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.
On 29 May, a magistrate of Kostroma Judicial District No. 1, Dmitry Tretyakov, declared that the Kostroma Civic Initiatives Support Centre was guilty of "violating the rules governing an NGO's activity and of acting as a foreign agent" (Part 1, Article 19.34 of the Administrative Offences Code).
The Levada Centre, Russia’s only independent pollster, is to cease receiving foreign funding, the head of the organization’s department for development Denis Volkov said in an interview with Vedomosti. The Levada Centre took this decision after prosecutors demanded in mid-May that it should register as a ‘foreign agent.’
In the Novokhopyor district of Voronezh region, private security guards have brutally beaten environmental activists protesting against the mining of nickel. The website of the Movement to Save Khopyor reports that the conflict took place on Monday evening at the location of the Elan nickel deposit, where a mining plant is beginning geological surveys.
"The definition of 'political activity' has no limits under this law" – Pavel Chikov
On 9 April the Russian Ministry of Justice initiated legal proceedings against the Golos Association In Defence of Voters' Rights and its Executive Director, Liliya Shibanova, for an administrative offence. A lawyer from the Agora Human Rights Association Ramil Akhmetgaliev is representing Golos.
"Many people who were alive at the time of Stalin's death and burial are still alive today. We have the opportunity to try to understand what happened to the country during those days."
The Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin has petitioned the Moscow City Court, which is due consider an appeal against the verdict handed to the members of the pop group Pussy Riot. The ombudsman has asked for the verdict to be declared unjust and to be overturned, Kommersant reported on 6 March.
On 30th January 2013 an “experiment on regulating access to the internet”, planned in the Kostromsky region, came to light. A certain group called “League for a Safe Internet” in conjunction with local providers is to conduct the experiment from February to April 2013.
St. Petersburg city hall has refused to allow an anti-fascist march to be held on 19 January on the anniversary of the death of the lawyer Stanislav Markelov and the journalists Anastasia Baburova.
The website of the Investigative Committee reports that the Bolotnaya Square investigation and the investigation into the preparation and organization of mass disturbances related to the reports contained in the TV documentary “Anatomy of a Protest-2” have been brought together in one case.
The Russian Ministry of Justice is seriously perplexed by the new law on NGOs. In its correspondence with the human rights association Agora, the Ministry stated that it was impossible to come to an unequivocal conclusion about whether the organisation is a ‘foreign agent’. Agora plans to use the officials’ reply in its appeal to the Constitutional Court. Other human rights defenders believe that the developments prove that the law, which was passed amid serious controversy, is invalid. They claim that the Ministry of Justice’s lawyers do not know how to apply this absurd law in practice.
The new United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, today called on the Government and civil society of Belarus to engage in an open dialogue with him aimed at the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.
The Federal Security Service has shut down 20 non-governmental organizations working in Ingushetia, accusing them of having links to the intelligence services of foreign states and collecting intelligence data.
Grani.ru reports, citing the Investigative Committee, that the investigation into the five men suspected of the murder of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya has been completed. The suspects are the brothers Rustam, Ibragim and Dzhabrail Makhmudov, Sergei Khadzhikurbanov and Lom-Ali Gaitukaev. The five have been charged with a contract killing by an organized group, related to the publicly beneficial activities of the victim, and also of illegal dealing in weapons.
On 7 October 2012, a picket was held at Moscow's Novopushkinsky Square in memory of Anna Politkovskaya. It was six years ago that the Novaya Gazeta journalist was murdered in the entrance to her apartment building on Moscow's Lesnaya Street. The identities of those who ordered the killing have not yet been established.