Calendar

     

Analytics and Interview

22.01.2015
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’.
22.05.2014
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.
28.11.2013
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.  

Search on site

CIVIL NEWS

24.05.2016
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.
07.02.2015
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.
03.02.2015
«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

OUR BUTTON

Youth Human Rights Movement

22.02.2011

 The 19 December presidential election in Belarus was marked by a lack of independence and impartiality of the election administration, an uneven playing field and a restrictive media environment, as well as a lack of transparency at key stages of the electoral process, concludes ODIHR’s final report published on 22 February.

Election night was marred by the detention of most presidential candidates and hundreds of citizens, among them journalists, human rights activists and other civil society representatives. The report reiterates that Belarus has a considerable way to go in meeting its OSCE commitments for democratic elections.

The recommendations included in the report touch on issues such as ensuring the independence and impartiality of the election administration, enhancing the transparency of the vote count and tabulation, and creating conditions for all electoral contestants to be able to compete with each other on an equal basis. Although significant improvements had been made in amending the election code before the election, the legal framework still contains serious shortcomings that need to be addressed.

The report also recommends ensuring that all election stakeholders be able to effectively exercise the right of assembly during elections, including any pre- and post-election activity. Consideration could be given to granting domestic and international observers the right to monitor all stages of the election process, as well as to publishing detailed result protocols immediately on the Internet. The mechanisms for election dispute resolution should be strengthened in order to provide complainants with effective and timely remedy.

http://www.osce.org/odihr/75721

Report  pdf
http://www.osce.org/odihr/75713

22.02.2011

 The Fourth Winter School for Human Rights organized by the Moscow Helsinki Group, Youth Human Rights Movement and the Free University was held in Moscow from 22 to 30 January, 2011.

This year's participants were 35 people from different regions of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Among them were young human rights activists, social and civil society organizations activists, journalists, representatives of the Public Human Rights Consultation Service and the Ombudsman for Human Rights.
The School for Human Rights is a big and serious project, which aims to create a platform for human rights education and most important - to form a new generation of human rights defenders.
Here the trainers do not give that "truth" that everybody long to find, and here the Socratic spirit is especially strong because at the end of the event the participants had more questions than answers.
Interactivity and fast rhythm of the event, rigidity of discussions immerse participants in the educational process and leave no one indifferent.
The topics of different School's days were the concept of Human Rights, advocacy, national and international mechanisms of human rights protection, the theory of human integrity and much more.
One day for the participants a meeting with the chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeeva, and a judge of the Constitutional Court of Russia, Anatoly Kononov was organized. They talked about the history of human rights movement in Russia, about the Constitutional Court - how it works, etc.
I believe participation in the School is necessary and important experience for anyone who wishes to engage in human rights activities whether they activists or leaders of the NGO, journalists or public officials.

 

Alexander Drook, 
YHRM Participant

22.02.2011

 Perhaps you've heard about the reregistration of correspondents and participants of the international Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM), which started in late 2010. It goes step by step, by now it is almost completed in two thematic networks - Youth Network against Racism and Intolerance and the International Network for Students' Rights. Now the reregistration has started in Youth Network of civil journalism. The reregistration for us is only the excuse to launch the networks in new way and find people inside and outside the YHRM, who are interested in change of this world through their texts, photos, video and other materials.

Youth Network of civil journalism was designed the community of people, who are interested in promotion of such issues as human rights and civil society through traditional and new media, protect the values of freedom of speech and the right of access to information, support each other, learn from each other, exchange ideas and tactics for work and are looking for like-minded people.
We invite you to join the Youth Network of citizen journalism.
Now we are rebuilding our mailing list civic.journ-net@yhrm.org, which will bring together members of the Network (from the correspondents and participants of YHRM) and will allow rapid exchange of information, thoughts and ideas.

 

YHRM International Secretariat

22.02.2011

 February 13, 2011, a meeting between Russian and international civil society organizations and the UN High Commissioner for human rights Navanethem Pillay was held. Wide range of points was discussed during the meeting, including the human rights activists’ status. The meeting was led by Yuri Dzhibladze, President of the Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, the participating organization of the Committee of International Control over human rights situation in Belarus. The representatives of other participating organizations of the Committee also took part in the event.
Dmitry Makarov, the participant of the Youth Human Rights Movement Coordinating Council, one of the participating organizations of the Committee of International Control, pointed out in his plenary report several challenges ant threats, that, unfortunately, went beyond the national states frontiers and, therefore, the special attention was paid to the human rights defenders status in Belarus.
After the meeting the Committee of international control participants had an informal negotiations on the their future actions, moreover, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights attended a conversation with the head of the International Observation Mission in Belarus Andrey Yurov and representative of the Committee Dmitry Makarov.
During the conversation, there were suggestions to organize visit to the Republic of Belarus of representatives of the UN human rights agencies or to invite the Belarusian human rights defenders at separate talks to discuss human rights situation in Belarus to formulate the UN recommendations to the authorities of the Republic of Belarus. The mission documents on human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists in Belarus, prepared in collaboration with the Belarusian organizations were turned over the High Commissioner.
The UN High Commissioner said that she looks after the situation in the Republic of Belarus with interest. She expressed her willingness to scrutinize the analytic reviews and recommendations to amend the human rights status in Belarus, provided by the Belarusian human rights organizations and the Mission. Furthermore, Navanethem Pillay pointed out the uniqueness of such an international civil society initiative in response to massive human rights abuses like the Committee and the Mission.

The International Observer Mission
of the Committee of International Control over the human rights situation in Belarus

03.02.2011

This document is a systematic compilation of facts of interference in the activitiy of human rights organizations and initiatives in Belarus, based on the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders") and aligned with the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders - "Ensuring the protection”.
International Observation Mission has prepared an analytical review of the realization of the right to defense and freedom of the legal profession in the light of the events that happened from December 2010 through January 2011 (as of January 20, 2011) in the Republic of Belarus.
This overview was based on the information that had been collected from open sources, particularly mass media, official web sites of government structures and the statements of different public organizations including the international NGOs.
This document reflects various aspects of regarding freedom of legal activities of bar lawyers in connection to a number of actions by the Ministry of Justice of Belarus aimed at those attorneys that represent politicians and public figures charged with organizing mass riots in the context of the events on December 19, 2010. This analytical review compiles the information related to the legal outcomes of the actions taken by the Ministry of Justice with respect to the Belarus Helsinki Committee (BHC) in response to their appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on independence of Judges and Lawyers.
The full press-release text & Analytical review.

Tel.: +375336360500
Tel.: +375333406772
e-mail: int.observation.mission@gmail.com

29.01.2011

January 27 in Minsk held a press conference on the results of the first month of the International Committee of the International Observation Mission to monitor the situation of human rights in Belarus.Press conference was held at the office of HRC Viasna, gathered 15 journalists of the Belarusian and foreign media.

An international observer mission on Human Rights in the Republic of Belarus has started to act Dec. 27, 2010. In the Mission's work defenders, civil society activists from non-governmental organizations in the OSCE area. The mission of the Committee is acting on behalf of international control over the human rights situation in Belarus, which unites for the moment the representatives of 30 human rights organizations from countries in the OSCE area and international civic networks and organizations.

Summing up the results for the month, Victoria Gromova, representative of the International Observation Mission, a member of the coordinating council of the International Youth Human Rights Movement said that over the past month in the Mission was attended by 13 human rights activists from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia. Mission to respond to threats to human rights defenders, journalists and civic activists, and supervised during investigative activities conducted in the offices of civil society organizations, the apartments of the Belarusian human rights defenders and journalists have made about 10 trips. Mission statement prepared 3 and 3 policy briefs, which systematically breaches of rights of representatives of various professional groups: human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and makes recommendations for change. Talking about the purpose of presence in Belarus, representatives of human rights organizations from the countries of the OSCE, Victoria Gromova also noted that in the modern world there are more challenges to civil society, and this dictates the need to build new lines of international solidarity, social activists from different countries.

Expert of the International Observation Mission, the chairman of Helsinki Association of Armenia Mikael Danielian, gave colleagues from Belarus words of support from journalists and human rights in Armenia. According to him, the experience of Armenian activists, may be useful for civil society in Belarus.

Ales Belyatsky - Head of the Human Rights Centre "Vesna" said Mission's work is especially important during this period, when human rights activists in Belarus are overworked, related to assistance to victims. According to Ales Belyatsky, thanks to the mission challenge of systemic human rights violations in Belarus remain in the field of view of the world community.
Chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Jeanne Litvin noted the importance of international support for ending government interference in the professional activities of journalists. Jeanne Litvin wished journalists and human rights in Belarus firmness and consistency.
Events dedicated to the analysis of the situation of human rights in Belarus and the results of the first month of the International Observation Mission held these days in Ukraine, France, Switzerland and Russia.

More information about the materials of the Mission can be found at www.HRwatch-BY.org
Video: http://belapan.by/archive/2011/01/27/media_vesna_v1/

Contact:
+375 33 636 05 00 / +375 33 340 67 72
int.observation.mission @ gmail.com
byc@hrgroups.org

29.01.2011

January 27 in Minsk held a press conference on the results of the first month of the International Committee of the International Observation Mission to monitor the situation of human rights in Belarus.Press conference was held at the office of HRC Viasna, gathered 15 journalists of the Belarusian and foreign media.
An international observer mission on Human Rights in the Republic of Belarus has started to act Dec. 27, 2010. In the Mission's work defenders, civil society activists from non-governmental organizations in the OSCE area. The mission of the Committee is acting on behalf of international control over the human rights situation in Belarus, which unites for the moment the representatives of 30 human rights organizations from countries in the OSCE area and international civic networks and organizations.
Summing up the results for the month, Victoria Gromova, representative of the International Observation Mission, a member of the coordinating council of the International Youth Human Rights Movement said that over the past month in the Mission was attended by 13 human rights activists from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia. Mission to respond to threats to human rights defenders, journalists and civic activists, and supervised during investigative activities conducted in the offices of civil society organizations, the apartments of the Belarusian human rights defenders and journalists have made about 10 trips. Mission statement prepared 3 and 3 policy briefs, which systematically breaches of rights of representatives of various professional groups: human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and makes recommendations for change. Talking about the purpose of presence in Belarus, representatives of human rights organizations from the countries of the OSCE, Victoria Gromova also noted that in the modern world there are more challenges to civil society, and this dictates the need to build new lines of international solidarity, social activists from different countries.
Expert of the International Observation Mission, the chairman of Helsinki Association of Armenia Mikael Danielian, gave colleagues from Belarus words of support from journalists and human rights in Armenia. According to him, the experience of Armenian activists, may be useful for civil society in Belarus.
Ales Belyatsky - Head of the Human Rights Centre "Vesna" said Mission's work is especially important during this period, when human rights activists in Belarus are overworked, related to assistance to victims. According to Ales Belyatsky, thanks to the mission challenge of systemic human rights violations in Belarus remain in the field of view of the world community.
Chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Jeanne Litvin noted the importance of international support for ending government interference in the professional activities of journalists. Jeanne Litvin wished journalists and human rights in Belarus firmness and consistency.
Events dedicated to the analysis of the situation of human rights in Belarus and the results of the first month of the International Observation Mission held these days in Ukraine, France, Switzerland and Russia.

More information about the materials of the Mission can be found at www.HRwatch-BY.org
Video: http://belapan.by/archive/2011/01/27/media_vesna_v1/
Contact:
+375 33 636 05 00 +375 33 636 05 00 / +375 33 340 67 72 +375 33 340 67 72
int.observation.mission @ gmail.com
byc@hrgroups.org

20.01.2011

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis, met representatives from international non-governmental organizations in Vilnius today and invited them to take part in an open dialogue with Lithuania’s 2011 OSCE Chairmanship.
Minister Ažubalis met representatives from international non-governmental human rights organizations from the International Civic Initiative for the OSCE, offered to maintain a regular dialogue and urged them to actively participate in OSCE eventsand thereby contribute to the OSCE’s work.
“OSCE is unique as we bring non-governmental organizations into the heart of our decision-making. Civil society‘s participation in the work of the OSCE is greatly valued. Co-operation and a mutual exchange of views are very important, and Lithuania is ready to continue a lively and very open dialogue with civil society,“ said Minister Ažubalis, who emphasized that the promotion of media freedom and pluralism as well as tolerance were among the priorities of Lithuania’s Chairmanship.
“We welcome constructive, focused and consolidated civil society recommendations on all issues concerning the OSCE human dimension.”
He added that he planned to meet representatives of civil society during his forthcoming visits to Moscow and Washington, as well as to countries with OSCE field operations in the South Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South-Eastern Europe.
The NGO representatives from Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and Ukraine attending today’s meeting conveyed an appeal by the International Civic Initiative for the OSCE on co-operation during Lithuania’s Chairmanship. The appeal calls for civil society’s role in the OSCE’s work to be strengthened and sets out guidelines and proposals for co-operation with the OSCE Chairmanship. Established in April 2010, the International Civic Initiative for the OSCE comprises 11 international non-governmental human rights organizations.

Source: http://www.osce.org/cio/74994

07.01.2011

Members of civil society exchanged horror stories and advice at a press conference held by The Committee for International Control of the Human Rights Situation in Belarus on 5 January at the Moscow Helsinki Group office. Activists presented recommendations and discussed their experience of the mass arrests which took place directly after the 19 December elections in Minsk.

During the press briefing, Andrey Yurov, president of the Committee, received information about a search of the Belarus Helsinki Group offices and the home of the head of the Belarus Helsinki Group, Aleh Hulak. During the searches, authorities seized computers and documents.

"They are looking for evidence of our involvement in organising riots, while trying to tailor each case, using even leaflets from 2006," said Andrey Kim, a civic activist from Belarus who spent 10 days in jail following the Minsk protests. "I had a feeling that the general task was less to detain people and more to find ways to beat them. Many were injured; we waited all night for a doctor. One of the detainees was beaten up so bad, both of his hands were so swollen it was impossible to remove his jacket. This man just spent the night waiting for the doctor," Kim said of his experience in detention.

According to Belarus activist and member of the Russian Presidential Council on Human Rights, Sergei Krivenko, international support is needed to combat a deliberate and systematic campaign to ‘clean up' civil society and to ramp up pressure on activists. "First and foremost, those who are now in Belarus need international support - an action of solidarity, information dissemination and systematic pressure on Belarusian authorities to ensure that they stop this repression and stop violations of human rights," Krivenko said.

Valentin Gefter, member of the Russian Presidential Council for Human Rights, cites clandestine Russian involvement and fears mass migration from Belarus eastward. "People are leaving for Russia. They cannot feel completely safe here. In the past there were precedents when the Belarusian secret services, with the explicit support of the Russian special services, picked up people from the territory of Russia," Gefter, said. "I fear that if the repressions continue, soon we may face an exodus of people from Belarus. In this regard, as a member of the Presidential Council for Human Rights, I think it necessary to inform the president of Russia on the situation, as well as on the general alarming increase in cases of violent suppression of civil society in Belarus and Russia. It's all in the same berry patch," Gefter said, referring to issues affecting civil society, both in Russia and Belarus.

Many OSCE member states have already expressed their concern over the situation in Belarus and for the need for sanctions, including a travel ban on Belarus officials. Yuri Dzhibladze, head of the Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in Moscow, said that the Moscow Mechanism, an OSCE human rights monitoring instrument allowing for the investigation of humanitarian crises without the consent of member states, should come into effect.

"Actually, this is a very good opportunity for all, including the authorities of the country where the problem occurred. In case of refusal, more serious consequences in the form of sanctions can occur," said Dzhibladze.

Victoria Gromova, member of the coordination council of the Youth Human Rights Movement, also said that the humanitarian crisis is an occasion for international treaties to flex their muscles.

"We are preparing an appeal to OSCE participating states for the initiation of this procedure, the Moscow Mechanism, and we hope that, along with wide coverage of the situation in Belarus and the maintenance of international attention, it will change the situation for the better," Gromova said.

The Committee for International Control of the Human Rights Situation in Belarus was established in response to the repetitive beatings, detentions and arrests of citizens and other activists in Minsk following the 19 December elections. The committee established a permanent observer group in Minsk assisting local human rights defenders and publicising information. International NGO coalitions, including Youth Human Rights Movement and the Moscow Helsinki Group, joined the Centre for Democracy and Human Rights and The Human Rights Institute to establish the committee. All are participating members of the Eurasia Idea Network.

By Olga Zakharova
Eurasia Idea Network Correspondent

Source: http://zunia.org/post/activists-describe-events-in-belarus-as-a-cleanup-operation-against-civil-society/

31.12.2010

Dear colleagues and friends!
Participants and correspondents of the Youth Human Rights Movement!
We wish you a Happy New Year!
In the outgoing year a lot of us had the opportunity to get to know each other better, to work on solving various social problems, to participate in various campaigns of solidarity, to meet at concerts, literary readings, etc. Many of us had the opportunity to feel the support of people who are near and who are at distances of hundreds of kilometers.
During 2010, 145 individual and 14 collective correspondents from 11 countries: Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, Congo, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, USA, Ukraine, France and Sweden - joined YHRM. Our network has become stronger by 10 participants from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. 18 new honorary participants appeared - human rights activists and community leaders from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Great Britain, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. This fact means new perspectives and opportunities. At the moment the network includes more than 1,500 civil society activists and more than 200 organizations and groups from 38 countries.
The most important thing is that these figures are real people who do a lot in their own countries and cities to make this world more humane.

And together we won several civil victories in 2010 - this is the campaign "5P " (about the police reform in Russia), and the campaign of solidarity with Anastasia Denisova, and some others. We could hardly conduct such serious campaigns without broad support from YHRM participants and correspondents.

The outgoing year, which brought many new challenges to human rights throughout the world, leaves us with a lot of unfinished tasks.
That's why we plan to continue the development of thematic networks and programs, to carry out actions of solidarity, to launch new educational and awareness-raising projects, to issue manuals and books. So we have a lot to do in 2011:)))
So we wish you Strength and Fortitude to make our common dreams come true!
See you in the New year!
On behalf of the International Secretariat of the Youth Human Rights Movement:
Anna Dobrovolskaya, Anastasiya Nikitina, Anastasia Denisova, Alyona Ob'ezdchikova, Andrey Yurov, Anton Zabutyrin, Alexander Drook, Victoria Babiy, Victoria Gromova, Vitus Media, Dmitry Makarov, Irina Aksenova, Irina Ezhova, Konstantin Baranov, Lena Dudukina, Lada Burdatcheva, Liubov Zakharova, Maria Gordeeva, Sergey Sabanov and others.

28.12.2010

We address to you with the request for help in connection with the fact that in Belarusian higher education establishments now students are being eliminated for their participation in the rally on December, 19th. More than 600 people, basically youth, are sentenced to imprisonment for 10-15 days and are in prisons. The trials, which they had to pass through right after the events on December, 19th, have nothing to do with justice. Their elimination from educational institutions takes place in absentia, in the absence of the students.

In this connection, we are asking you of the following: to address to the Minister of Education of Belarus Mr. Alexander Radkov with letters or statements about non-admittance of the practice of expulsions of students of Belarusan educational institutions, as well as that of dismissals of tutors in connection with their participation in the peaceful protest actions. We will be grateful if you spread this request among your contacts in the academic environment, universities of your country.

Address of the Ministry of Education of Belarus:
Sovetskaya str., 9
220010 Minsk, Belarus
Fax: (017) 200-84-83
e-mail: root@minedu.unibel.by

Some examples of letters - here:
http://www.studrada.org/index.php/news/44-obraschenie (at the bottom)

21.12.2010

Dear Friends and colleagues!

As you all know dramatic developments take place in Belarus. On 19th of December 2010 there were Presidential Elections and unfortunately electoral process has been accompanied by multiply violations of human rights and limitations of the fundamental freedoms.

Bellow you can see the short overview of information from the field based on the messages from our friends and colleagues describing situation in Belarus for the time being.


Freedom of assembly
On 19th of December more than 20 thousands of persons went out on the Independence Square in order to declare their disagreement with the official results of the Presidential Elections. It was peaceful gathering however demonstration has been severely stormed by the law enforcement authorities. More than 300 persons have been detained including participants of the “Initiative” group (YHRM correspondents) – Andrey Kim and Andrey Presnyak.
Participants of the rally reported presence of the provocateurs who were trying to persuade protesters to violence. These people have been previously mentioned at the other actions as provocateurs. Exactly these persons have been seen near the entrance to the Government House which allegedly was “stormed” by the rally participants.

Links to the description of the situation at the Independence Square
http://community.livejournal.com/minsk_by/7005112.html
http://ak-bara.livejournal.com/534681.html
http://zyalt.livejournal.com/333614.html


Creation of the obstacles to the activities of the human rights defenders and human rights protection organizations
In the evening on 19th of December Aleh Hulak, Chairman of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Honorary Participant of International Youth Human Rights Movement had been detained near the Square, his had been detained in a police car for more than 6 hours, he was brought up before administrative tribunal but later was released.

During the night, on 20th of December office of the Human Rights Alliance “Vyasna” involved in the independent elections observation has been attacked by the employees of the Security Service (KGB) and detained several human rights defenders, namely Valentin Stefanovich, Vladimir Lobkovich, Anastasia Loyko (YHRM participant) and other employees of the organization. It was attempt to hamper carrying out of the press-conference dedicated to the violation identifies on the Elections Day.
http://spring96.org/ru/news/39896
http://spring96.org/be/news/39756 - Lists of the police stations in Minsk with the addresses and phones

Freedom of Expression and access to information
Starting from the evening of 19th of December number of journalist representing TV channel Russia Today, Radio Liberty, Agency France Press and newspapers The New York Times and local Minsk newspaper “My District” have been beaten and/or detained.

According to Belarusian Association of Journalists different traumas have been received by more than 18 journalists: http://baj.by/m-p-viewpub-tid-1-pid-9523.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

During 19th and 20th of December the following developments took place:
Blocking of the social networks. E.g. Faсebook;
Limitation of access to the web-mail servers gmail.com и yandex.ru;
Attacks on the web-sites of the informational agencies, analytical centers and political organizations, in particular www.charter97.org

Disappearances and beatings of candidates for the president post in Belarus and political activists
In the middle of the 20th of December it became obvious that almost all of the candidates for the President post in Belarus, excluding elected Alexander Lukashenko, had been either detained or beaten and taken to an unknown destination. Vladimir Nyaklyaeu was injured the most, he was beaten on a peaceful demonstration, and later on kidnapped from the hospital by unknown people. Up to the moment, his health is under threat, he has no access to proper medical treatment.

Since the 18th of December, human rights defenders have been recorded disappearances of representatives of the opposition candidates' headquarters, as well as leaders of political organizations in Belarus.

Thus, the authorities try to hold criminally liable Dmitry Dashkevich (the leader of the “Young Front”), detained on 18th of December, and Mikhail Pashkevich, trustee of the candidate for the president post V. Neklyaev, who was kidnapped in the morning on 19th of December near his home by representatives of special service.

Before the end of the official election Belarusian human rights defenders had recorded more than 15 arrests of political activists.

At the evening of the 19th of December special service of Belarus carried out searches in the headquarters of candidates for the president post.

25.11.2010

The Action week "Crystal Night – Never Again!" was traditionally organized by Youth Human Rights Movement with various partners. It was 6th time, when diverse organizations and initiatives joint the Week, this year they were from more than 20 Russian-speaking communities in cities of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Kazakhstan and Germany.

In 2010, the organizers formulated their aim as following: "Our task is to fill the social space as much as possible with signs of humanitarian ideas and values, which are the core of the anti-fascist non-violent alternatives". So, despite the fact that not everyone, who shares ideas of the action, was able to hold any public event, many people have made the Week significant by their posts in blogs, twitters, in social networks, etc.

07.12.2010

The Team for defending human rights defenders of the international Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM) kindly asks you to express your opinion on a few issues, concerning the selective enforcement of software anti-piracy laws.

In 2009-2010 international Youth Human Rights Movement carried out a successful solidarity campaign in support of our colleague – Anastasia Denisova, the head of Youth Group for Tolerance in Krasnodar (Russia) (see: http://denisova.yhrm.org). Krasnodar regional administration and law enforcement agencies tried to prevent the NGO from working in the sensitive for authorities spheres of statelessness of ethnic minorities and xenophobia under the pretext of combating unlicensed computer software.

When the solidarity campaign was underway, it became clear that this is a widely spread scheme in Russia – computers are seized from an NGO office, then the doubtful forensic expert advice is prepared and then follows the initiation of the criminal persecution. After the devastating critique in New York Times Microsoft USA released a statement regarding the launch of unilateral free-of-charge license for NGOs in Russia and 11 more countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, China and Malaysia) (see: http://denisova.yhrm.org/ms_changes_policy).

This is a concrete result of purposeful action of a number of civil society institutions, and we appreciate the support of our colleagues a great deal. Nevertheless to make this victory of civil society complete we still have to take some steps. First of all it is crucial to collect more information about the cases of selective enforcement of software anti-piracy laws in the countries from the list above.

Microsoft corporation and non-governmental organization Human Rights First addressed international Youth Human Rights Movement with a request to conduce to the search of information about cases in other countries, similar to the Russian ones. We will be grateful for any kind of information regarding selective enforcement of software anti-piracy laws.

The YHRM team for defending human rights defenders asks representatives of NGOs and media from such countries as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, China and Malaysia to fill in a small questioner regarding license for NGOs and media http://forms.yhrm.org/microsoft_eng

Your replies can really help to launch the unilateral free-of-charge license for NGOs by Microsoft and other corporations in your own and neighboring countries.

Sincerely yours,
Team for defending human rights defenders
of the international YHRM
Konstantin Baranov,
Victoria Gromova,
Anna Dobrovolskaya,
Dmitri Makarov
HRD@yhrm.org

03.12.2010

On December 1, 2010 Anastasiya Denisova, the leader of the Youth Group for tolerance ETNiKA, was summoned to questioning so as to be examined on the basis of fomentation of hatred or animosity (Article 282 of the Crime Code of Russia). The human rights activist has got to know about the inspection in her regard from the senior investigator of the investigation division of Krasnodar investigatory department of the Investigatory Committee in the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation on Krasnodar region, the junior law adviser, Andrey Mozheiko.

The investigator, Denisova, her lawyer, V. Eremenko, were present at the questioning as well as two more law enforcement authorities’ officers, one of whom introduced himself as the territorial GUVD officer, while the other refused to introduce himself saying that he was just sitting there and writing a book on everyday work of SKP”. Anastasiya Denisova refused to provide explanations, having utilized the right stipulated by Article 51 of the Constitution of Russia. Investigator Mozheiko recorded her refusal in the report and gave the activist the opportunity to look through a few pages from the voluminous tome of the inspection materials.  

From the documents Anastasiya Denisova learned that in November, 2009 one of the typographies in Krasnodar was visited by UFSB police operative officer in Krasnodar region, M. Prischep. He asked to print a copy of the book The state of the citizens of ex-USSR in Krasnodar region (authors – A. Osipov and A. Denisova, Krasnodar, 2009) published by Human rights center Memorial. It is stated in the director’s explanations that the withdrawal of the copy had not been registered in accordance with the procedural regulations.    

On January 14, 2010 the senior head of OKRO of FSB Department in Krasnodar region, colonel O. Troshimov, forwarded the withdrawn brochure to expertise and forensic center at Krasnodar region GUVD for examination.

On February 2, expert Fedyaev compiled a certificate of linguistic analysis, concluding that there are statements that are aimed at fomentation of hatred or animosity on the grounds of being a member of a specific social group.

On March 9, UFSB investigator of Krasnodar region, M. Prischep, forwarded the brochure to the Ministry of Justice for psychological expertise.

On March 25, expert of the Ministry of Justice, psychologist Albina Rogoza, analyzed the brochure and concluded that there are statements that are aimed at fomentation of hatred or animosity on the grounds of being a member of a specific social group since in the articles a negative assessment is given as well as the aim of the brochure is to create negative image of Krasnodar region administration, Public Prosecutor’s office, militia, the courts officers, registry office staff, and the Cossacks.

On October 26, a decree was delivered on declining the criminal case initiation against Anastasiya Denisova and the typography director in accordance with the indications of extremist materials dissemination.

On November 22, the decree was disaffirmed, and the materials were forwarded for further expertise.

Pages