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.
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«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

Support Konstantin Baranov, human rights activist and anti-fascist from Rostov-on-Don, Russia!

Дата публикации: 

Dear friends and colleagues!

We appeal to you on behalf of the Youth Network against Racism and Intolerance and the international program “Solidarity” of the Youth Human Rights Movement. Your support is needed to Konstantin Baranov, human rights activist and anti-fascist from Rostov-on-Don, Russia (see biography for more detail). In the middle of July Konstantin started receiving threats connected with his anti-fascist activity.

There are serious reasons to suppose that the cause of the threats is the disclosure of Konstantin's personal data that he indicated in a complaint to the Office of Public Prosecutor of the Rostov region about neo-Nazi concerts taking place in the city, and also his activity on monitoring xenophobia. You can learn more about this situation at the website of the international program “Solidarity” of the YHRM.

Unfortunately such a situation is a distressing tendency.

During the last period in Russia the occasions of threats to human rights defenders and anti-fascists due to their professional activity are becoming more frequent. From January 2009 it happened to the employees of the “SOVA” Center for Information and Analysis (Moscow) – Alexander Verkhovsky and Galina Kozhevnikova, from August 2008 – to the director of the Institute of Social Problems “United Europe” (Orel city) – Dmitry Krayukhin, from December 2008 – to the chairman of the “Memorial” human rights commission of the Komi Republic – Igor Sazhin and others. Such actions of the people adhering to the extreme-right views remain unpunished. Besides, it is well known that a widespread practice of the offices of public prosecutor is to demonstrate any received appeal to those against whom it is directed. It might lead to a disclosure of an applicant’s personal data, which is illegal and particularly dangerous in the case the applicants are human rights defenders and anti-fascists.

We believe that public authorities should pay special attention to the appeals of human rights defenders, and also to ensuring safety for human rights defenders and anti-fascists.

Thereupon we ask you to join the solidarity campaign and to send a message to the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation with the following appeal:

  1. To carry out prosecutor’s examination on the fact of the applicant’s personal data disclosure and to engage the guilty in disciplinary liability;
  2. To reinforce control for security of personal data of any applicants, in particular indicated in requests coming from human rights activists and anti-fascists and related to the activity of the extreme right organizations and groups;
  3. To organize an explanatory work on this subject for employees of the regional offices of public prosecutor;
  4. To inform the applicant about the decisions taken within statutory time period.

You may find the sample text of the appeal here.

You can request additional information on the situation by e-mail:

Yours faithfully,

Youth Network against Racism and Intolerance
with support of the international program “Solidarity”
of the Youth Human Rights Movement

More info

Alexandra Nazarova,
Victoria Gromova,
Dmitri Makarov.