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

Andrey Yurov about the passing 2008

Дата публикации: 

Andrey Yurov, the Honorary President of the International Youth Human Rights Movement answered questions of "Human rights in Russia" portal about the situation with human rights and freedoms at the end of the year 2008. He sumed up the events of the passing year.

In general the last year was symbolic.

First, it was the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To some extent it should have summed the intermediate results of the functioning of the existing U.N. and European system of human rights protection. In those terms it is possible to assess both Russia and the whole world.

Secondly, this year has summed up the decade. One can see how the situation has changed over the last 10 years, starting from 1998-99.

And finally this was just a year. We can speak of what we face at the beginning of 2009, in comparision in what we started 2008 with.

I would not like to talk a lot about all these moments, so I will be brief.

In the course of the last twenty years, Russia despite all, has become integrated into the international system of human rights protection. At least, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Commission (now UN Human Rights Council) was accepted, corresponding international documents were ratified, and despite everything there is a rather decent Constitution.

While evaluating on how the situation has changed over the last ten years, one can rather see a tendency of constant aggravation in many directions. Only exception is perhaps the situation with the penitentiary system that has worsened in some points and in others has improved.

The last year, on one hand, was the year of certain hopes and, despite everything, of small successes - such as appearance of public councils and of the new system of observers of closed institutions.

There is a chance, that all this will begin to work, and that those processes will involve human rights defenders. Also there were some hopes, connected with the new administrative regulations of rendering of services to the population was passed, including areas that touch upon human rights.

On the other hand, much from what has happened at the legislative level and at the level of law enforcing practice in my opinion has not been successful.

Without considering the prospects for the future and the chances that we hope would be realized, I can say the year was rather tragic.

It was marked with a series of objectionable legislative changes and initiatives, followed by a set of objectionabl? concrete actions. The last were connected first of all with law enforcement bodies, with freedom of assembly, freedom of associations, prosecution of human rights defenders, freedom of speech and expression, in other words with fundamental rights and freedoms that define how both the civil society and the human rights develop in the country.

There is one more distressing thing. It seems to me that this year the independent civil society did not become more influential than a year ago. Moreover, it was even weakened in some points. And that is also a very sad tendency.

But maybe some things that were layed down in 2008 will be realized in the new year. And then finally we will stop to step back, and the human rights movement again will once again start a global offensive against those many nasty thing that take palce in our country and in other countries around us.

Andrey Yurov,
the Honorary President of the International Youth Human Rights Movement