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

A Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) consultation meeting took place in Kiev


A Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) consultation meeting took place in Kiev on 2 May. The informal meeting was well attended, which illustrates a strong interest in common activities against racism in football among Ukrainian FARE partners. It is also a testimony to the networking work in Ukraine conducted by the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association in frames of the FARE East European Development Project.

Among others, the following groups and organizations were represented: the Football Against Prejudices coalition, African and Indian migrant communities, the Congress of National Minorities in Ukraine, the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, the East European Development Institute, Amnesty International, Social Alternative, No Borders, Social Action Centre, 'Zakhist Praci' Trade Union, Arsenal Kiev FC, Youth Human Rights Movement-Ukraine, anti-fascist groups from Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk, anti-racist fans from Arsenal Kiev and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (who traveled for 8 hours by train to Kiev from eastern Ukraine). There were also representatives of the Polish 'NEVER AGAIN' Association, the Youth Human Rights Movement from Russia, the Green movement and the 'Partisan' anti-fascist magazine and monitoring group from Belarus and Helsinki Citizens' Assembly from Moldova. The meeting was prepared by the Football Against Prejudices coalition, with assistance from the 'Zakhist Praci' Trade Union and the Kiev branch of the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation. The lively discussion was conducted in Russian, Ukrainian and English.

The work of FARE and the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association was presented with a special focus on the East Europe Monitoring Centre, the FARE East European Development Project as well as the challenges and opportunities posed by EURO2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

The question of an underrepresentation of ethnic minorities attending football games in Ukraine and possible measures to address it were discussed in depth. According to participants, currently ethnic minority fans are excluded from enjoying football on a very basic level because their physical safety is endangered. The question of racist and far-right hegemony in Ukrainian stadiums was mentioned as a most pressing issue. Racist banners and 'White Power' symbols such as the Celtic cross are frequently displayed while far-right groups dominate the fan culture, including in EURO2012 host cities such as Lviv and Kharkiv. Alarming evidence of growing links between fan groups and far-right political movements such as the extreme-right Svoboda party was discussed.

Several priority themes and ideas for future action were identified in the discussion, including: documentation, monitoring and awareness raising in cooperation with mass media, lobbying clubs and the Football Federation of Ukraine to take steps against racist behaviour and banners (here the role of FARE and UEFA was stressed by many participants), organizing street football tournaments with the participation of ethnic minority teams to promote anti-racism and diversity.

"It was one of the best discussions on racism and xenophobia in football I have heard for years" - said Dr Rafal Pankowski, coordinator of the East Europe Monitoring Centre. - "The problems are serious, but I am confident we can take anti-racism in Eastern Europe to a new level in the next months and years".

More information:

From 'NEVER AGAIN' Association