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 video message from the participants of the action of solidarity with Ales Bialiatsky


On September 5, human rights and civil society activists came to the Embassies of Belarus in six countries to demand that Belarusian authorities release human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky. The participants of the action at the Moscow Embassy had prepared a video message.

Ales Bialiatsky is a well-known human rights activist, Head of the Human Rights Centre "Viasna" (Belarus), vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights. Ales was arrested on August 4. On August 12, he was charged under Part 2 of Article 243 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus - the concealment of income on a large scale. The investigator also chose the measure of restraint in the form of detention for 2 months. Ales Bialiatsky was accused of getting large sums of money into accounts in other countries and not paying taxes in Belarus. The funds that are regarded by the members of the Department of Financial Investigations as personal income are, in fact, the means to implement human rights programs in Belarus (e.g. conducting public awareness campaigns, human rights monitoring, attorneys' fees and fines for participating in public actions etc.) and thereby can never be personal income.

"The charges against Ales Bialiatsky are, in our view, unsubstantiated, and the selection of measure of restraint in the form of detention – is biased and politically motivated" – is said in the appeal to the representatives of the Belarusian authorities.
The human rights activists also pointed out that these arrests are only the consequence of non-observance of international obligations on freedom and protection of human rights defenders by the authorities of the Republic of Belarus.
Actions of solidarity with Ales Bialiatsky were initiated by organizations - members of the Committee of International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus ( These actions were held in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine and Sweden.

Armenia (Yerevan):
The action in Yerevan was attended by 7 people. The human rights activist Mikael Danielian handed the appeal demanding the release of Ales Bialiatsky to Mr. Burners, the first secretary of the Belarusian Embassy.
Photos from the campaign: տեսանյութեր – հայաստանից

Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek):
The activists of Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Center "Citizens against corruption" gathered at the Embassy of Belarus. This action is one of a series of pickets in defense of Ales Bialiatsky in Kyrgyzstan. The first action was held on August 17.
Photos from the campaign:

Lithuania (Vilnius):
9 people gathered in Vilnius because it is a number of participants which allows to hold actions without the consent of the authorities. The action was attended by representatives of the Fund of Support and Protection of Citizens of Lithuania, Belarusian organizations in Lithuania, civil society activists.
Photos from the campaign:

Russia (Moscow):
The authorities of Moscow refused to agree on a picket in support of the human rights activist. Therefore, the organizers had to hold a series of individual pickets, replacing each other every 5 minutes. The participants of the pickets gathered signatures on a petition to the Ambassador of Belarus Vasiliy Dolgolev. An hour later, the human rights activist Yuri Dzhibladze handed the text of the petition with the collected signatures to the Embassy of Belarus. The action was attended by about 20 people from different cities of Russia.

Ukraine (Kiev):
The action was held at the Embassy of Belarus. It was attended by more than 20 activists. The Embassy representatives refused to accept the petition, so it was sent through the mail.
Photos from the campaign:

Sweden (Stockholm):
In Stockholm the picketers carried posters "Freedom for Ales Bialiatsky" in Belarusian and in Swedish. After the speech of Martin Uggly, the Chairman of the organization Östgruppen, it was planned to hand a letter, demanding the release of the human rights activist, to Andrei Grinkevich, the Ambassador of Belarus. However, the Embassy refused to accept the letter, so it was put into the mailbox of the diplomatic mission.