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

Alternative civilian service in the Republic of Belarus: Ivan Serebro


12.04.2010, Ivan Serebro, soldier of the military unit 52500, submitted an appeal to the Ministry of Defense with a demand to let him a possibility to implement alternative service.

“I’ve heard of alternative service before, but only being at the military already I found out that the Law on Alternative Service is going to be drafted. I know that alternative service means, in the first place, hard work, and the term of such service is usually bigger than that of military service. However, I am going to insist on implementation of alternative service. I think this will be of a better use – both to the people, and to me personally” – Ivan Serebro commented upon his decision.

According to Ivan, there are several other soldiers of the same military unit that were going to submit appeals for alternative service, but they gave up this idea under the pressure from the command of the military unit.
Ivan Serebro is the fifth young man over the last half a year who is striving for his right to alternative civilian service.

Appeals of Dzmitry Smyk, Andrei Tsianuta, Ivan Mikhailau and Yauheny Yakavenka preceded Ivan Serebro’s appeal.

Andrei Tsianuta was agains his will recruited to the military in September 2009, a civil case regarding legal force of activity of the recruiting committee is being considered by the Supreme Court of Belarus.

Dzmitry Smyk and Ivan Mikhailau were both criminally prosecuted on draft evasion (November 2009 and February 2010, consequently). Their cases received broad public and international response, as a result, accusation verdicts were withdrawn and cases submitted for new consideration.

Yauheni Yakavenka was sentenced to an administrative fee upon the same charges (and later charges were withdrawn) and at the present is being accused with evading military service in a criminal case.

Monitoring group of the
Public Campaign “For Alternative Civilian Service in Belarus”