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

LGBT rights defenders attacked in Tomsk, Russia


On October 30th five LGBT activists were attacked by a group of 8 people in the city of Tomsk, Russia shortly after they started a peaceful awareness-raising action against homophobia. The action was organised in the afternoon at one of the city’s central squares.

The attackers’ faces were hidden under white-and-green scarves which are typical for the fans of a local football club. Out of 5 participants of the action (4 young men and a young woman) only the woman was not injured. The others were kicked to the ground and beaten by the feet with shouts “beat the faggots!”. After one of the activists managed to escape and run towards a post of the police (situated 20 meters away from the place of incident), the attackers disappeared from the scene. The police did not intervene into the incident, they only called the ambulance.

As a result of the incident three activists got brain concussion and numerous injuries of the body. One of them is still in the hospital in a grave condition: he hardly speaks and has grave injuries of the face.

The same evening two of the victims reported the incident to the police. The third can’t do this due to his physical condition. The criminal case was not opened yet, but the police interviewed the victims and a witness, who stated that he saw the attackers coming to the square before the scheduled time of the action.

All the victims are activists of the regional branch of the Russian LGBT network ( and for more than a year openly act against human rights violations of LGBT people in the Tomsk region. One of them is also individual correspondent of the Youth Human Rights Movement (

The action on October 30th was entitled “Ribbon of friendship” and supposed disseminating leaflets with quotations of the famous people about homophobia and rainbow ribbons to pedestrians. It was announced mainly to LGBT audience via the social network and the regional LGBT web-portal

We consider this attack not only as an obvious hate incident, but also as an act of intimidation of activists carrying out legitimate human rights activities. The law enforcement bodies should carry out an effective investigation of this incident, as well as ensure physical safety of the victims who now risk being further targeted. The inaction of the police officers present near the place of the incident should also be scrutinized.

YHRM team for
defending human rights defenders