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

Seminar "Satire and humor against authoritarianism" took place in Germany


The seminar, organized by Projekthaus Potsdam Babelsberg (Germany), was held from 3 to 12 September, 2011 in Potsdam. This is the second stage of the pilot program and a logical continuation of the training course "satire and humor against contemporary fascism”, which took place in Voronezh (11/28-12/05 2010).

The activists of anti-fascist groups and human rights organizations, young artists and directors met to share their experience in working with humor and satire against authoritarian ideologies. The event was held in the format of open space, where each participant was responsible for a thematic block and its moderation.

The seminar presented recent practice of satire and humor against authoritarianism in movies, comic books, public events and information campaigns. In particular, the project “Respect” was presented. The project was planned to unite artists from different countries so that they could draw comics about tolerance. The first such comics have been already created within the framework of the project.

During the seminar, the participants learned techniques of satire and humor, mechanisms of its action. It was important to understand which techniques can be used effectively in anti-authoritarian thinking. In this context, the issue of what the vector of humor should be aimed at initiated a lot of debates. It is easier for people to laugh at somebody’s defects. In this connection, the concept of self-irony against authoritarianism appeared interesting. If we take into account that the authoritarian thought is natural for everybody, then it follows that people should be offered first to laugh at themselves.

The main difference of the second stage of the program was studying the context of the problem. It should be noted that the seminar itself was mostly held in Potsdam - the former residence of the Prussian royal family. During the special excursion the participants examined the origins of Prussian militarism, examples of satire and humor against it and the general historical context. The participants visited the Jewish Museum in Berlin, where they attended a lecture about the perception of Jews as a minority of the German Society of XIX-XX centuries and on its response to National Socialism. The participants also visited the Museum of the Wannsee Conference (Wannsee-Konferenz), where so-called "final solution of Jewish question" happened in 1942.  Traditionally, a discussion about the acceptability of the use of satire in the context of Holocaust remembrance became a prevailing theme.

Vitus Media,
YHRM Information Service