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

Alexander Lukashenko commissioned the Law “On Alternative Military Service” to be developed


February 18, 2010, from the 4 PM newsblock of the national channel ONT (“Nation-Wide Television”) we found out that the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko officially charged Secretary General of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus Leonid Maltsev with the task to work on the draft of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Alternative Military Service”.

This statement of the President was preceded by court processes on Dzmitry Smyk, Andrei Tsianuta, Ivan Mikhailau, Yauheni Yakavenka who claimed realization of their right to alternative implementation of the military service and realization of the Art. 57 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. Court hearings received broad coverage of the mass media and a wide public response.

On January 26, 2010, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus Piotr Miklashevich publicly announced necessity to adopt the law on alternative service.

On January 27, 2010, European human rights groups turned to the President Lukashenka with a demand to stop criminal prosecution of Ivan Mikhailau and immediately adopt a corresponding law.

On February 2, 2010, Belarusian human rights organizations submitted a collective appeal to Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus, Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus and Chairman of the Chamber of Representatives of the Republic of Belarus with the proposal to use their competences in full-scale and to provide for the constitutional rights of citizens to alternative service and to ensure this right by law.

Appeal of Belarusian human rights defenders was joined by 120 subjects (citizens and organizations) from 7 countries.

Public campaign “For Alternative Civilian Service in Belarus” welcomes the statement by Alexander Lukashenko!

We account for the fact that the process of drafting the law would be public, that participation of interested public parties in the work on the draft law would be provided for and also that the text of the draft law would be developed in accordance with the international standards and on the account of the “CIS Model Law on Alternative (Non-military) Service”1.

Public Campaign “For Alternative Civilian Service in Belarus”

1а) Term of the alternative civilian service should not be substantially larger than that presupposed for the military service;

b) Apart from religious beliefs, other beliefs and considerations should be taken account of, such as, e.g., pacifism, that should form a legal basis for substituting military service with alternative;

c) Right to alternative civilian service should be provided without the necessity to prove one’s beliefs, and exclusively upon the choice of a citizen;

d) Citizens should be granted a possibility to choose the sphere of implementation of the alternative civilian service.