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

European values are growing on the Voronezh ground


On 20 and 21 of May in Voronezh a two-day seminar “The practice of interaction between government and non-government Human Rights institutions in the sphere of promotion of Human Rights European standards at the national level” was held." The seminar was organized by Youth Human Rights Movement and Interregional Human Rights Group supported by the Directorate General of Human Rights of Council of Europe and the Public Reception of the Ombudsman on Human Rights in Russia (in the Voronezh region).

 The seminar was opened with welcoming remarks and reports of invited guests from Strasbourg: Gennadiy Kosyak, Counsellor on cooperation programs of the Directorate General for Legal Affairs and Human Rights in Council of Europe, as well as Dovydas Vitkauskas, Dovydas Vitkauskas, Consultant on Human Rights, expert of Council of Europe and European Comission, formerly Senior Lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights (now a candidate for judge), and today - the legal adviser of the Presidential Administration on appeals and attorney secrets, expert of the European Union project on judicial reform in Russia.

The purpose of the seminar was to discuss practical aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) in the Voronezh region, and participants of event represented a variety of target groups - executive bodies, courts, prosecutors, police, NGOs, the apparatus of Ombudsman on Human Rights, etc. On the one hand, generated much debates, on the other, were new prospects for cooperation, including interregional and national level were drafted.

Inspite of the fact that Russia has ratified the European Convention more than 12 years ago, and it has a direct effect on the territory of Russia (that is exactly the same as the Constitution and all other national laws), still many people don't know its standards, and an enormous misunderstanding of the role of this instrument in the protection of the rights of citizens from the side of various government bodies exists.

There is also the problem of the European Court of Human Rights, which is littered with complaints about 30.000 of which are filed by Russian citizens, desperated to find protection in their home country and are often perceived Strasbourg none other than the fourth instance of justice. At the same time, according to Mr. Vitkauskas, the Court should not adjudicate on personal matters, but rather an indicator that signals to a State of the systemic violations of the law or legal practice to be removed.

The second day was devoted to law students in Voronezh. For them the following events were conducted: a lecture of the Director of the Public Reception of the Ombudsman on Human Rights in Russia (in the Voronezh region) Andrey Yurov "Introducing to the concept of Human Rights and protection mechanisms; session by D. Vitkauskas where everyone had the opportunity to make and justify decisions on a number of complex cases of the European court, as well as the presentation of program on Human Rights and anti-corruption education for lawyers, that is also essential for the promotion of European standards. As stressed Gennadiy Kosyak in his speech: "For Strasbourg it isn’t important to criticize Russia, but on the contrary - to see that there is political will, which seeks to change the situation with Human Rights violations the national level. The purpose of the Convention is developing country-level effective legal mechanisms to improve the legal culture of the population.