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

Appeal of Non-Governmental Organizations from the OSCE Region to the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan Concerning the Forced Closing of the Young Lawyers’ Association “AMPARO”


On October 24, 2012 the Khudjan city court approved the complaint of the local Department of Justice and delivered a judgment ordering the closing of the Young Lawyers Association “Amaro” (further – “Amparo”). The reason for the judgement was a discrepancy between the activity of the NGO and its charter.

We are well familiar with the activity of “Amparo” as one of the most active human rights organizations in Tajikistan. As of today, “Amparo” unites more than 40 young human rights and civil liberties activists, journalists and teachers. During the course of its activity, “Amparo” provided thousands of rights consultations on various aspects of the law and carried out dozens of educational events. Moreover, “Amparo” cooperates with both intergovernmental structures (OSCE, UN, EU) and non-governmental organizations from other countries.

Special attention should be given to the fact that “Amparo” is the only organization in Tajikistan that deals with the protection of the rights of conscripts and military servicemen.

The forced closing of the NGO is an extreme measure, which should be implemented only in cases of gross violations of the law that significantly harm the public interest. In this regard, ordering the closing of an organization on the basis of comments of a strictly formal nature is a disproportionate measure, especially given that “Amparo” removed the comment that was the basis for the complaint. This judgment has already become the subject of discussion by various international authorities and significantly harms the reputation of the Republic of Tajikistan in the international arena.

The Republic of Tajikistan is subject to a number of international law commitments that guarantee freedom of associations in the framework of the UN and OSCE. In particular, Art. 22 of the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights states that the right to freedom of association with others “is not subject to any limitations apart from those provided by law and those, which are needed in democratic society for the state and public security, public order, population’s health and morals protection or protection of the rights and freedoms of other people.” A violation of this provision, such as the one we see in the case of “Amparo,” is grounds for an appeal to the UN Committee on Human Rights. As a human rights organization, “Amparo” is also specially protected by the UN Declaration on the rights and duties of persons, groups and civil organizations to promote and protect universally acknowledged human rights and basic liberties, Article 5 of which states that: “In order to promote and protect human rights and major liberties, each person has a right, individually or together with others, … to found non-governmental organizations, associations or groups, become their member and participate in their activities”.

Taking all the aforementioned into consideration, we apply to the government of Tajikistan to withdraw their claim against Young Lawyers Association “Amparo” during the appeals process and to further refrain from actions aimed at impeding the legitimate activity of this human rights organization.

Moscow Helsinki Group
International Youth Human Rights Movement
Center for Civil Freedoms (Ukraine)
Social Alternative (Ukraine)
Helsinki Association of Armenia
Human Rights Defense Center of Azerbaijan
Human Rights Center “Citizens Against Corruption” (Kyrgyzstan)