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

Ekaterinburg NGO wins 'foreign agent' case

Дата публикации: 

In Ekaterinburg, one of the most active NGOs in the Ural region that was facing charges under the 'foriegn agent' law – Human Rights Information Centre – has won a court victory. A district court judge in Ekaterinburg, Irina Maiorova, ruled that the warning by prosecutors issued against the non-profit organization was unlawful, and bound Sverdlovsk region prosecutor’s office to withdraw its complaint.

The Human Rights Information Centre represents Memorial in the region and has carried out dozens of educational, historical and human rights projects.

At the start of 2013 the Human Rights Information Centre in Ekaterinburg, like many other NGOs, was inspected by prosecutors under the law on ‘foreign agents’.

The director of the Centre, Anna Pastukhova, has commented on the ruling: "The lawyer for the defence was Elena Makei, a member of Ekaterinburg Memorial and representative of Lawyers for Civil Society. We also received regular support and consultations in contesting the prosecutors’ warning from the Moscow-based Memorial Human Rights Centre, in particular from the Centre’s senior lawyer, Furkat Tishaev, whose strategy and tactics are reflected in our legal documents and actions, we drew on his advice as we prepared for a long-drawn out struggle for the good name of our organization.

Over the last two months our case was also taken up by the lawyer Roman Kachanov (chair of Interregional Human Rights Centre). The lawyer Sergei Petryakov from the Chuvash organization Shield and Sword, which is a member of the Agora Human Rights Association, on his own initiative came to the court to take part in the hearing.

All those who took part in the trial made an important contribution, and it was only because we were able to bring so many experts together, and the clarity of the position of each member of the coalition we made up, that we were able to achieve a positive outcome. In our legal strategy we based ourselves on the work of the Memorial Human Rights Centre, which proposed continuing the case by means of an application to the European Court of Human Rights. At first the development of our case fell behind those of other human rights groups, and then unexpectedly we rapidly caught up, and everything was decided over five days.

In my opinion a decisive role was played by the decision of Moscow's Zamoskvorechye court on 18 November – the eve of our hearing – to postpone the hearing of the case involving Memorial Human Rights Centre until 4 February."