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

Foreign students and civil activists in Russia: victory – one for all

Дата публикации: 

On July 2, at 14.00pm in front of the Embassy of the Republic of the Congo, gathered a group of people who participated in a picket in support of Congolese students.
Formerly this situation was highlighted in Julia Bashinova’s articles “What makes Congolese students picket” and “Is the Embassy of Congo going to protect its citizens?”. To sum up, the reason of this picket was the delay of payment of scholarships that Congolese students had not been receiving for 6 months; in fact, they were left to the mercy of fate by their own State and Embassy. It must be said, however, that in the morning before the picket the requirements were met in haste and the scholarship was paid to students, some of them received it for the first time. Everything seemed to be going well, so that there would be no reason to picket. But Congolese students and supporting civil organizations not only have the objective of solving of the problem with scholarships, but also of creating systematic mechanisms in the solutions of problems faced by foreign students in Russia. That is why a group of students and young activists drew up a letter where they formulated their main problems and ways of possible solutions; they tried to give this letter to the Congolese Ambassador in person, but did not succeed in it.
At 14.00pm the Ambassador left the Embassy hurrying for a meeting. The participants of the picket decided to pass the letter with their conditions to the deputy ambassador, who said that he was not authorized to take letters addressed to the Ambassador and disappeared in the building of the Embassy. They did not succeed to register the letter in the embassy's office either, because access to the Embassy is only allowed for people within the list of appointments, with a special invitation or for citizens of Congo. So, they were obliged to leave the letter in the mailbox near the Embassy's entrance.
Lada Burdacheva, member of the Congolese students aid-team and Interregional students' Trade Union, commented: “In the picket participated a few people – Julia Bashinova (YHRM), Vanya Ninenko (Transparency International, Russia ), Venik Dmitroshkin (journalist,, two Congolese students and me. Unfortunately, many Congolese students who recently arrived in Russia were frightened by this morning conversation with the Ambassador. But when you stand up for your rights, there are always people who blame you for not loving your country and being a rebel. And it happens not only in Congo”.
Now the foreign students and Russian civil organizations are waiting impatiently for an official answer from the Embassy and are wondering whether they will be obliged to picket again during the next six months to obtain the payment of regular semi-annual scholarship, or if at least one problem of foreign students is solved.
Only time will tell. For now we celebrate our small victory. Hooray!

The International Network on Student Rights,

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