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

Police Raid in the Voronezh Human Rights House


The premises of the Human Rights House-Voronezh were searched today by the police. Altogether eight plain-clothes police officers entered the premises, searching through all documents, but refusing to identify themselves and maintaining that they do have a search warrant for all organisations registered at this address (including commercial organisations and political groups). However, no search warrant was given to the representatives of the organisations.

Human Rights House-Voronezh brings together a number of well-known human rights groups including international Youth Human Rights Movement, an NGO with Council of Europe participative status, Interregional Human Rights Group, regional representations of Memorial and “Golos”, Civil Initiative “Green Alternative” as well as Union of Professional Writers, Centre for Civic Initiatives, “Confederation of Free Labour” trade union organizations, Interregional Free Student Union, Lawyers for Labour Rights and other human rights groups. The building also hosts public reception office, regional representation of Transparency International-Russia, personal office of Andrey Yurov, head of the International Observation Mission of the Committee of International Control (CIC) over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus and recently selected member of the presidential Human Rights Council as well as private cabinet of bar attorney Olga Gnezdilova.

Victoria Gromova, director of the Youth Human Rights Movement, was removed from one of the offices, with physical force. The phone of another activist, Lubov' Zakharova, of human rights news agency Article20 was taken, while she was commenting on the events. The plainclothed men, conducting search in the Human Rights House refused to identify themselves and demonstrate search order, have locked a number of activists in one of the rooms and refused to let in an attorney-at-law. Two private computers, two hard disks, USB-disks were confiscated from one of the offices before the unidentified plain-clothed law-enforcement officers left.

This is already the second raid of the day in Voronezh. Earlier in the morning police officers from the anti-extremism department and investigators from Moscow began searches at private homes of activists including human rights defender Natalia Zvyagina, representative of the Interregional Human Rights Group Voronezh/Black Earth and Transparency International as well as the Public Monitoring Commission. The official pretext was the investigation of the case of Sergei Usaltsov, Leonid Razvozzhaev and Konstantin Lebedev who are suspected in plotting mass disorder.