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

Jock Palfreeman: Call for Justice


Jock Palfreeman is a 23 year old Australian citizen who, before his arrest in Bulgaria, was a trainee soldier in the British Army.

Jock was arrested following an incident in which he had attempted to defend two Roma people who were being attacked by a group of men in an alleged racist attack, late at night near a metro station in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, shortly before Christmas 2007.
As a result of the incident in which one of the attackers was stabbed to death, Jock has been tried and convicted for murder. For this, he has been given a twenty years prison sentence but has leave to appeal.
The full details of the case remain unclear because the entire procedure of the trial has lacked transparency and the denial of witness testimony has been to such an extent that not only Bulgarian law but also natural law appear to have been violated.

According to the basic principle of most legal systems in the democratic world, that one is innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt, both the prosecution of Jock's case and the resulting verdict appear to have been unsafe and unfair. Justice has neither been done nor, even more importantly, been seen to be done. Jock has been denied the elementary requirements of a proper legal defence and, thus, a fair trial.

As human rights activists from thirty-three European countries, we call for a retrial of Jock's case in which he will be given the full right to judicial transparency and a full and proper legal representation, including the right to subpoena witnesses both friendly and hostile to face the normal practice of cross-examination. Additionally, we call upon the Bulgarian justice authorities to grant Jock the right to full bail so that he can properly prepare a case for his defence.
Until Jock is provided with these elementary legal and human rights, his trial and conviction cannot be seen in any way as an expression of justice of any kind.

UNITED for Intercultural Action, meeting in Budapest from 11 May to 16 May 2010 expresses its full solidarity with Jock and his family and their efforts to prove his innocence and secure his early release.

For more information see:

UNITED for Intercultural Action