995 through April 2001, out of 2406 cases reviewed, 
the interagency commission refused to lift restrictions in 398 
cases (17 percent). Human rights organizations point out, 
however, that this number includes only persons who appealed 
the decision to restrict travel to the commission. The total 
number of persons who were refused passports for foreign travel 
on secrecy grounds is thought to be much larger. Russia's 
Ministry of Internal Affairs, however, does not publish these 
statistics or release them to NGO's. Since the start of the 
commission in 1995, the percentage of positive decisions 
appears to have decreased from 90 percent to 71 percent in 
2000. So far, after three meetings in 2001, the number of 
positive decisions is 78 percent.
    Russian law also grants the state the right to refuse 
travel abroad to individuals who are the subject of legal 
proceedings or convicts who have not served their sentences. In 
addition, it allows the state to deny travel abroad 
``temporarily'' if an individual has evaded financial 
obligations imposed by a court, such as alimony payments. This 
rule has allowed relatives or former spouses to delay or even 
veto emigration plans of some Russian nationals.
    In the previous legal regime, there was a requirement that 
Russian citizens obtain a special stamp from the Ministry of 
the Interior in addition to a passport before they emigrate. In 
early 1997, new legislation eliminated this requirement. 
However, the Interior Ministry continues to issue an exit stamp 
equivalent. The policy of the Federal Border Service (FBS) 
reportedly no longer requires the stamp, but, in practice, some 
FBS officers continue to require it.

                               TAJIKISTAN

    Tajikistan's constitution provides for the right to 
emigrate, and this right is respected in practice. There is no 
law on emigration. Persons who wish to emigrate may do so 
withthe permission of various ministries. Persons who wish to emigrate 
beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union must receive the approval 
of the relevant country's embassy in order to obtain their passport. 
Persons who settle abroad are required to inform the Tajikistan embassy 
or Tajikistan interests section of the nearest Russian embassy or 
consulate.
    The Ministry of Security inhibits freedom of travel by 
requiring citizens who wish to travel abroad to obtain an exit 
visa. This process sometimes includes lengthy interviews. The 
Ministry of Security sometimes withholds or delays exit visas 
when it believes that other ministries or NGO's are infringing 
upon its jurisdiction and have not adhered to its formalities 
for foreign travel.

                              TURKMENISTAN

    Turkmenistan's constitution guarantees the right to 
emigrate, but in practical terms citizens must first obtain 
permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In order to 
emigrate, citizens must submit an application, an invitation 
from the country of destination, evidence of freedom from debts 
and other financial obligations, and written consent from 
family members. Divorced applicants with children must present 
an affidavit of consent from their former spouse, whether or 
not the children are emigrating. Those with military 
obligations must de-register with the Ministry of Defense. By 
law the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must process the 
application and emigration documents within three months. 
Although the Ministry rarely denies such applications, some 
opposition figures have been prevented from emigrating.
    Citizens are not permitted to travel outside the country 
without official permission. The government uses its authority 
to issue passports and exit visas as a means of restricting 
international travel and has exercised it more aggressively in 
the past two years. Most citizens are permitted to emigrate 
without undue restriction.

                                UKRAINE

    Ukrainian law and the 1996 constitution guarantee the right 
to emigrate, and that right is respected in practice. All 
citizens are eligible for passports that permit free travel 
abroad. There remains a requirement to obtain an exit visa from 
the local Office of Visas and Registration for Ukrainians who 
intend to take up permanent residence in another country. 
Ukraine does not impose taxes or fees on those who emigrate. 
Reports of local bureaucrats assessing bribes for routine 
passport and exit visa issuances are common. However, human 
rights groups report that persons need only appeal to national-
level authorities to resolve their status and establish their 
right to emigrate. Some draft-age men have been refused the 
right to emigrate pending clarification of their status with 
the military. Cases involving applicants who have had or have 
access to secret information usually take longer, but secrecy 
has not been used routinely as grounds for denying permission 
to emigrate. A large percentage of Ukraine's Jewish population 
has emigrated to Israel and the United States since Ukraine 
achieved independence in 1991.

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