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

Have the Russian authorities decided to publicly tell the truth about Katyn and Stalin's role in the massacres?

Дата публикации: 

On 26 November 2010 the State Duma plans to adopt a statement on the Katyn tragedy, a draft of which states that the shooting of thousands of Polish citizens, detained in NKVD prisoner of war camps and prisons in the western regions of Ukraine and Belarus, is a tragedy “for both Poland and Russia,” RIA Novosti news agency reports. As stated in the draft statement, official Soviet propaganda laid responsibility for the atrocity, that has received the general name of "Katyn tragedy," on Nazi criminals. This version has for many years been a subject of latent, but nonetheless fierce, debate in Soviet society and invariably has given rise to anger, resentment and mistrust on the part of the Polish people,” the draft document states.

The statement says that at the beginning of the 1990s Russia took “important steps towards establishing the truth about the Katyn tragedy.” “Published materials that were for many years kept in secret archives not only reveal the extent of this terrible tragedy, but also bear witness to the fact that the Katyn crime was committed on the direct orders of Stalin and other Soviet leaders,” the draft states. The Duma deputies believe: “It is necessary to further study the archives, verify the lists of those killed and restore the good names of those who were killed at Katyn and other places, and to find out all the circumstances of the tragedy.”

“Sharing in grief with the Polish people, the State Duma deputies recall that Katyn is a tragic place for our country also. In the ditches of Katyn thousands of Soviet citizens destroyed by the Stalin regime in the years 1936-1938 lie buried,” the draft statement says.

“Decisvely condemning the regime that neglected the rights and lives of people, the State Duma deputies, in the name of the Russian people, stretch a hand of friendship to the Polish people and express the hope that a new phase in relations between our countries is beginning, and one that will develop on the basis of democratic values," the draft statement says. Achieving such a result will be “the best monument to the victims of the Katyn tragedy,” according to the State Duma.

On 2 November Moscow City Court rejected the suit of the Memorial human rights organization that the materials of the Katyn case be declassified. Aleksandr Guryanov, a representative of Memorial, said that in the course of the case the identity of the person at whose initiative the historical texts were classified was established. “This turned out to be the Chief Military Prosecutor," Guryanov said. "But at the same time the representative of this organization claimed that no alternative had been possible, since the secret information had originated in another department,” Guryanov said.