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

"Crystal Night - Never Again! " - join!

Дата публикации: 

International week of awareness-rising actions against xenophobia, neo-Nazism and antisemitism, November 9-16, 2008

You must keep doing what we've started
Willi Graf, "White Rose"
(student group of Resistance to nazism - Munich, 1942)

We invite young activists, human rights advocates, teachers and historians, journalists and media-activists, students and school-students as well as all other persons concerned to join the Week of awareness-rising actions "Crystal Night - Never Again!"

- Antinazi resistance: why us, why here and now;
- "Crystal Night": historical note;
- How to join the Week of awareness-rising actions;
- Contacts.

Antinazi resistance: why us, why here and now
This autumn has again been marked with steady rise of the number of hate crimes and the increasing level of their cruelty in our countries. The attacks are carried out by neo-Nazis or radical nationalist organizations, young skinheads and right-wing extremists who choose migrants, refugees, foreign students and representatives of ethnic/religious minorities (more often Muslims, Jews and non-Orthodox Christians) as their victims. The number of attacks on representatives of various youth antifascist subcultures has also increased. Thus, in Russia alone two persons were killed on this ground last month.
The most essential factor of changing this situation is one's individual choice, namely determination to combat xenophobia and violence ideology both in the society and in his or her action and attitudes.

That is why this year we find it important not only to talk about the crimes by Nazism and ideologies of hate but as well to remember and relate about the youth Resistance movement of the 1930-1940s. To remember those young people whose activity not so much changed the existing system as became the symbol of antinazi Resistance movement, showing to others that the possibility to make one's individual choice and influence the situation was always available.

The Week's site contains several stories of youth groups and individuals who hid deserters, Jews, regime political opponents in their homes; who painted freedom slogans on the walls of their universities and other edifices; composed and distributed antinazi leaflets or just recorded occurring events. Under the constant threat of arrest, exile or even execution this action demands daily inner choice and courage.

But we now live in peace times and in a much more free society. And we have much more opportunities to change things. So we are responsible for the current situation as well as for its change in the next weeks, months and years.

The Week of awareness-rising actions "Crystal Night - Never Again!" is the opportunity to reflect over the fact that each of us bears our own personal responsibility for what is going on in our societies. Attacks on and murders of those who look "strange", military and inter-ethnic conflicts, hate speeches in mass media, swastikas and hate symbols painted on the walls of houses, schools, colleges – should we accept all this or try to change it?
...before it is too late.

"Crystal Night" : historical note
"Crystal Night", or the Night of Broken Glass, took place at the night of November 9-10, 1938. It marked the beginning of the Holocaust – mass violence toward the Jewish people, which eventually led to the death of 6 million European Jews.
Besides, 5,5 million of people, marginal and homeless persons, people with mental disabilities, homosexuals, members of the Jehovah's Witnesses community, political opponents/"offenders" (such as communists and socialists), Roma and Sinti and representatives of some Slavic nations, were regarded as "enemies of the German state".

A more detailed historical note see on
In 1995 UNESCO declared the 16th of November the International Day for Tolerance to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this organization.

How to Join
The Week of awareness-rising actions "Crystal Night - Never Again!" is an annual week that take place from 9th to 16th of November. It is arranged by the Youth Network against Racism and Intolerance (YNRI), International Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM) in partnership with the European network UNITED for Intercultural Action European network and the International Network "Young Europe" with the support of humanist project "Epigraph" and the project "Volunteers of Human Rights".

Bringing the topic of the Resistance to a focus this year we offer you to join the Week by arranging for any action, whether memorial, educational or informational ones, designed to pay tribute to those who you consider heroes of the Resistance or to commemorate the events they took part in. This activity may also concern the present developments essential in the light of the problems in question.

Several ideas as well as the materials for the actions of the previous years are presented on the website of the Week.
You may choose the format of your action on your own. For example, you can:
- single out the most important questions to discuss and arrange a youth discussion;
- to issue and distribute a leaflet, sticker etc.;
- to develop and conduct a seminar, workshop etc. for school students;
- to screen a relevant movie and arrange discussion;
- to do everything you find interesting and useful in this topic.

Take part in the youth competition for awareness-rising actions concerning the Resistance!
Describe the means of preparing and holding your event and send us this description along with the narration of the Week itself and the most interesting photos! The form for description of your methods will be available for download on the Website and later send to all participants of the Week.

Your experience is very interesting to others! Your accounts of organizing various actions, including the information with regard to the authorship, will be published on the Week website and collected in a printed edition.
All the participants will receive the certificates.

The Week-2008 is held together with the international "Coalition against hate". It starts the long-term campaign of action against xenophobia, antisemitism and neo-Nazism, which will take place within the Russian language space of Eastern Europe first of all and than in the other parts of Europe.

We appeal you to join the campaign and make every day, rather than only 9 – 16 of November, all that you feel effective and useful to combat xenophobia, antisemitism and neo-Nazism!

If you are interested in participating in the Week, please tell us about your plans before November 9, filling in and sending us the attached Participant form.
Be sure to inform us about you Week activity!

The prep-team of the Week
Irina Aksenova
Aleksandra Nazarova