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

Statement of the Russian participants IN YHRM on the armed conflict between Russia and Georgia

Дата публикации: 

of the Russian participants
of the International Network – Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM)
on the armed conflict between Russia and Georgia

For a few days already Russia is at war. A war which is going on on our behalf, but in breach both of the UN mandate and the Constitution of the Russian Federation. A war called a “peacemaking operation”, but leading to the death of civilians. A war that every new day is motivated with more and more lies and seeds more and more hatred. A war which is accompanied with inaction of the world’s intergovernmental organizations and mutual accusations of double standards.

Though the war is taking place on one territory, the hatred, the interethnic discord and the militaristic propaganda are spreading far beyond its borders, and thereby the war affects not only our friends and colleagues in the zone of military actions – it has also come to our towns and to our homes.

We believe neither in the declarations about “restoring constitutional order”, nor in those about the “peace coersion”. We have no wish to justify the actions of the ruling regimes of neither countries, nor to choose sides in the conflict. Our sympathy is with those who are hostages of the madness of politicians, no matter what nationality they are or which side of the conflict they belong to. Our sympathies are not with those who give the orders to drop the bombs, but with those on whom the bombs fall. Not with those who decide where to move the troops, but with those who have to leave their homes in search of asylum. Not with those who are looking for the right terms to identify what is going on now in Georgia, but with those who have to live there in war conditions.

We believe that we, as citizens of Russia, are now obliged to voice our opposition to the war, to disseminate truthful information about the situation and to hinder the propagation of hatred, aggression and militaristic propaganda, to assist in a speedy halt to the military actions and in the intervention of the international community, to support the actions of the humanitarian organizations helping the victims of the war.

We support the idea of the Georgian and Russian human rights defenders to form a special working group consisting of human rights and civil society activists and representatives of the international organizations which would ensure an independent analysis of the situation, assist in preventing and eliminating human rights violations, and also act as a guarantor in the process of ceasing violence and rehabilitation of the victims, and assess the situation from the point of view of the international law.

We call upon journalists to refrain from inflaming discord and using the hate speech, not to let themselves become instruments of the state propaganda and to cover the situation from the point of view of a human being and not that of the conflicting sides or the “state interests”.

We call upon the international organizations which have upholding peace and security as their task (the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe) not to keep silent, but to insist on ceasing the military actions and to direct their first and foremost actions on helping the victims and internally displaced persons – in cooperation with the NGOs of Georgia and other countries.

We call upon the non-governmental organizations to assist in disseminating objective information in their countries, to join us in the demand of stopping the war and to support the efforts aiming at establishing peace in the region and resuming dialogue.

We call upon the participants and correspondents of the International Network – Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM), other civil activists and human rights defenders to join our efforts by supporting our statement or performing any of the simple actions aimed at the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Participants and honorary participants of
the International Network – Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM)

Irina Aksenova
Konstantin Baranov
Ludmila Burdacheva
Victoria Gromova
Maria Gordeeva
Anna Dobrovolskaya
Elena Dudukina
Liubov Zakharova
Natila Zvyagina
Dmitri Makarov
Artem Marchenkov
Alexandra Nazarova
Anastasia Nikitina
Alena Ob’ezdchikova
Anastasia Platonova
Sergey Sabanov
Tatiana Serpukhova
Andrey Cheremnykh