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

St Petersburg City Hall refuses to allow anti-fascists to march in memory of Markelov and Baburova

Дата публикации: 

St. Petersburg city hall has refused to allow an anti-fascist march to be held on 19 January on the anniversary of the death of the lawyer Stanislav Markelov and the journalists Anastasia Baburova.

Citing the press service of the Anti-Fascists of St Petersburg society, Rosbalt reports that the application for a march from the metro station Gorkovskaya to the Fields of Mars and back was submitted to the authorities on 9 January , ten days before the planned event. The activists were unable to submit the application earlier because of the public holidays at New Year.

Nonetheless, City Hall officials refused permission to hold the march on the grounds that the regulations concerning timely submissal of an application had been violated and did not suggest any alternative routes or the possibility of further negotiations.

"So it will not be possible to hold any kind of rally or march on 19 January in our city," the activists say. They emphasize that this is not the first time that a situation of this kind has arisen in St. Petersburg.

"In past years we also submitted an application to hold a march in the same way, and the organizers were refused on the same grounds. But if then the New Year holiday lasted for a full ten days, which made it impossible to submit an application in good time, now the reasons for the refusal would seem to be completely artificial,” the anti-fascist activists contend.

They believe that the St Petersburg government is intentionally hindering the holding of public events on a symbolic day for the anti-fascists.

"The city authorities only make declarations about the fight against fascism, while in practice they pass homophobic laws and restrict human rights, including the right of assembly.` We think that government policy of this kind is inadmissible and extremely dangerous for the whole of Russian society,” the activists say.

On 19 January last year anti-fascist activists and anarchists in St. Petersburg closed down Nevsky Prospekt and marched along Nevsky Prospekt, closing it to traffic, to Aleksandr Nevsky Square. About 40 people held up banners, lit fireworks and chanted the slogans “We Won’t Forget and We Won’t Forgive”, “318 We're Not Asking for Mercy," "Fascists Kill, the Authorities Cover Up For Them”, “The World Is Multi-Coloured, Not Brown”. The police, despite a high level of preparation, were not able to stop this unexpected demonstration, and the marchended without detentions.

On 19 January 2009 the lawyer Stanislav Markelov and the young journalist Anastasiya Baburova, who wrote for Novaya gazeta, were killed in Moscow by neo-Nazis. Stanislav Markelov had represented the interests of the victims in the case of the murder of the young Chechen woman Elza Kungaeva. Each year on the day of their murder public events to commemorate and protest against their deaths are held all over Russia. On 19 January this year the Supreme Court is to consider an appeal in the case of a band of neo-Nazis charged with the murder of the St Petersburg academic Nikola Girenko.