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

Ukraine – Human rights defender Konstantin Reutski assaulted by police

Дата публикации: 

Konstantin Reutski

On 29 January 2015, human rights defender Mr Konstantin Reutski was beaten by road police officers at the check point Pisochin in the Kharkiv region. Konstantin Reutski is chairman of the Human Rights Centre "Postup" (Path), and a journalist with online media outlet and with Gromadske TV. He routinely covers events in the area concerned by Ukraine's anti-terrorist operation (ATO) and documents human rights violations in the region.

On 29 January 2015, at approximatively 10pm, the car of Konstantin Reutski was stopped by road police officers while entering Kharkiv crossing a checkpoint near Pisochin. Police officers asked Konstantin Reutski and journalists Ms Anastasia Stanko and Mr Paweł Pieniążek, who were in the car with him, to exit the vehicle, and proceeded with a search of the car. The alleged reason for the search was that the vehicle carried a license plate from Luhansk (newly proclaimed separatist republic). Konstantin Reutski and the journalists explained the reason of their presence in the ATO area, and that Konstantin Reutski is accredited in the ATO press centre.

The police officers refused to identify themselves, and Konstantin Reutski demanded that they respect applicable legal procedures. As a verbal confrontation ensued, the human rights defender started to film the search. The officers reportedly grabbed his camera and hit Konstantin Reutski repeatedly. They confiscated the camera, which contained materials from Debaltsevo, Popasnaya and Mariupol, where fighting has taken place in recent days. The journalists accompanying Konstantin Reutski called the police. Officers from the Lubotyn police department arrived a hour later and the human rights defender lodged a complaint about the incident and the confiscation of the video camera. The camera was later found without the memory card.

The following day, 30 January, the Department of the Ministry of Interior for the Kharkiv region published a statement on the events. According to the statement: «the driver [Konstantin Reutski] attempted to take something from his pocket, to which police officers quickly reacted by blocking his movements. The man considered the move as a possible attack against him, so he fell on the ground, and police officers tried to help him to get up and to offer necessary assistance». The statement went on to say that the police officers involved in the incident had been suspended until the end of the investigation.

Front Line Defenders is concerned at the attack against Konstantin Reutski, which appears to be directly linked to the journalistic and human rights work he carries out in the ATO region.