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

Human Rights defenders for free elections: raided and staff detained


At approximately 3:15am on 20 December, following the 19 December Belarusian presidential election, special forces personnel raided the office of Human Rights Centre “Viasna” in central Minsk. At 3:45am, ten staff present were detained, including lawyers Valentin Stefanovich and Vladimir Labkovich, and taken to the police department of Pervomaisky district of  Minsk.  Special forces then carried out a search of the premises.

Viasna, together with Belarus Helsinki Committee, were jointly conducting the domestic election monitoring project “Human  Rights Defenders for Free Elections” and staff were in the process of analyzing data collected the previous day from 600 election observers across the country. 

Earlier that night, Chairman of Belarus Helsinki Committee Oleg Gulak was detained in a separate incident by riot police as he left the peaceful post-election demonstration at Nezavisimosti Square and taken to Akrestina police detention centre. 

The aim of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections" is observation of the election of the President of Belarus in 2010, assessment of the electoral process from the viewpoint of Belarusian electoral legislation and international standards of free and democratic elections, and keeping the Belarusian public and international community duly informed about conclusions of the observation. The campaign is independent and politically non-engaged. More information about the campaign can be found in the websites of the Human Rights Centre "Viasna" ( and Belarusian Helsinki Committee (