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

Russian Federation: ICJ calls for systemic reforms to strengthen the judiciary

Дата публикации: 

There is a need for a systemic programme of judicial reform in the Russian Federation, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said today, as it released the final report of an ICJ research mission to consider judicial reform and the functioning and independence of the judiciary in Russia. The Report, The State of the Judiciary in Russia, called for a programme of reform to be led by an expert, independent body, with the meaningful involvement of civil society.
“The judiciary in Russia is struggling with its institutional past and a long-standing legal culture inherited from the Soviet era. That legacy and more recent missteps have served to undermine judicial independence and public confidence in the ability of the judiciary to provide real justice. While President Medvedev has recognised the need for judicial reform, his statements have not yet been followed by sufficient government action. The complex problems the judiciary faces can only be effectively addressed through a comprehensive programme of structural reforms, including modification of the procedures for judicial appointment, promotions and dismissal, and the appointment and powers
of court presidents ” said the ICJ.
The report follows an ICJ mission which visited Moscow in June 2010 and met with judges, former judges, NGO representatives, lawyers, bar associations, government representatives and the Constitutional Court to hear a range of opinions about the judiciary and the current problems it faces. It heard consistent allegations of threats to the independence of the judiciary in Russia including undue influence on judges by a great variety of state and non-state actors.
In its report, the ICJ highlights lack of effective protection against such undue influence, which runs through the judicial system, affecting the selection process for judges, promotions, remuneration and disciplinary proceedings. In some cases this influence is used to punish disobedience or encourage loyalty. The extensive powers of court presidents can also serve as a conduit for executive or other influence in both civil and criminal cases. The report stresses that such attempts to influence the judiciary are serious threats to its independence and to its ability to provide a fair hearing in accordance with international human rights standards, and must be effectively prevented and subject to sanction by
the state.
The mission included Ketil Lund, ICJ Commissioner, retired justice of the Supreme Court of Norway;
Vojin Dimitrijevic, ICJ Commission and Executive Committee member, Director of the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, Venice Commission member and former member of the UN Human Rights Committee; and Róisín Pillay, Senior Legal Advisor of the ICJ Europe Regional Programme.

For further information please Róisín Pillay on + 41 22 979 3830 or Temur Shakirov on + 41 22 979

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