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

Appeal to the representatives of the European Union institutions

Дата публикации: 

On the eve of the EU – Russia summit in Rostov-on-Don we appeal to the European Union institutions to put the fate of Alexei Sokolov, human rights defender from Yekaterinburg who was found guilty and sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment on May 13th, 2010, on the agenda of discussions within the summit. 

  Alexei Sokolov is head of the Foundation “Pravovaya Osnova” (Legal Basis), member of the Public Commission for the control over places of detention in the Sverdlovsk region. He became famous as a result of his active counteraction to lawlessness in the penitentiary system. 

  The indictment is based exclusively on the testimony of the other accused, who are imprisoned and thus dependent on the enforcement agency, the employees of which were accused by Alexei in their abuses, and the same accused repeatedly stated that they were subjected to violence and threats. Such an approach to prove guilt does not meet the standards of fair trial set out in the practice of the European Court of Human Rights. The trial was characterized by other procedural violations, including closed court hearings, ban on the defender’s participation, rejection of all the requests to call witnesses for the defense, etc. Sokolov emphasized that even before the indictment he was repeatedly threatened by “imprisonment” on a trumped-up case. 

  The Ombudsman for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, the Ombudsman for Human Rights in the Sverdlovsk region, some members of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation made statements on the issue of Sokolov’s procedural rights. The circumstances of the case were discussed at the meetings of the Presidential Council on Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights. The Public Chamber Commission for the control of the law enforcement authorities acknowledged his case “false”. International observers from the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) noted numerous violations at the trial. Almost all the leading human rights organizations in Russia signed appeals in support of Sokolov. He is recognized as a potential prisoner of conscience according to Amnesty International. Particular concern about his case has been recently expressed by the chairperson of the European Parliament Sub-Committee on Human Rights Heidi Hautala. Human Rights Watch urged the Russian authorities to conduct "an independent investigation into a miscarriage of justice” in Sokolov’s case. 

  For Russia, where the situation with human rights defenders remains very complicated, Sokolov’s case is one of the most significant ones, since a member of the Public Commission for the control over places of detention, a new independent public institution designed to monitor the observance of human rights in places of detention, was convicted with a notorious prejudice. Sokolov’s case is a striking example of the proceedings, which are not in conformity with the standards of fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, stressing those vices of the judicial system, without correcting which the modernization of Russia, as declared by the President Medvedev, is impossible.

  We know that Sokolov’s case was already mentioned before as a subject of the European Union’s concern at various discussions with the Russian side (including official consultations on Human Rights), but without any results. At the same time, the issue of defending human rights defenders is worth to be raised at the highest political level, in particular within the upcoming EU – Russia summit. 

  In line with the priorities declared by the Spanish Presidency of the European Union, and according to the norms laid down in the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, we call upon the European Union institutions to raise the issue of violations in Sokolov's case and his unjust condemnation before the President of the Russian Federation and other leaders of the country at the forthcoming Summit, as well as at other meetings within the cooperation between the European Union and Russia. 


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Ludmila Alexeeva

Chairperson of Moscow Helsinki Group,

member of the Presidential Council for Facilitating the Development

of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights 

The team on defending human rights defenders

  of the Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM)

  and the Moscow Helsinki group (MHG),

tel.: + 7 916 537 13 67,

fax: + 7 4732 54 55 30 

The group on defending human rights defenders

  of the All-Russian Civil Network (ACN)

Tel./fax: +7 495 607 60 69

Supported by:

  1. Moscow Helsinki group, Moscow (Russia)

    Nina Tagankina (executive director)

  1. Human Rights Institute, Moscow (Russia)

    Valentin Gefter (director), member of the Presidential Council for Facilitating the Development of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights,

  1. Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, Moscow (Russia)

    Yuri Dzhibladze (director), member of the Presidential Council for Facilitating the Development of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights,

  1. International Youth Human Rights Movement

    Andrey Yurov (Honorary President),

    Participants and Members of the Coordinating Council:

    Dmitri Makarov,

    Viktoria Gromova,

    Anna Dobrovolskaya,

    Konstantin Baranov

  1. Komi Human Rights Commission Memorial, Syktyvkar (Russia)

    Igor Sazhin (chairperson)

  1. Nizhny Novgorod Human Rights Society, Nizhniy Novgorod (Russia)

    Sergey Shimovolos

  1. Public organization «SUTYAZHNIK», Ekatherinburg, (Russia)

    Sergei Belyaev (president)

  1. Interregional Human Rights Group - Voronezh/Chernozemie, Voronezh (Russia),

    Alyona Ob'ezdchikova (director),

    Natalia Zviagina (legal program coordinator)

  1. Voronezh branch of the “Youth Human Rights Group”, Voronezh (Russia)

    Irina Aksenova (chairperson).

  1. Anti-Corruption network cabinet - Voronezh, Voronezh (Russia)

    Sergey Fedulov (lawyer)

  1. Public movement countering corruption in government bodies and local authorities in Primorsky Region ("Keepers of the laws "), Vladivostok (Russia)

    Tatiana Demicheva

  1. Karelian branch of the “Youth Human Rights Group”, Petrozavodsk (Russia)

    Maxim Efimov (chairperson)

  1. Vladimir branch of the “Youth Human Rights Group” Vladimir (Russia)

    Anastasia Nikitina     (chairperson),

    Elena Dudukina (member of the YHRG coordinating council)

  1. Vladimir trade union "New Ark", Vladimir (Russia)

    Natalia Novozhilova (chairperson, journalist, member of the Public Chamber of the Vladimir region)

  1. Khabarovsk regional branch of All-Russian public movement "For Human Rights", Khabarovsk (Russia)

    Mikhail  Wok (executive director).

  1. Informational and analytical human rights agency «CentrRus», Orel (Russia)

    Dmitry Krayukhin (editor in chief, a member of the Public Council under the chief UFSIN in Orel region).

  1. Association “Golos” in Orlov region, Orel (Russia)

    Veronika Katkova (coordinator,  a member of the Public Council under thechief UFSIN in Orel region).

  1. Social problems institute "United Europe", Orel (Russia)

    Taisia Krayukhina

  1. Group of legal security «Legal Team», Moscow (Russia)

    Nicholay Zboroshenko (activist, MHG expert)

  1. Independent Student Newspaper "PEREKHOD", Voronezh (Russia)

    Ivan Kondratenko, Gregory Frolov (editors)

  1. Public organization St. Petersburg Family Center "Alenkiy cvetochek", St. Petersburg (Russia)

    Svetlana Lepeshkina (chairperson)

  1. Public consultation on Human Rights, Khibin society "Memorial", Murmansk (Russia)

    Olga Smolenchuk

  1. Murmansk Youth group in support of the ACS (alternative civil service), Murmansk (Russia)

    Gleb Paykachev

  1. Christian charitable society “Friends of the convicts», Murmansk (Russia)

    Lyudmila Grigorieva

  1. Murmansk Youth Human Rights group, Murmansk (Russia),

    Oleg Paykachev

  1. Public watching commission in Murmansk region, Murmansk (Russia)

    Yuri Ignatiev

  1. Murmansk «Memorial», Murmansk (Russia),

    Viacheslav Paykachev

  1. Kolskiy Association of Women-Lawyers, Murmansk (Russia)

    Irina Paykacheva

  1. Murmansk Regional Committee of Soldiers' Mothers, Murmansk (Russia)

    Angela El'kina

  1. «Children of Chernobyl», Murmansk (Russia),

    Liubov Bulaeva

  1. Public organization "Humanist youth movement", Murmansk (Russia)

    Alexander Druk (member of the organization's board)

  1. Public organization "Ivanovo Regional Society for Human Rights", Ivanovo (Russia)

    Sergei Val'kov (coordinator)

  1. St. Petersburg regional youth public organization "Young Europe", St. Petersburg (Russia)

    Paul Drugov (chairperson of the coordinating council)

  1. St. Petersburg Children's regional public organization "Chess Club "Peter Ladia””, St. Petersburg (Russia)

    Paul Drugov (President)

  1. Deputy of the Municipal council of Finland District, a member of the regional council of the «Yabloko» party, St. Petersburg (Russia)

    Kirill Strakhov

  1. Public Watching Commission of the Ivanovo region, Ivanovo (Russia),

    Mikhail Denisov (member of the Association of independent observers)

  1. Centre on promoting criminal justice reform, Moscow (Russia)

    Natalia Dzyadko

  1. «Chechen Committee for National Salvation», Nazran (Russia)

    Ruslan Badalov (chairperson).

  1. Sahalin Human Rights Center, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Russia)

    Marc Kuperman (chairperson).

  1. Regional branch of Human Rights Centre "Memorial", Kaluga (Russia)

    Liubov Moseeva-Ellie (leader, member of the Public Watching Commission of the Kaluga region).

  1. Public organization «Mordovia Republican Human Rights Center ", Saransk (Russia)

    Vasiliy Guslyannikov (Chairperson

  1. Vladimir regional branch "For Human Rights", Vladimir (Russia),

    Svetlana Spasova

  1. Vladimir regional branch of the "Committee of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia ", Vladimir (Russia),

    Lyudmila Yarilina (chairperson).

  1. Udmurtian regional branch of the All-Russian public movement "For Human Rights", Izhevsk (Russia)
  2. Public watching commission in Общественная наблюдательная комиссия по Udmurtian republic, Izhevsk (Russia)
  3. Public watching commission in Astrakhan region, Astrakhan (Russia)

    Liubov Garlivanova (member)

  1. Non-profit partnership «Coordinating Center of support and development of cadet education", Barnaul (Russia)

    Eugeniy Seminikhin (head),

  1. Public Movement «Solidarity», Youth Human Rights Movement, Moscow (Russia)

    Anna Kuraeva

  1. Youth Human Rights Movement, Russian section, Russia

    Andrey Obote, Moscow

    Galina Zagorud'ko, Vladimir

    Maxim Podol'skikh, Krasnodar region

  1. Youth Human Rights Movement, Tadjikistan

    Rustam Gulov, Khudjand

  1. Kherson Regional Charity and Health Foundation, Kherson (Ukraine)

    Anna Martyniuk (lawyer).

  1. Foundation "Dialogue for Development", (Poland),

    Lyudmila Kozlovskaya