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

Voronezh Human Rights House at risk of closure

Дата публикации: 

On 22 May 2013, the charitable foundation "International Project - Youth Human Rights Movement" (YHRM), whose office is located in Voronezh Human Rights House, received a letter from the Department of Property and Estate Relations of Voronezh City Administration that breaks their lease and enjoins YHRM to leave the premises. A similar letter was received on 17 May 2013 by the Confederation of Free Labour, an interregional trade union, whose offices are also located in Voronezh Human Rights House.

Voronezh Human Rights House is a community of human rights and civil society organisations, all located in the same building on 34, Tsyurupy street, in Voronezh. In 1995, the Public Human Rights Reception was created by the Confederation of Free Labour and the Interregional Human Rights Group. The Reception receives around 1000 visitors per year and provides free legal aid to people of modest origin including elderly people, refugees, single mothers, students and migrant workers. Voronezh Human Rights House has since become one of the biggest centres working on human rights programmes in the Russian Federation.

Two organisations, the YHRM and the Confederation of Free Labour, rent offices in the Voronezh Human Rights House from the City Administration. The letters from the City Administration received on 17 and 22 May 2013 break the lease signed by the organisations and enjoin them to leave the premises. The official reason, and that being discussed in local media, is that the building is to be used as a municipal youth centre. It is believed that the new centre would implement state, rather than independent, youth policy.

Previously, the authorities have tried to close down Voronezh Human Rights House on two occasions, in 2009 and in 2010, and both times solidarity campaigns prevented these closures. In 2010, the Confederation of Free Labour signed a contract for free rent until 2013, which was extended to 2017 with preferential rent. In spring of 2013, the Confederation of Free Labour and YHRM submitted a set of documents to the City administration asking for free rent of the building.

Source: Front Line