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

The second „Human Library” went louder than the previous one

The international project “Human Library” took place on 11th of August in Petrovsky book club. This time the role of “books” was played by: blind girl with her guide dog, emergency ambulance medic, former prisoner, emigrant, civil activist, vegan, child brought up at children’s home, anarchist and foreigner volunteer.

Human Rights Reception Point for Labour Migrants Opens in Sochi

On 16 July 2012 HRC Memorial's network “Migration and Law” began work in Sochi. Visitors can receive free legal assistance at the Sochi reception point.

Orlov and Kovalev Advised Colleagues not to Work in the Human Rights Council under Putin

On May 15, 2012, Sergei Kovalev, the Chairman of the Russian organization "Memorial", and Oleg Orlov, the Chairman of the Human Rights Centre "Memorial", wrote an open letter to members of the Presidential Council for Human Rights (text of the letter see below).

They call on colleagues to abandon the work of the Council under President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier, the Council has been already left by Elena Panfilova, director of «Transparency International Russia», Svetlana Gannushkina, a member of the HRC "Memorial", the Chairman of the Committee "Civil Assistance" and political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin.

Open letter to colleagues from the Council on Civil Society and Human Rights under President of Russia

Presidential Council on Human Rights asks Medvedev to Contribute to the Release of Human Rights Activist Ales Bialiatski

On April 28, 2012, at a meeting with the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev in Gorki, members of the Human Rights Council under the President gave him a letter requesting him to use his influence to contribute to the release in Belarus of the human rights activist Ales Bialiatski. The letter was given to Medvedev at the end of the meeting.

See the text of the letter below.
To the President of the Russian Federation
D.A. Medvedev:
Dear Dmitry Anatol'evich,

Prisoners’ right to vote

The decision of the UN Human Rights Committee to acknowledge the right of Russian convicted presons to vote went unnoticed. Even in the time of never-ending election campaigns in Russia.
Prior to the elections to the State Duma (summer 2011) the UN Human Rights Committee came to the conclusion that Article 32 of the Russian Constitution, provided absolute deprivation of the right to vote of any individual sentenced to imprisonment, violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The right of the convicted persons to vote in democratic elections is violated.
Apart from acknowledging that the rights of the 2 convicted men (out of 800 000) are violated, the UN Human Rights Committee resolved that Russia must “amend its legislation to ensure its conformity with the Covenant”.

The Observatory: Russian Federation: Judicial harassment against Mr. Igor Kalyapin

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in the Russian Federation.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Committee Against Torture about the judicial harassment against its Chairman, Mr. Igor Kalyapin, also Head of the Joint Mobile Group of human rights organisations in Chechnya (JMG).

Statement by the Human Rights Council of Russia on the Elections of 4 December, 2011

Election commissions at all the levels, from the Central Election Commission to district election commissions, have discredited themselves and must be abolished. The principles on which election commissions are constituted should be changed.

"The Human Rights Council believes that at the present time the state of electoral institutions in Russia does not conform to the international obligations undertaken by our country, and domestic legislation governing elections is being violated.

Russian human rights defenders present a new report on the state of the Internet in Russia today: Threats to Internet freedom in Russia, 2008-2011

Russian human rights defenders have identified 111 incidents of restricted access to the Internet and persecution of Internet users in the period January 2008 – May 2011. While for the whole of 2008 only 12 incidents were recorded, for the first five months of 2011 there have already been 23. For more information and a link to the report (in Russian and English versions) see below.

2011 Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk goes to the Joint Mobile Group of the Russian Federation for their outstanding work in Chechnya

Today in Dublin Mary Robinson, president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, presented the annual Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk to the Joint Mobile Group of the Russian Federation for their outstanding work investigating torture and disappearances in Chechnya despite the serious risks.

Further Information

The Award was presented to Mr Igor Kalyapin founder and President of the Joint Mobile Group at the Award ceremony in Dublin's City Hall. Presenting the Award Mrs Robinson said “The work of the Joint Mobile Group is an inspirational example of how committed individuals, despite all the pressures that are brought to bear on them, can hold the line in defence of justice, truth and the rule of law. It is the denial of access to justice that enables tyrants to prevail. This is why the work of human rights defenders like the Joint Mobile Group is so important”.

Russia for Russians Screamed by Thousands Voices

Since 11 December in the two biggest Russian cities, St. Petersburg and Moscow, thousands of football fans, members of nationalist groups and ordinary people, went out to the streets with the slogans "Moscow for Russians", "Russians ahead", "Your children will be responsible to what you did", "Kill!". This led to huge clashes with police. Reuters news agency quoted a witness as saying the injured included a number of passers-by, who appeared to be members of ethnic minorities from the Caucasus region, who were attacked by demonstrators. Two metro stations Teatralnaya and Okhotnyy Ryad of the city of Moscow were smashed.
Racially motivated attacks and murders were occuring the whole weekend and the information about more incidents is coming constantly. Moreover several nationalistic actions have been recently announced in Russian cities.

Here is a graphic video from the station (be aware this video contains shocking images):