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

Environmentalist Andrei Zatoka charged. Campaign for his release continues

Дата публикации: 

In the evening of 23 October, after three days in custody, well-known environmentalist and civic activist Andrei Zatoka was formally charged with “deliberately inflicting medium severity damage to health”. Item 2 of this Article (108) of the Criminal Code allows for a stiffer sentence – imprisonment for up to 5 years - in certain cases, including if the action is not the first time. It has not been possible to ascertain whether a date has been fixed for the trial.
The environmentalist is charged with attacking and beating a drug addict with three convictions. It is widely believed that the real reason is his civic activity. A number of international organizations have already spoken out in Andrei Zatoka’s defence, these including Human Rights Watch, Civicus, Crude Accountability, the Social and Environmental Union, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Memorial and others.
According to Rachel Denber of Human Rights Watch, “Zatoka’s arrest appears to be a clear move by Turkmen authorities to stifle his activism. Authorities should let him go at once and drop any charges against him”
“The European Union recently upgraded relations with Turkmenistan through the conclusion of an Interim Trade Agreement and is looking to enhance them further with the conclusion of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in the near future. Both agreements contain a so-called human rights clause, committing the parties to "respect for democracy and fundamental and human rights" and providing for possible suspension should either party violate this principle”
“In this situation, the leaders of the USA and European Union are obliged to react – it would be the height of cynicism to continue closing their eyes to what is going on in Turkmenistan”, Sviatoslav Zabelin, Co-Chair of the International Social and Environmental Union, stresses. “You can’t proclaim commitment to the defence of human rights in the entire world and then exchange them for hydrocarbons.”

To support and protect Andrey Zatoka, please, send e-mail and faxes to:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan
Minister Rashid Meredov
Prospect Makhtumkuli, 83
744000, Ashgabad

Fax: +993-12-35-42-41