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

Last weekend in Voronezh took place a seminar called “Civil educational work with a help of media-forms and methods”

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During 3 days all participants together with Olga Skripnik from Center of Civil Education “Almienda” (Yalta, Ukraine) and members of Youth Human Rights Movement learnt how to assimilate media-texts by methods of organization of cinema clubs and conducting discussions after cinema shows.

The work with media-texts by methods of critical thinking allow to look into well-established ways of work and to analyze contemporary source of information: releases in mass-media, photos and videos. With a help of them it’s important to separate pure information from opinion of an author which has an influence on reader’s perception and changes our impression. This kind of analytical perception affects with aware information consuming, allow us to extensively assess and critical interpret content of any information.

It would seem that organizing educational cinema show and discussion after that is one of the simplest initiative which can be set up by every man. However to organize periodical cinema clubs which attract regular audience is much more complicated. In the framework of seminar it was told about organization of cinema clubs based on regular aims and tasks, perception of movies, the way of actualizing some problems before cinema show and initiating deeper analyze.

In accordance with words of seminar leader Olga Skripnik all participants were very interested:
It happened that we got very diverse group. People with different view about the work and different experience. Regardless of questions that came out- these or those methods are desired- they were all ready to work on them to look for forms of citizen education- she said- Not every single question we answered but there is readiness to continue our work. The results of seminar we will see in the future- after creating working groups and activity of their participants. We can also assess it by feedback. Very often people turn to me, privately, for some consultations

What seems to be the hardest thing for people who want to organize cinema club?
First of all, it is similar to us, we learn who we are and this is the most complicated, in this regard for me it’s important to understand who we are, for what we do this, what we want to change and what effects we want to achieve. It is one more time question about the strength of the triangle. If we clearly understand what we do and for whom then there are no problems with choice of films or methodology. The reason of our work shouldn’t be that something is funny and catchy but because something is important for people we work with.

In the seminar participated not only citizen activists from various human rights organizations but also lecturers from higher and secondary schools.

Julia Shvyriayeva, main tutor assistant at Voronezh Secondary School no. 4 perceive see more options in work with media with pupils:
I see usefulness of those methods, during the class time and after it. By the way, in the last year pupils from my school enjoyed to visit cinema clubs at The House of Human Rights. It’s true, we informed only elder pupils. But now has appeared an option of working with younger kids as well. Overall, I think that it is very interested for kids because it is unconventional manner of work.

What kind of topics you would like to take up?
Totalitarianism, human rights- it’s during class time. But still I would like to organize a seminar for teachers- to show the methods I’ve got to know today and to teach how to work with them. Nowadays there is available lots of media tools - disks with education films but nobody attaches methods of instruction. Therefore, teachers can show their pupils movies about revolution, but what to do next with it we don’t know.
We hope that just finished seminar is the beginning of cinema network and media-education in the framework of the Youth Network of Human Rights education and civil enlightenment. The working group responsible for creating this network has already been chosen in the last day of the seminar. The Network participants and users can continue to exchange their experience how to conduct cinema shows and also share the titles of movies that can be shown, 
- introduced future plans YHRM participant and author of series of methods on “Civil education by cinema aids” Elena Dudukina.

If you are interested in methodology of working on civil education by movies we’ll be happy to see you in our Network. Please, send us an email

The seminar was organized in the framework of project “Civil organizations serving society: youth actions against racism, nationalism and xenophobia and for Human Right and inter-cultural dialogue” financed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the scope of program MATRA.