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.  

Search on site


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

Europe for all or for the selected few? UNITED Conference in Budapest


From 11 to 16th of May in Budapest (Hungary) young activists from 33 European countries met at a regular conference of the European network UNITED for Intercultural Action which this time was devoted to the topic “Europe All Inclusive? Minorities at the Edge of Society”.
Every six months UNITED holds international conferences in different countries. This time it was Hungary, and thus a large part of the conference programme dealt with the situation in this country. Particular concern is the fact that at the last election a significant number of votes were received by the obviously extreme-right party Jobbik, which not only uses populist slogans in its rhetoric, but also has its own paramilitary “guard”, consisting of volunteers-supporters. In general, the Hungarian society is characterized by strong anti-Roma attitudes, so a lot of time was given to the discussion of the situation of Roma and other ethnic minorities and their integration.
The conference was traditionally attended by the representatives of the Youth Human Rights Movement. At this time it was represented by the YHRM participants Konstantin Baranov, Alexandra Nazarova and Grigory Frolov. The arrival of the YHRM representatives coincided with the news about the closure of criminal proceedings against a member of the YHRM Coordinative Council Anastasia Denisova, which they gladly shared with other participants of the conference. UNITED has actively participated in this solidarity campaign, and many participants also personally know Anastasia. This example was a good evidence of the fact that international anti-fascist solidarity can really change the situation.
Unfortunately, such solidarity is still needed for many other anti-fascists and civil activists all over the world. Thus, as an initiative of the participants a statement in support of the anti-fascist Jock Palfreeman was prepared. He was sentenced to 20 years of prison in Bulgaria ( - English website devoted to the campaign in support of the activist). In 2007 in Sofia, he witnessed the attack of Nazi-skinheads on Roma, stood up for victims, and as a result one of the attackers was killed. Numerous procedural violations marked his case, so the participants appealed to the authorities of Bulgaria to review the anti-fascist’s case and to ensure transparency of the trial. Also they sent a personal letter to the condemned with the words of support and solidarity.
The conference’s work was organized in several groups devoted to such topics as the migration problem in Europe, issues of preparing and conducting of awareness-raising and advocacy anti-racism campaigns, protection of minority rights, history as a cause of conflict, integration of Roma and counteraction to the right-wing extremism. Within the latter group the YHRM representatives made a presentation of the present situation with xenophobia and radical nationalism in Russia and the current initiatives to counter them.
Also participants of the conference shared with each other interesting tactics of action against racism and in support of minorities. Thus, representatives of the Polish Association “Never again!” talked about their work in the field of anti-racism in football (previously, on May 2nd in Kyiv (Ukraine) a working meeting of the FARE network was held). Hungarian activists presented their experience of using the so-called "guerilla marketing" (the use of alternative media, flash-mob, blogs, etc.) in social work. And a Czech organization representative described strategic litigation at the European Court – recently they had won a precedent case on segregation of Roma children in education, which was considered inadmissible discrimination by the Court.
A free day was devoted to visits to the Holocaust Memorial and Museum of Terror in Budapest, offices of local organizations dealing with Roma issues, etc.
The last day of the conference was devoted to presentations and workshops. Thus, Graham Atkinson (editor of the well-known anti-Nazi magazine “Searchlight”) from the UK spoke on the recent success of a public campaign against the British National Party, as a result of which it received two times less votes than in previous elections. Matilde Fruncillo from the ODIHR spoke on the issue of “hate crimes” in the OSCE region, inviting civil society organizations to participate in gathering information and preparing reports on this topic. Presentation and workshop by Jan Raabe from the organization “Arguments and culture against the right” (Germany) was devoted to hate music. His organization specializes on this topic and has an extensive experience in combating the dissemination of racist ideology via music. One of the workshops was also devoted to planning and preparation of the annual UNITED campaigns on the occasion of the World Refugee Day (June 20th) and the anniversary of “Crystal Night” (November 9th).
The next conference will be organized by the UNITED this autumn in Moscow in partnership with the Center for Interethnic Cooperation (