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

Open Letter by Civil Society Organizations on the Statement by the Vice President of Microsoft Corporation about Changes to Company Strategy in Russia

We, the representatives of Russian non-governmental organizations working to combat corruption and protect human rights, wish to express our great satisfaction that our proposals and the appeals of our colleagues addressed to Microsoft Corporation have finally been heard.

We sincerely welcome the statement by Vice-President and General Counsel of Microsoft, Brad Smith, placed on the company’s official blog on 13 September 2010. Microsoft has drawn the correct conclusions from a situation where members of the company in Russia’s regions have become involved in politically-motivated criminal prosecutions of civil society organizations and media.

The appropriate and timely measures, announced in the statement of Mr Brad Smith, will help restore the reputation of Microsoft and defuse the indignation among NGOs and journalists in Russia at the actions of a number of the company’s representatives.

Freedom to demonstrate is a human right – even when the message is critical

Sunday 31 October will be a test for the effectiveness in practice of the right to peaceful assembly, which is enshrined in Article 31 of the Russian Constitution. For more than a year “Strategy 31” rallies have been held in Moscow, St Petersburg and some other Russian cities on months with that date. The plight of these rallies so far has illustrated the limitations to the right to assembly in practice. This problem is not unique to Russia.

In Rostov-on-Don court rejected the petition of the human rights activist Kostantin Baranov

On 21 September in Rostov-on-Don a sitting of the court was deciding about the legitimacy of Rostov region Prosecutor’s resolution issued in February of this year to caution Konstantin Baranov, chief of Rostov branch of the “Young Europe” NGO, because of inadmissibility of extremist actions.


Human rights in the North Caucasus

From 20th – 22nd of September 2010 in Kislovodsk (Stavropol Territory) took place a seminar within Human rights school in North Caucasus. The school is conducted by the Committee “Civil assistance” in co-operation with regional representations of the human rights center of “Memorial” of three republics - Chechnya, Ingushetia and the North Ossetia. The lecturers were conducted by the famous legal expert, honorary president of YHRM Andrey Yurov and Igor Sazhin, the chairman of Komi Human Rights Commission “Memorial”.
About 20 young people from Chechen Republic took part in the seminar. Basically, they were students of various Grozny universities, who had passed a selection and had expressed their interest in human rights. The activities were focused on the topics: genesis of human rights, advocacy, a modern theory and mechanisms of protection of human rights and other issues. Some curators also participated in the seminar.

Microsoft changes its policy concerning Russian NGOs

On September, the 13th, Microsoft reported about its intention to introduce radical changes that make it impossible for the authorities in Russia and other countries to use anti-piracy enforcement actions to harass non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others which are engaged in public advocacy. It will result in creating a new unilateral software license for NGOs and a ban on involvement of the corporations advocates in such situations. This statement was an answer to the criticism of the company. The company had somehow supported the pressure on NGOs in Russia.

Lyudmila Alekseeva is recognized as a person to be known and heard across the country

Lyudmila Alekseeva, a famous human rights activist, chairwoman of Moscow Helsinki Group and an honorable chairwoman of the Public Council of international Youth Human Rights Movement has been mentioned as one of “100 Individuals to be Heard and Known Across the Country” by the journal “The Russian Reporter.”
“The Russian Reporter, relying on the selection criteria such as colleagues’ feedback, person’s achievements and activities, investigated the personalities of reputable activists in ten professional networks that have impact on the society as a whole” is stated in the preface to Issue 37 of the journal as of September 23, 2010. Lyudmila Alekseeva is in the list of “10 Public Activists.” “She has always had a wise stance – protection of people and their rights and reduction of violence in the society have been more important for her than political dispute,” the project authors summed up in her personal profile.

Human Rights at the Moscow International Book Fair

From 1st to 6th September, the XXIII Moscow International Book Fair (MIBF-2010) took place. It is the largest fair of publications in Russia and one of the key events within the Russian book world.
Traditionally, the topic "Human Rights" took its place in the exhibition. The joint stand with this name presented the Office of the Senior Adviser on Human Rights in the UN system in the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe Information Office in Russia. At the stand could be found books by leading civil and human rights organizations from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Perm. Among the publications also were books by organizations of the Human Rights House in Voronezh.

On 3rd September, a round table about "Education and public awareness of human rights"was held at the exhibition. There were presented different books.

YHRM Information Service

Support Russian activists September 17-20

In a historically courageous struggle people in Russia have been able to halt the construction of a high way through the Khimki forest. While the forests were burning all over Russia the authorities started a wave of detaining, torturing and harassing people in movements defending the Khimki forest close to Moscow. They need our solidarity.

Yuri Ivaschenko. Uprooted.

FotoDepartament Foundation presents the exhibition: "Yuri Ivaschenko. Uprooted." 4 July – 4 August 2010.

Exhibition Hall / Ground Floor
Art and Music Center at Mayakovskiy Library/ Nevskiy prospect, 20
The exhibition opens on 4 July, Sunday, 6 p.m.

This documentary photography exhibition is devoted to two ethnic groups – batumi kurds and ezidi. The scene – Krasnodar krai, which became the new habitation place after the forced departure from the former abode.

In Murmansk took place a roundtable on the issue of spreading the ideas of fascism and nationalism among youth

On may 6, 2010, in Murmansk, took place a roundtable on the issue of spreading the ideas of fascism and nationalism among youth. The meeting was initiated by the Committee for Cooperation with NGOs and Youth Affairs of the Murmansk region in conjunction with the Office of Internal Affairs of the Murmansk. Also, it was attended by representatives of the Murmansk student council, environmental organization “Nature and Youth”, Public Organization" Humanistic Movement of Youth, Youth Human Rights Movement, a public movement Governor's operational detachment "The Bear", Department of Internal Affairs of Murmansk and the Department against Extremism of the Murmansk region.

The participants discussed the extention of the ideas of fascism and nationalism in Murmansk and the Murmansk region among young people and techniques to counter such manifestations to decrease their activity.