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

Moscow Helsinki Group criticizes law on ‘blacklist’ of websites


Moscow Helsinki Group has published a report on the law ‘On the protection of children from information causing harm to their health and development,’ a law commonly referred to as the law on the ‘blacklist’ of websites.

Author of the report Ilnur Sharapov, a lawyer working with Agora Human Rights Association, believes ‘the law limits access for all Internet users to an undefined range of information, including adults and fully capable citizens.’ Sharapov points out: 'Once again, as with many other recent laws, we see that rights and freedoms are being restricted through use of maximally vague and undefined legal norms. The law does not meet the requirement of legal certainty, since it does not allow citizens to predict the consequences of their actions. Moreover, the mechanism for implementing the law is such that even well-meaning owners of websites, against whom the authorities have no complaints, could meet with limitations to their constitutional rights for the sole reason that their website shares an IP address with an Internet resource that has been banned.’

The head of the department of strategic development of the Russian Association of Electronic Communications, Irina Levova, says that ‘because of the absence of a detailed consideration of the special features of the Internet, and a failure to take these into account, blocking banned information also results in the blocking of legal content, which contradicts the law ‘On Information’ and Article 29 of the Constitution of Russia.
The report also points out that the procedures for banning access to specific information, the methodology for evaluating this information, and also the procedure for appointing experts, are all unknown to the general public.
Rosbalt reports that the law ‘On the protection of children from information causing harm to their health and development’ (which is often called the law ‘on blacklists of websites’) officially entered into force on 1 November 2012. The law introduces a system of monitoring (and subsequent blocking) or websites that contain content that is considered dangerous for children. After pages with illegal content have been identified, the Russian Agency for Oversight of Communications issues a warning to the owner of the Internet resource. If no reaction follows either from the owner of the website or from the hosting-provider, then the page is added to the ‘blacklist’.