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

Ukraine – without borders!


In August 2007 the international camp “No Borders” «??? ??????» «??? ??????i?» took place near the Uzhgorod (Ukraine) in the framework of the European “All Different – All Equal” campaign with the participation of YHRM.

The Ukrainian network “No borders” acted as the main organizer of the camp.

More than 200 persons from Western and Eastern Europe (Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, etc.) discussed the current European policy in the sphere of migration and the situation with the freedom of movement, as well as the opportunities of different actions (protest, charitable, social, legal, awareness-raising, etc.) for changing the present situation and for integrating migrants and refugees.

Also there was a meeting of the international initiative “Food not Bombs” participants, who not just fed the camp’s inhabitants but also conducted a series of actions (including actions with the participation of radical cheerleaders) in Uzhgorod.

The consequences of the eastward expansion of the EU borders
Of course, the main theme of the camp was the situation in Ukraine itself, the Western border of which is the frontier of the EU, where thousands of migrants and refugees want to penetrate by different means.

The Ukrainian region of Transcarpatia, of which the biggest cities are Uzhgorod and Mukachevo, has become a new borderline, with increasing militarization and major concentration of detention camps for refugees from the countries of Global South and former USSR, who try to escape war, totalitarianism or misery to the European Union countries. It is hard to find any “open” information about the conditions in the
majority of these camps.
The condition of the refugees in Ukraine is very unstable: freedom of movement is restricted; it is hard to get a job or medical care, and no social security is provided. When one gets refugee status, the only support they get from the state is a single payment of a petty 3 euros.
In recent years Ukraine has even extradited asylum seekers to places like Uzbekistan, where they were imprisoned for years in the notorious authoritarian regime’s gulags.
The increase of border controls makes a big impact on lives of local people in the depressed region of Transcarpathia. The region is situated on the intersection of borders of five countries: Ukraine,Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania. Four of them are now in the European Union, but Ukraine will not be its member in the near future. So “Fortress Europe” strengthens its Eastern frontiers on the borderline of Western Ukraine.
(For more detailed information about current situation, please visit

No borders! No nations! Stop deportations!
As it was stated above, in the Transcarpathia region a number of deportation camps, the so-called “detention centers”, are situated, in each of which several hundreds of migrants and refugees from the countries of the CIS, Middle and Far East and Africa are interned. A prison-camp in Pavshino is infamous. According to an ex-prisoner of it, who was the guest and speaker in “No Borders” camp, the conditions for the CIS natives and other people are not equal. The latter are kept in huge hangars, where people sleep side by side on the floor, without WC and showers, and are fed with awful food and very seldom. For the outside people (even journalists and human rights activists) it’s very difficult to get to the territory of the prison-camp, so extremely little data about the illegality inside of it leaks outwards.

There are similar prison-camps near Uzhgorod by the towns Mukachevo and Chop.

The camp participants conducted a series of protest actions (meetings and processions) against the practice of creating such prison-camps in front of Uzhgorod city administration and Committee of migration in Transcarpathia. Activists also managed to reach the deportation camps and conduct actions for the freedom of movement and solidarity with the refugees and migrants who are imprisoned there.

Music and cinema without borders!
The majority of the camp’s events took place in Uzhgorod and were open to all the city inhabitants. Thus, the “Free Zone” – a music fest that gathered musicians playing reggae, rock and other types of music from Kyiv, Kharkov and Lvov – was organized at the central square of the city. Two days in a row in the evenings the city youth came to the square to listen an inflammatory music. During the concert the activist reels about refugees and migrants in different countries, about the actions of solidarity and assistance to these people were shown on huge screens.

Besides, during the whole week there was the cinema festival in the City puppet-show theatre, where all the comers could see feature and documentary films on the theme of the camp. These film reviews became a platform for public lectures and discussions, which featured as speakers the experienced activists, human rights advocates and researchers from Germany, Romania, Russia and other countries.

To be continued…
By the end of the camp working groups of activists planning to continue their work on migration issues (including putting the pressure to change the situation with the deportation camps in Pavshino) emerged. Also different publications on the issue of borders in contemporary Europe are coming soon. A group of activists is working on the recommendations to the European intergovernmental structures on youth actions in the context of migration issues.

Articles in Russian on the contemporary migration issues were also published in the second issue of the “Open City” magazine, which can be found at

The project was accomplished with support from the European Youth Foundation (EYF), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation.

Information group of
the Youth Network against Racism and Intolerance (YHRM)