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

Private security guards brutally beat environmental activists in Khopyor district, Voronezh

Дата публикации: 

In the Novokhopyor district of Voronezh region, private security guards have brutally beaten environmental activists protesting against the mining of nickel. The website of the Movement to Save Khopyor reports that the conflict took place on Monday evening at the location of the Elan nickel deposit, where a mining plant is beginning geological surveys.

Participants in the environmental camp approached the metal fence, topped with barbed wire, which, in their opinion, has been put up illegally. Staff of the private security firm, Patrol, first opened the gates, and then began to beat the activists. They seized three people, dragged them inside the fenced-off area, at the same time pushing back other activists and the police. Having shut the gates, they collectively beat the activists behind the fence, later throwing some of them back over the two-meter high metal fence.

Igor Zhitenev, ataman of the Novokhopyorsk Cossack cultural and ethnic community, lost consciousness as a result of being beaten. He has concussion, broken ribs and damage to his skull. Activists had teeth knocked out and broken noses. Two activists received head wounds caused by stones. Altogether more than ten people were injured. Many were victims of devices that administered electric shocks.

Source: Activists had set up a peaceful protest camp the previous weekend at the site of the Elan deposit. On Sunday they stopped the erection of a five-kilometer-long fence, with a concrete foundation, on agricultural land.

The environmental activists assert that on the territory of the Elan and Elkin deposits large-scale and illegal works are underway on agricultural land, and the police are trying to stop it.

On Monday a representative of the local Cossack community, Aleksandr Dolgopyatov, went on hunger strike in the Novokhopyorsk town centre. Other local residents plan to join the hunger strike. The demands of the hunger strikers and those at the protest camp are for a complete ban on the mining of non-ferrous metals in the Black Earth region, implementation of a plan for the sustainable development of the Prikhopyor district, and for investment in agriculture and tourism.

On 21 April the Cossacks held rallies in Moscow and Voronezh in defence of Khopyor.

Video by Dmitry Zykov ‘Cossacks Defend Khopyor’: click here

The campaign against nickel mining in the Khopyor district began at the beginning of 2012 when the results of the tender to develop the Elan and Elkin deposits were announced. The environmental activists are demanding that a referendum be held on the issue.