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

The international week of awareness-raising actions “Crystal Night - Never Again!” (9-16 of November) has come to an end

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This year 24 groups of activists from 18 cities of Ukraine, Moldova and Russia participated in the Week. Such a big number of participants – more, than ever before – reaffirmed the importance of the issues and questions that were raised during the Week. The movie festival against hate in Moscow, the intellectual “What? Were? When?” game for tolerance in Krasnodar, the round table “Youth alternatives of fascism and indifference”, an awareness street actions in Voronezh, exhibitions, school lessons, discussions in different cities and countries were organized by the articipants. The International Week was held in the framework of an annual action of European Network “UNITED for intercultural action”, that is devoted to the commemoration of “Crystal Night” – the event which is known as the beginning of the Holocaust in Europe. In the countries of CIS the awareness-raising week coordinated by YHRM is being organised for the forth time.

This year the issue of migration, as one of the topical problems in modern Europe become the main theme of the Week. The participants were discussing migration related problems with pupils, students and journalists.

”It became normal to express nationalist and xenophobic veiws in our societies. It’s not difficult as all to be a racist or nationalist: you just have to support anti-migration politics, such expressions as “Russia for Russians”, “France for teh French” etc and be intolerant towards people from different minority groups – national, religious and others.
It’s more difficult not to be a racist or nationalist. You need to combine your verbal principles of tolerance and non-violence with your actions and lifestyle. It’s the way without simple answers. Vice versa, it appeared more and more questions: “What can I do?”, “Can I change anything alone?”, “Does anybody else need it?” – says Aleksandra Nazarova, the member of the international team of the action.

In the opinion of the Week’s organizers, these activities create the possibility to find the answers to these questions for oneself, to question other people and to find like-minded persons around you.

“It’s very important for us, that the Week is interesting not only for activists and anti-fascists but also for school teachers, educators atc. They’re using the materials of the Week all the year round not only in November” – said Anastasia Nikitina, the coordinator of Youth network against racism and intolerance.

The week of awareness-raising actions “Crystal Night – Never Again!” takes place yearly from 9th till 16th of November. The organizers of the Week are Youth network against racism and intolerance (YNRI), International Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM) in partnership with European Network "UNITED for intercultural action" with the support by “Young Europe” Movement and humanitarian project “Epigraph”. This Week is the time when every person can initiate or take part in different awareness-raising actions promotingideas of tolerance, intercultural dialogue and anti-fascism. The results and materials from previous actions are available on the web-site of the Week -