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 effects of the campaign „The right to equality” from 9th to 16th of November

Дата публикации: 

Few days ago the action “Crystal night - never again!” was finished. The action is organized every year in many countries from 9th to 11th of November and coincide with the International Day against racism and intolerance - 9th of November. In that day in 1938 pogroms of Jews in Germany started being called “The crystal night” and this way originated Holocaust.

The campaign is coordinated by Youth Human Rights Movement, every year being called by the title which reflects what happened in the last century and what is going now. In this year the title „The right to equality” was chosen. It is connected with the fact that just now, authorities in Eastern Europe attack human sovereignty trying to limit his/ her right to equality. First of all, a co-coordinator was Russian LGBT network.

We wanted to make participants think whether we are able to live peacefully and openly in the conditions of “extraordinary” equality. We also wanted to remind that there were hundreds of examples in history when one minority was oppressed, and suddenly the list of “other-strange-enemies” grow to such extent that the chance of being on this list was one hundred higher.

In the atmosphere of various difficulties and obstacles which arose around, the action joined 20 cities, among others from Ukraine and Belarus. Geography of Russian cities participating in the action surprises by its diversity, in the event participated cities from Vladivostok to Krasnodar, from Murmansk to Grozny. Almost every participants took a photo with epigraphs that called to be yourself and respect others’ people right to it. Then those calls were published in social networks.

The main event during campaign was formulated request to Lady Gaga for public support of our efforts and for performing on 12th of December in Moscow with the speech defending right to equality. As everybody knows, Lady Gaga takes very active position in the field of defense of Human Rights, especially towards representatives of minorities. In this year she opened charitable foundation called in honor of her album “Born this way”.

Participants of campaign “Right to equality” joined to discussion on this complicated topic in wide range of forms - round tables, seminars, meetings-discussions, cinema shows, also during campaign in every geographical part one raised question about different forms of equality and its existence. For example, in Murmansk took place lesson titled “My tolerance” where using examples of musical events, video clips and photos participants tried to answer the question: “Am I tolerant?”. In Samara there was organized discussion “LGBT and Christianity”. In Voronezh took place all 10-days campaign of tolerance titled “Different people, one life”. One of the event was lesson and discussion “What for people need fascists?”. In Saratov took place seminar titled “Anti-fascist education in 21st century”.

There was also artistic parade of many participants. In Moscow journal “The Island” organized reading of literature including artistic texts of lesbians about themselves and accepting their equality. In Krasnodar activists left on asphalt template with notice “Right to equality” and in Vladivostok there was organized action of placing epigraphs.

There wasn’t forgotten traditional lessons at schools, among others using comics methodology “Respect” but also master classes in the form of Human Library.
Heedless of the fact that the week of awareness-raising activities has been formally finished we hope that all participants of the campaign will continue their work in that direction. We can change this world a little bit only when we are united in our efforts.

The members of organizers of campaign “Crystal night - never again!” were Youth Network against racism and intolerance (YNRI), International Network of human rights education and civil enlightenment (HRECE), UNITED for intercultural action, Youth Network “Young Europe”, Youth Human Rights Movement and Russian LGBT network.

The week “Crystal night - never again!” in 2012 was organized in the framework of project “Civil organisations serving society: youth actions against racism, nationalism and xenophobia and for Human Rights and inter-cultural dialogue” financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Kingdom of the Netherlands in the scope of program MATRA.

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