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

The Second Regional NGO Congress took place in Kyiv 26-27 November


The Congress became a continuation of the pilot project offered by the Conference of International NGOs of the Council of Europe after the Third summit of heads of state Council of Europe member countries (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005). The First Regional NGO Congress took place a year ago – in March 2006, Warsaw.

Second Congress of that kind was conducted in Kiev. Organizers of Congress were Conference of International NGOs of Council of Europe, Laboratory of Legal Initiatives (Kiev) and the International “Renascence” foundation – Ukraine.
The aim of this and other congresses of that kind – to create a platform for dialogue among the leaders of NGOs and the discussion of the NGO role in development and consolidation of democracy, analysis of possibilities and perspectives of regional cooperation, working out resolutions and recommendations about the NGO activity in region.
The Kiev Regional Congress united more than 200 NGO leaders and activists from Ukraine, Poland, Belarus and Russian Federation. The priority was given to participants from these countries, because of the fact that the process of democratization of Russia and Belarus still remain actual and the governmental pressure on NGOs and civil society makes it difficult for independent initiatives to exist. At the same time the analogical processes in Ukraine and Poland came to more or less successful conclusion and the experience of these countries can be used in countries where the democratic institutions and mechanisms are poor. Besides the participants from these 4 countries the NGO leaders from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Slovakia and Baltic countries participates in Congress.

In spite of NGO leaders the presenters of INGO Conference of Council of Europe, international experts and the mass-media participated in Congress as well.

The main questions for discussion during the Congress were the two key thematic blocks: NGOs’ role in development and consolidation of democracy and the problems and perspectives of the regional NGO cooperation. The principal concern was on the discussion of the situation with freedom of assembly/ freedom of association in Russia and Belarus, the need in development of cooperation in Baltic-Black Sea region and the importance of establishment of mechanisms for sharing experience among the presenters of NGOs from different countries.

Additional information:
Anna Dobrovolskaya.