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

NO PASARAN, or, We shall be the drop of water that wears away a stone


“If only gendarmes are able to protect the life of your kingdom, this means your kingdom is already dead”
Antoine de Saint Exupery

I think the new bill on “foreign agents” will certainly become law. Similarly, they will reinstate defamation as a criminal offence, increase punishments for “extremist” criticism of any government bodies and officials, censor the Internet, imprison a couple dozen innocent people, and possibly not even stop at demonstrative attempts on the lives of some of the leaders of the opposition.

This is all because today’s so-called government is on the one hand afraid of no one and not ashamed to do anything whatsoever, and on the other hand is absolutely petrified with fear.

It is precisely this fear that makes it weak. This is because neither this particular law, nor any other repressive methods are currently capable of stifling civil society. It will be difficult for us, to be sure. But these difficulties will only serve to consolidate us and will attract new supporters — people who in other circumstances would have kept silent and supported “stability.”

That’s why we can say: let them pass this “foreign agents” law. Let them increase the size of the bureaucracy and the share of taxes devoted to inspecting NGOs. Let them call us “agents” and bring us before kangaroo courts. This is unlikely to stop anyone. We shall be that drop of water, which wears away a stone, or even a diamond. Let alone something of a quite different kind of purity and firmness.

By Alena Obezdchikova, director of the Interregional Human Rights Group

Source: Alena Obezdchikova on Facebook