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

Review of situation in Belarus on 19th-20th of December

Дата публикации: 

Dear Friends and colleagues!

As you all know dramatic developments take place in Belarus. On 19th of December 2010 there were Presidential Elections and unfortunately electoral process has been accompanied by multiply violations of human rights and limitations of the fundamental freedoms.

Bellow you can see the short overview of information from the field based on the messages from our friends and colleagues describing situation in Belarus for the time being.

Freedom of assembly
On 19th of December more than 20 thousands of persons went out on the Independence Square in order to declare their disagreement with the official results of the Presidential Elections. It was peaceful gathering however demonstration has been severely stormed by the law enforcement authorities. More than 300 persons have been detained including participants of the “Initiative” group (YHRM correspondents) – Andrey Kim and Andrey Presnyak.
Participants of the rally reported presence of the provocateurs who were trying to persuade protesters to violence. These people have been previously mentioned at the other actions as provocateurs. Exactly these persons have been seen near the entrance to the Government House which allegedly was “stormed” by the rally participants.

Links to the description of the situation at the Independence Square

Creation of the obstacles to the activities of the human rights defenders and human rights protection organizations
In the evening on 19th of December Aleh Hulak, Chairman of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Honorary Participant of International Youth Human Rights Movement had been detained near the Square, his had been detained in a police car for more than 6 hours, he was brought up before administrative tribunal but later was released.

During the night, on 20th of December office of the Human Rights Alliance “Vyasna” involved in the independent elections observation has been attacked by the employees of the Security Service (KGB) and detained several human rights defenders, namely Valentin Stefanovich, Vladimir Lobkovich, Anastasia Loyko (YHRM participant) and other employees of the organization. It was attempt to hamper carrying out of the press-conference dedicated to the violation identifies on the Elections Day. - Lists of the police stations in Minsk with the addresses and phones

Freedom of Expression and access to information
Starting from the evening of 19th of December number of journalist representing TV channel Russia Today, Radio Liberty, Agency France Press and newspapers The New York Times and local Minsk newspaper “My District” have been beaten and/or detained.

According to Belarusian Association of Journalists different traumas have been received by more than 18 journalists:

During 19th and 20th of December the following developments took place:
Blocking of the social networks. E.g. Faсebook;
Limitation of access to the web-mail servers и;
Attacks on the web-sites of the informational agencies, analytical centers and political organizations, in particular

Disappearances and beatings of candidates for the president post in Belarus and political activists
In the middle of the 20th of December it became obvious that almost all of the candidates for the President post in Belarus, excluding elected Alexander Lukashenko, had been either detained or beaten and taken to an unknown destination. Vladimir Nyaklyaeu was injured the most, he was beaten on a peaceful demonstration, and later on kidnapped from the hospital by unknown people. Up to the moment, his health is under threat, he has no access to proper medical treatment.

Since the 18th of December, human rights defenders have been recorded disappearances of representatives of the opposition candidates' headquarters, as well as leaders of political organizations in Belarus.

Thus, the authorities try to hold criminally liable Dmitry Dashkevich (the leader of the “Young Front”), detained on 18th of December, and Mikhail Pashkevich, trustee of the candidate for the president post V. Neklyaev, who was kidnapped in the morning on 19th of December near his home by representatives of special service.

Before the end of the official election Belarusian human rights defenders had recorded more than 15 arrests of political activists.

At the evening of the 19th of December special service of Belarus carried out searches in the headquarters of candidates for the president post.

More information about various events taking place in Belarus:
in Twitter: – Belarussian association of journalists; – Belarussian Helsinki Committee; – search on the hashtag #electby
Web-sites: - Human Rights Alliance “Vyasna”; – Belarussian Helsinki Committee; - informational and analytical agency Charter 97 (the web-site might not be working because of attacks); the first Belarussian newspaper “Nasha Niva”; information portal “Belarussian partisan”; information portal;
Blogs: - Charter'97 in Facebook – United post in LiveJournal about yesterday events, Square and detention; – photos and description of events at the Square; - general description of events with constant updating.

Initiative groups “Defence of civil society in NIS countries”
Viktoria Gromova
Anna Dobrovolskaya
Dmitry Makarov
YHRM Information Service
and all people who follow the events in Belarus

Dear Belarussian friends – take care! We are with you, even at a distant.