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

Article 282 under Debate at "Memorial"


On Thursday, December 20, “Memorial” held a round table discussion on Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code. The Article envisions criminal sanctions for “incitement of national, racial, or religious enmity” and is part of the legislation aimed at combating extremism. Opponents say that the authorities more often than not use Article 282 to persecute their political opponents.

The discussion at “Memorial” brought together experts and civil activists from a wide spectrum of opinions.

The panelists were Alexander Verkhovsky (“Sova” Centre), Alexander Daniel (“International Memorial”), Henry Reznik (Moscow Chamber of Lawyers), Dmitry Agranovsky (lawyer), and Natalia Kholmogorova (Russian Human Rights Public Movement).

Panel talk was followed by an often heated debate that saw the participation of human rights defenders Alexander Cherkasov, Oleg Orlov, Vitaly Ponomaryov, and Svetlana Gannushkina, historian Valentin Gefter, former Article 282prisoner Rustem Latypov, Russian Human Rights League chairman Vladimir Ivanov, and“Pamat'” Society's Georgy Borovikov.

The discussion concentrated on the following topics. Is Article 282 formulated clearly enough? Should one be subjected to criminal persecution for public calls to violence? Should public utterances that abase human dignity be made a criminal offense? Can a law define in clear terms what constitutes a call for violence and discrimination? Is such a law necessary? What shall our demands to the authorities be with regard to those already sentenced under Article 282?
The round table moderator was Sergei Davidis, head of the “Memorial” Human Rights Centre programme aimed at supporting political prisoners and civil activists facing persecution.

Video and transcript of the talk will soon be made available on “Memorial” HRC's website.

Source: "Memorial"