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.
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Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority It is time to sit back and reflect.

Mark Twain


Youth Human Rights Movement

Was the checking of eye-sight successful?


The group of young people gathered near the building of the Federal Registration Service (FRS) in Nizhny Novgorod in 16 of Augest 2007. About 20 activists wearing white smocks and holding banners expressed a protest to closing their orginazation – International Youth Human Rights Movement. Police didn’t try to prevent action.

The following slogans were in banners: “Human rights can’t be closed – idea can’t be banned”, “Freedom of assotiatins”, “Do you see us now?”

Sometimes “ophthalmologists” showed for civil servants of FRS the “eye chart” where the full name of YHRM was written.
After a while stuff of FRS came out and suggested activists to enter the building to negotiate. New head of FRS I. Berdnocova showed irritation and said: “It’s nothing here to negotiate”.

Nevertheless they had the possibility to discuss the problem in front of TV-cameras. Civil servants tried to say, that they hadn’t closed international organization and proceeded interregional organization, which didn’t get the official reports and they don’t know how the name of international organization appeared in court decision. (You can compare the court decision and the suit that are almost identical –

Representatives form YHRM Alena Ob’ezdchikova (chairman of coordinative council) and Andrey Cheremnykh (secretary of coordinative council) were objected to it that FRS had closed organizations, wich had been giving reports and have certified letter of it.

That’s why it is not a valid reason for closing.
This principle of closing organizations is excessive and discriminatory. It’s necessary to find other solutions of the problem and may be to change the law. (But this point is not to be said to the FRS.)
FRS claimed that they are not going to take the suit back. But if organization will correct the falls, regional FRS will make the organization out of the lists and only federal FRS will control it and receive reports.
That’s why regional branch of FRS and YHRM will meet each other once again in a court. But even though YHRM’ getting back to work will not change the situation of relations with official controlling organizations and NGO.

We should add, that Nizhniy Novgorod regional FRS successfully came through “checking the eye-sight” and had not only detected YHRM but had negotiations with them as well. It is a good regional example, but the total diagnosis will be only in the courtroom.

More information:

Tel.: +7 -910-346-18-32
+7 -910-137-08-30
+7 (831) 228-16-25
Andrey Cheremnykh

Alena Ob’ezdchikova