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

Urgent Action: Aleksei Sokolov

Дата публикации: 

Human rights activist Aleksei Sokolov was sentenced on 13 May 2010, to serve five years in a high security prison colony for theft allegedly committed in 2001 and for robbery allegedly committed in 2004. The court cleared Aleksei Sokolov of the third charge in 2004, with regard to allegations of robbery.

Amnesty International: Demand a fair appeal for Aleksei Sokolov

Aleksei Sokolov’s lawyers stated that the Bogdanovich town court in the Sverdlovsk region of Russia, based its verdict solely on the statements of the co-accused in this case who are already serving prison sentences for other crimes.

During the trial the defence lawyers pointed out that these statements often contradicted each other as well as earlier ‘confessions’ of the co-accused. One of Aleksei Sokolov’s lawyers said that while victims of the crimes identified the other defendants in the case as possible perpetrators of the crime, none of them identified Aleksei Sokolov.

The court nevertheless considered there to be enough evidence to convict Aleksei Sokolov.

Aleksei Sokolov’s lawyer also reported a number of violations of criminal procedure in the handling of the case throughout the pre-trial and trial stage.

Amnesty International is concerned that he might not receive a fair trial on appeal and that he might be subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while imprisoned.

Aleksei Sokolov had pleaded not guilty to these crimes and intends to appeal against the verdict.

He may be a prisoner of conscience targeted solely for his legitimate human rights work.

Amnesty International is concerned that the appeal court might not adequately account for violations of procedural law and that while imprisoned he is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Russian, English or your own language:

expressing concern that Aleksei Sokolov may be a prisoner of conscience targeted for his lawful work as a human rights defender;
urging the authorities to ensure Aleksei Sokolov is provided with a fair trial on appeal.
urging the authorities to ensure that Aleksei Sokolov is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated while he remains in custody.

(According to the rules of Amnesty International, Russian members of Amnesty International do not take part in work on their own country)

Sverdlovsk Region Governor
Aleksandr S. Misharin
Ul. Maksima Gorkogo, 21/23
Sverdlovsk Region
620075 Russian Federation
Fax: +7 343 362 15 13
Salutation: Dear Governor

Sverdlovsk Region Prosecutor
Yurii A.Ponomarev
Ul.Moskovskaia, 21
GSP 1036 Sverdlovsk Region
620219 Russian Federation
Fax: +7 343 377 02 41
Salutation: Dear Prosecutor

Prosecutor General
Yurii Ya.Chaika
Ul. Bolshaia Dmitrovka, 15a
Moscow GSP-3
125993 Russian Federation
Fax: +7 495 692 17 25
Salutation: Dear Prosecutor General

And Copies to:

Ombudsperson of the Russian Federation
Vladimir P.Lukin
Ul.Miasnitskaia, 47
107048 Russian Federation
Fax: +7 495 607 74 70

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the fifth update of UA 128/09 (EUR 46/011/2009). Further information: