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

'32 May' has arrived in St. Petersburg

In St. Petersburg on 8 December the first ‘32 May’ human rights film festival opened. It will run until 12 December. Each day of the festival will be dedicated to an important human rights issue.

As noted by St., on the eve of the film festival the organizers - Youth Human Rights Group and the Russian Social Democratic Youth Union - expressed outrage at the attitude to the event of the Committee on Law, Order and Security of St. Petersburg City Hall.

Moscow Helsinki Group Awards Announced

Among the winners of the 2010 Moscow Helsinki Group awards are writer Viktor Shenderovich, Yury Shmidt, one of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s lawyers, and Evgeniya Chirikova, leader of the Movement to Defend Khimki Forest.

As reports, Viktor Shenderovich received the award for defending human rights through culture and art.

Evgeniya Chirikova received her award for defending social rights and the interests of local communities.

Yury Shmidt was awarded for his historical contribution to the protection of human rights and the human rights movement.

Human rights defender Vadim Karastelev who has represented the interests of former police officer Aleksei Dymovsky, received an award for courage shown in defence of human rights.

Other recipients of the Moscow Helsinki Group awards were Zoya Svetova, Liubov Volkova, Anatoly Kononov, Magomed Mutsolgov, Sergei Buryanov and Ella Polyakova.

Film in Memory of Anastasia Baburova has been Shown at the ‘Profession: Journalist’ Festival

Today at 15:00 as part of the film competition hosted by the ‘Profession: Journalist’ Film Festival, the film Love me, Please was shown, directed by Valery Balayan and dedicated to the journalist and anti-fascist Anastasia Baburova, slain by neo-Nazis on 19 January 2009.

The Committee of 19 January welcomes the decision of the organizing committee of the Festival to screen the film. We believe that this became possible thanks to the public statements of many civil society activists, anti-fascists, cultural figures and human rights defenders, who had been dismayed by the removal of the film from the Festival programme.

The screening began with short speeches by the directors of the films taking part in the competition for films about journalists, among whom was Valery Balayan. Valery Balayan said the decision of the Festival organizers to return the film to the Festival programme was courageous.

Stop the Violence in Khimki! A Public Appeal to President Dmitry Medvedev

Human rights defenders and civic activists have called on President Dmitry Medvedev to dismiss the prosecutor of the Khimki district and the heads of the district’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and FSB - officials who have done nothing to solve the crimes against Konstantin Fetisov and other civic activists in Khimki.

Dear Mr. President:

On 4 November 2010 an attempt was made on Konsantin Fetisov’s life. Konstantin Fetisov is an organizer and participant in many of the public actions in defence of Khimki Forest and, in general, a defender of the rights of the people of Khimiki. He is also head of the local branch of the Right Cause party. As a result of the attack upon him, he was taken to the hospital with a fractured skull and in a coma. His condition remains critical.

Civil Petitions: Petition against Proposed Increase in Compulsory Insurance Contributions by Non-Profits

To: Dmitry Anatolievich Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, 103132 Moscow, Old Square, 4

Dear Dmitry Anatolievich!

LGBT rights defenders attacked in Tomsk, Russia

On October 30th five LGBT activists were attacked by a group of 8 people in the city of Tomsk, Russia shortly after they started a peaceful awareness-raising action against homophobia. The action was organised in the afternoon at one of the city’s central squares.

The attackers’ faces were hidden under white-and-green scarves which are typical for the fans of a local football club. Out of 5 participants of the action (4 young men and a young woman) only the woman was not injured. The others were kicked to the ground and beaten by the feet with shouts “beat the faggots!”. After one of the activists managed to escape and run towards a post of the police (situated 20 meters away from the place of incident), the attackers disappeared from the scene. The police did not intervene into the incident, they only called the ambulance.

On 14-15-th of October a conference “Higher Education and Civil Society: A New Social Mission of The University” was held

This conference is the unique of its kind with the aim of discussion about a new social mission of the university and possibility of interaction between the university and the institutions of civil society. The conference was organized by the program of St. Petersburg State University “Arts and Human Sciences” (formerly known as the Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences).

Higher education in Russia today is characterized, on the one hand, by the insufficient inclusion of universities in solving social problems, on the other hand – by the lack of graduate skills and abilities necessary for solving important problems for society. Often scientific works created and studied in Russia reproduce stereotypical and outdated non-democratic views on social processes in the world. Or, alternatively, the Western social theory is often imported and used without the proper understanding of its critical message.

Journalists, bloggers hold rally near Moscow police headquarters over attack on Oleg Kashin, Kommersant journalist

A group of Journalists and bloggers are holding rally on Saturday near the Moscow police headquarters demanding the thorough investigation into the attack on Kommersant journalist.

The political correspondent of Russian business daily, Kommersant, Oleg Kashin was severely beaten by the unknown assailants near his house in Moscow early on Saturday. The journalist suffered jaw and leg fractures as well as the finger injuries. Kashin was sent to the intensive care unit of one of Moscow's hospitals.

About fifty people including famous Russian bloggers and journalists are carrying the posters reading: "Journalist Oleg Kashin has been attacked, I urge to find the authors and performers [of the crime]."

The attack on Kashin was probably linked to his work, the newspaper's editor-in-chief said earlier on Saturday.



Rally on Triumphal Square, an Interim Victory of the Civil Society

On October 31, 2010 at 6-7 p.m. the first concerted rally within the movement Strategy-31 took place. Around two and a half thousand people participated.

Lyudmila Alekseeva, one of the primary applicants, head of the Moscow Helsinki group, took responsibility for holding of the rally. Three human rights organizations - Moscow Helsinki group, All-Russia movement For Human Rights and Human Rights Center Memorial - stated that they supported Alekseeva and were ready to assist her in preparation for and holding of the meeting (

Stop the Anti-Constitutional Bill! Public Appeal to the President of the Russian Federation

Mr President, we appeal to you, since today only you can stop the passing of a bill that annuls not only the very meaning of Article 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Article 21 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, but also abrogates the universal principle of law, according to which only a court can impose a punishment that limits civil rights and freedoms. At the same time, this bill puts in question the presumption of innocence.

The Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation is considering amendments to the Federal Law “On Assemblies, Rallies, Demonstrations, Marches and Pickets”.