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

Sokolov Must Be Guaranteed Fair Appeal (by Heidi Hautala)


I have learned with deep concern the disturbing news of the sentencing of the human rights activist Alexey Sokolov on 13 May 2010 to five years’ imprisonment sentence in high security prison colony on the alleged crime of theft and robbery.
There are serious concerns over the conduct of his trial. According to the information I have received, the Bogdanovich town court in the Sverdlovsk region of Russia gave decisive weight to potentially unsound evidence while failing to sufficiently take into account testimonies in support of Alexey Sokolov. Moreover, concern remains over the violations of the criminal procedure at the pre-trial stage, which I promptly raised with the Russian authorities at that time.
I am informed that Alexey Sokolov intends to appeal against the verdict. The Russian authorities must ensure that at this time he is guaranteed a fair trial according to international standards. Moreover, the authorities must guarantee that the preceding violations in the criminal procedure at pre-trial stage and conduct of the trial of Alexey Sokolov shall be rigorously and thoroughly examined at the appeal proceedings.
While in prison, I urge the authorities to ensure that Alexey Sokolov is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated.