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

Protection of human rights defenders in the OSCE discussed at the Dublin Platform

Дата публикации: 

Over 100 human rights defenders from almost 90 countries have once again met in Dublin (Ireland) at the Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders, which took place from 14 to 16 September. FRONTLINE organizes the Dublin Platform every two years, allowing human rights defenders to meet each other, to share their experience and ideas, and to discuss with each other and with representatives of governmental and intergovernmental organizations the problems of their countries and regions.

This year, a lot of attention was paid to the issues and problems of the OSCE area and the activities of organizations in this region. A speech of Eamon Gilmore, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland (which will hold the chairmanship of the OSCE next year), became an important event of the platform. In his speech, Eamon Gilmore stressed that Ireland, as a country that actively promotes the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, is going to pay attention to this issue during its upcoming chairmanship in the OSCE in 2012.

Before delivering speech, Gilmore was handed a letter from the organizations of the Platform. The letter contains recommendations for the upcoming Irish chairmanship of the OSCE and urges to promote dialogue with NGOs, as well as to pay attention to protection of human rights defenders and to work out standards and obligations in this area. In his speech, the Minister directly appealed to the NGOs: "We want to expand the role of the OSCE, and we will work to meet your expectations on our chairmanship."

Maina Kiai, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association also attended the Platform. In his speech he touched upon the problems of the OSCE region, in particular, the Republic of Belarus. The Special Rapporteur has also demonstrated an openness to dialogue and addressed the audience with the following words: "Human rights defenders are agents of change. Please, send me all the information about violations that you have. Use me as your mouthpiece!"

In addition to the official Platform events, an informal meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ireland took place in Dublin. The participants of the conference discussed issues of cooperation between various regional NGOs and the upcoming chairmanship. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus, particularly Dmitry Makarov, a member of the Coordination Council of the Youth Human Rights Movement. At the very Platform Dmitry moderated Russian-language section, which was focused on protection of human rights defenders in the post-Soviet space.