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

Manifest on the onrushing advent of discriminatory legislation

Дата публикации: 

As human rights and civil society activists, we are highly disturbed by the fact that certain local legislative authorities, namely in Arkhangelsk and Kostroma regions and in St. Petersburg, passed discriminatory bills.
We express great concern about the fact that on March 7th, the Governor of St. Petersburg signed the law against the so-called "homosexual propaganda" despite the fact that Vladimir Lukin, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, regarded such legislation as violation of human rights.
Besides, we are utterly amazed that the Governor signed this illegal bill ignoring the adverse determination by the Legal Directorate of St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, as well as opinions of numerous respected experts in law, sociology, and psychology. 
We claim that the proposed legislation against ´homosexual propaganda´ unjustifiably violates the rights of citizens to freedom of assembly and association, as well as their right to seek and receive information. These laws are based on prejudice and doublespeak and are speculating on the interests of child protection.
While we stand against sexual exploitation of minors and violence against them, we think that such laws abet incitement to social hatred, provoke a rise of xenophobia and violence in the society, and can lead to a substantial increase in teen suicides.
We are worried about the sweeping reanimation of fascism in the Russian society, and such legislative initiatives are only adding fuel to the fire. Unfortunately, this case once again demonstrates the improvidence of the local authorities and their anxiety to draw attention to far-fetched issues.
In 2006, The Russian Federation Higher Court repealed the federal law which imposed criminal sanctions for ‘homosexual propaganda’ by virtue of the fact that "performing the above-mentioned actions [gay sexual intercourse] between two adults by mutual consent does present elements neither of a criminal nor of an administrative offense’ (from the official response of the Higher Court of the Russian Federation on April 20, 2006 №492-2).
There is no doubt that these laws will be recognized as breach of Russia’s international obligations in the field of human rights, including The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms to which Russia is a signatory. It is certain that they are likely to have strong negative impact on the image of the country abroad.
We call the Russian people to take this case seriously because it is just the first step on the road of imposing new restrictions on the rights of other minorities: religious, ethnic, etc. And those who are applauding vigorously to the “celebration of family values” are likely to find themselves on the black list.
The Moscow Helsinki Group,
International Youth Human Rights Movement,
Russian LGBT Network

If your organization would like to support this manifest, please contact us at, including the name of the organization and contact details.