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

Russian Federation


On 22-23 of September the Moscow Helsinki Group held a conference for its regional partners. Moscow human rights activists were, naturally, also invited. This type of general meeting was necessary because the working conditions for human rights activists are changing dramatically, as incidentally are the circumstances in the country as a whole. Of course our colleagues in the regions are following events and are aware of the new laws, but if it is difficult for us in Moscow to fully understand how they will affect us all, it must be even more difficult for them to get to grips with. That was why the conference was organised, so that specialists could explain the essence of the new laws (on rallies, defamation, NGOs, and others), answer the questions which our colleagues undoubtedly have and to put our heads together to figure out how we can work in these new conditions.


The international project “Human Library” took place on 11th of August in Petrovsky book club. This time the role of “books” was played by: blind girl with her guide dog, emergency ambulance medic, former prisoner, emigrant, civil activist, vegan, child brought up at children’s home, anarchist and foreigner volunteer.


On 16 July 2012 HRC Memorial's network “Migration and Law” began work in Sochi. Visitors can receive free legal assistance at the Sochi reception point.


On May 15, 2012, Sergei Kovalev, the Chairman of the Russian organization "Memorial", and Oleg Orlov, the Chairman of the Human Rights Centre "Memorial", wrote an open letter to members of the Presidential Council for Human Rights (text of the letter see below).

They call on colleagues to abandon the work of the Council under President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier, the Council has been already left by Elena Panfilova, director of «Transparency International Russia», Svetlana Gannushkina, a member of the HRC "Memorial", the Chairman of the Committee "Civil Assistance" and political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin.

Open letter to colleagues from the Council on Civil Society and Human Rights under President of Russia


On April 28, 2012, at a meeting with the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev in Gorki, members of the Human Rights Council under the President gave him a letter requesting him to use his influence to contribute to the release in Belarus of the human rights activist Ales Bialiatski. The letter was given to Medvedev at the end of the meeting.

See the text of the letter below.
To the President of the Russian Federation
D.A. Medvedev:
Dear Dmitry Anatol'evich,



On October 2, Ukrainian parliament passed through the 1st reading the Bill #8711 on so called "ban on homosexualism proganda".
In the frames of Coalition for Combating Discrimination in Ukraine, we prepared a text of appeal to the members of the Ukrainian Parliament
(under the reference in English and Russian).



August 28, 2012 the staff of public fund "Kylym-Shamy" handed equipment to affected businesses in the south of Kyrgyzstan, sewing machines and welding machines for a total sum of 4150 dollars.



From March 7th to 15th,  Sing for Democracy campaign coordinator Rasul Jafarov met with journalists, human rights defenders, politicians and experts in Germany and Austria to discuss the human rights situation in Azerbaijan.



Aleh Aheyeu was Ales Mikhalevich’s lawyer just a little more than two months. He took the risk of protecting the interests of the presidential candidate, who was accused of the mass riots. Aleh Aheyeu was among those four lawyers, who at one stroke were deprived of their licenses in February last year. In the media there were just short reports about the pressure on the defenders of the "political" accused and there were no details. One year on we talk about what was really happening.

AR: What was it like to be the lawyer in the “19 December mass riot” case?



Brussels, The Hague, Vienna, Almaty, Tashkent 7 March 2012. A new 36-page report published today by a coalition of five human rights groups from Europe and Central Asia highlights serious threats to fundamental freedoms in the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Twenty years after the end of the Soviet Union, these countries continue to be ruled by authoritarian leaders, who have monopolized power, marginalized and silenced the political opposition and curtailed the rights of citizens to express their views, ideas and convictions.