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

Another Young Armenian Human Rights Activist Assaulted


Narek Hovakimyan, a member of Armenia’s pro-democracy youth movement Hima, was attacked and beaten yesterday, June 25, 2008, in downtown Yerevan.

Narek, a 19-year old freshman at Yerevan State University, was approached by an unknown young man, as he was leaving school after classes at around 3:30pm, and was asked to “have a conversation” outside the campus.

Narek quickly realized it was a setup, and sought to avoid confrontation by walking away. The assailant followed him, blocking his way in an underground passage on the corner of Abovian and Koryun streets half a mile away, joined by another accomplice. Narek was beaten, and suffered head and stomach injuries. As the assailants fled the scene, Narek received assistance from bystanders, and was taken to the emergency care unit of St. Gregory the Illuminator Hospital in Yerevan.

The attack against Narek Hovakimyan, who is also youth activist and member of the Aylentranq (Alternative) Coalition – a network of pro-democracy organizations established in 2006, joins a pattern of similar attacks against leaders and activists of Armenia’s human rights and pro-democracy community before and after the country’s Presidential Election 2008.

On November 15, 2007, 20-year-old Narek Galstyan, leader of the youth wing of the opposition Social- Democratic Hnchakyan Party, was beaten by a group of unknown assailants. Two days earlier, police had briefly detained Galstyan and another youth activist for posting leaflets critical of then Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan, warning then to stop anti-government propaganda. This case was reported by Human Rights Watch ( and the U.S. Department of State. The case was closed.

On May 22, 2008, Mikael Danielyan head of the Armenian Helsinki Association, was shot point blank from a pneumatic gun by a member of parliament from the ruling Republican party, who then bragged about it at a press conference later that day. The case was documented and reported by Human Rights Watch on May 22, 2008 (Armenia: Leading Human Rights Defender Assaulted,

On May 28, 2008, Arsen Kharatyan, a leading member of the Armenian democratic youth movement, was brutally assaulted and beaten in broad daylight in Yerevan, by a group of unknown assailants, and taken to the hospital with serious head injuries. (a href="">

None of the incidents above have been properly investigated, and no one has been charged in connection with them. Whether a sign of inability or unwillingness by the authorities to address the situation, violence against pro-democracy and human rights activism in Armenia grows, as harassment and intimidation against them continue with impunity.

We strongly condemn the attack yesterday against Narek Hovakimyan, and urge the Armenian law enforcement to ensure its proper investigation.

We also call upon the international human rights community to continue to bring information on Armenia’s critical human rights and democracy situation to the attention of the world public, as a way to support the work and momentum of a vibrant pro-democracy and human rights youth effort in Armenia.

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