Analytics and Interview

On 16 January 2015 late in the evening the website of the Ministry of Justice published a statement that the NGO Committee Against Torture had been added to the register of non-profit organizations designated as ‘foreign agents’.
Tanya Lokshina is the Russia program director at Human Rights Watch and Honorary Participant of International Youth Human Rights Movement: As the crisis in Ukraine escalated this spring, the Kremlin’s vicious crackdown on civil society also escalated. Space for independent civic activity in Russia is shrinking dramatically, but international policymakers and the media have been understandably too distracted to do much about it. Since early spring, it seems as though every week brings a new pernicious law or legislative proposal.
Earlier this year, the correspondent of Youth Human Rights Movement from Germany Jakob Stürmann interviewed Konstantin Baranov, member of the Coordination Council of the International Youth Human Rights Movement. They discussed so called “law against homosexual propaganda” and the overall situation of LGBT in Russia.  

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Oleg Sentsov, Olexander Kolchenko, Hennadiy Afanasiev and Oleksiy Chyrniy have been held in Russian jails for two years already under fabricated charges of ‘terrorism’. We consider it being necessary to express solidarity with those who are persecuted due to their pro-Ukrainian views, civic stand and desire for freedom in Russia-annexed Crimea.
Helsinki Committee of Armenia has published “Human Rights in Armenia 2014” Annual Report. The report reflects on the Right to Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, Torture, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, Political Persecutions, Freedom of Conscience and Religion, The Rights of the Child, Protection of Labor Rights.
«We have a few questions for you,» a border guard told Sinaver Kadyrov, a Crimean Tatar activist, at the Armyansk checkpoint in northern Crimea on Jan. 23. Kadyrov was on his way to Kherson, in southern Ukraine, to fly to Turkey for medical treatment. It was the beginning of an ordeal that ended with a local court expelling him from Crimea, his home of almost 25 years.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority It is time to sit back and reflect.

Mark Twain


Youth Human Rights Movement

FLARE appeal to all European Universities to support and host the Belarusian students

December 19th marked the fourth victory, with a large advantage, of Mr.

Statement on behalf of the Non-Govermental International Steerings Committee of the community of democracies (ISC/CD) on Elections in Belarus

The nongovernmental International Steering Committee of the Community of Democracies (ISC/CD) joins with numerous other governmental and non-governmental organizations in condemning the recent electoral process in Belarus, which was full of manipulations and outright fraud and culminated in a brutal police repression of peaceful demonstrators in the central Government Square of Minsk on Sunday evening. Dozens of people protesting the official results of the vote and journalists were severely beaten; more than six hundred were detained, including seven out of ten presidential candidates. Detainees have been treated in a degrading and inhuman way, have been repeatedly beaten in custody, and have had no access to health care, food and water. Closed trials that have already taken place are a parody of justice, with false witnesses from among the police, fabricated evidence, and no access to lawyers and the public.

Human Rights defenders for free elections: raided and staff detained

At approximately 3:15am on 20 December, following the 19 December Belarusian presidential election, special forces personnel raided the office of Human Rights Centre “Viasna” in central Minsk. At 3:45am, ten staff present were detained, including lawyers Valentin Stefanovich and Vladimir Labkovich, and taken to the police department of Pervomaisky district of  Minsk.  Special forces then carried out a search of the premises.

Viasna, together with Belarus Helsinki Committee, were jointly conducting the domestic election monitoring project “Human  Rights Defenders for Free Elections” and staff were in the process of analyzing data collected the previous day from 600 election observers across the country. 

Belarus: Human Rights Defenders offered their version of bill on alternative civil service (ACS)

The Youth and Human Rights organizations of Belarus offered the Governmental Inter-agency Working Group on alternative civil service bill their proposals.
These proposals concern main approaches on conceptual content of future bills such as the definition of alternative service; reasons for the ACS provision; procedure of replacing military service by alternative civil service; period, characteristics, features and location of service etc.
The authors of the proposals are representatives of different Youth organizations: “Civil Forum”, “Young democrats”, “Movement of the Future”, “Young Front”; human rights defenders: “Law Transformation Center”, BHC and others.

Belarusian Helsinki Committee

A pillow fight in Minsk finished by mass arrests

Dozens of youths arriving at the building of the National Library of Belarus on Thursday evening with pillows were arrested by police.

A youth organization called Historyka (Historical Studies) intended to stage a mass pillow fight there to mark the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald that took place on July 15, 1410, with the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Litva (Lithuania) beating the knights of the Teutonic Order.

The city authorities banned the event. Minsk authorities stated that «since the statement "Historica" about holding of mass action doesn't correspond to the requirements of part 5, art. 5 of the law «About mass actions », the Minsk City Executive Committee disallows the action holding in the platform near the building of National Library».

Around 70 people were apprehended, but a brief pillow fight was still staged, near the subway station.

Students' Rights and Human Rights defending among Students, Present-Day Students

On June 13th the youth tradeunion group "Studentskaya Rada/Students Council" held the first of its kind conference "Students' Rights and Human Rights defending among Students, Present-Day Students".
On Sunday morning more than 30 students, representatives of various youth organizations and civil activists gathered at the International Educational Center to discuss what the Students' Rights are, Why do students need them, Who the Present-Day Student is and What his role and place in the Belorussian society is. Among the participants of the conference was Lada Burdatcheva, co-coordinator of the International Network on Students' rights.

Mass searches in oppositionists' flats all over Belarus

Mass searches have been held by policemen and KGB men in Minsk, Hrodna, Brest, Homen and Mahilyou at the places where democratic activists live. Policemen burst doors.

The searches were held in the framework of the defamation criminal case opened under Article 250 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (dissemination of false information about goods and services).

The first search was held on May 18 in Minsk in the headquarters of "Say the Truth!" civil campaign. It was held among others by policemen from the special brigade of Savetski police department who had armoured vests and machine guns. All computers, leaflets, booklets and books were confiscated from the office.

Riot policemen hindered journalists to make pictures and video the events. After the search the headquarters of the campaign in Masherau Street was sealed.

Minsk Region Court acquits Ivan Mikhailau


Today, on May 4, 2010, Minsk Region Court has fully acquitted Ivan Mikhailau, finding no legally defined crime in activities of a young parishioner. The case that has lasted since December 2009, has been finalized.


A 21-y.o. parishioner of the “New Testament” Community was accused of draft evasion according to Art. 435.1 of the Belarusian Criminal Code.

Ivan Mikhailau, to remind you, denied serving into the army. He stated to the recruiting committee of Minsk region that military service contradicts to his principles and, in accordance with Art.57 of the Belarusian Constitution, demanded alternative service. This right was denied to him as there is at present no law on alternative service among Belarusian legislation. Mikhaulau was also denied reserve service.

Alternative civilian service in the Republic of Belarus: Ivan Serebro

12.04.2010, Ivan Serebro, soldier of the military unit 52500, submitted an appeal to the Ministry of Defense with a demand to let him a possibility to implement alternative service.

“I’ve heard of alternative service before, but only being at the military already I found out that the Law on Alternative Service is going to be drafted. I know that alternative service means, in the first place, hard work, and the term of such service is usually bigger than that of military service. However, I am going to insist on implementation of alternative service. I think this will be of a better use – both to the people, and to me personally” – Ivan Serebro commented upon his decision.

Alternative civilian service in the Republic of Belarus: Dzmitry Smyk

On April 14, 2010, at 15.30, a Central Region Court of Gomel will hold another consideration of the criminal case upon Dzmitry Smyk who is accused of military service evasion.

Dzmitry Smyk belongs to a religious community “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and demands implementation of alternative civilian service because of his religious beliefs.

As a reminder, on November 6, 2009, Central Region Court of Gomel found Smyk guilty og evasion to the military service according to Art. 435 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. On December 9, 2009, Gomel Oblast Court having considered Smyk’s appeal left the sentence unchanged.

An analogous decision was issued by the Chair of Gomel Oblast Court on January 23, 2010.

However, after a notice from the Supreme Court, Presidium of Gomel Oblast Court has withdrawn its own decision and submitted the case for a new consideration.