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

“Multinational Georgia” presents the results of the pre-election monitoring


On May 16 the results of the survey carried out by the civil movement “Multinational Georgia” to reveal the state of pre-election awareness of the population of the two regions densely populated by ethnic Armenians and Azerbaijanis were published.

The experts of “Multinational Georgia” presented the data on the level of awareness of the population about the parties’/blocs’ programs; on the most frequently met mistakes and mass myths about the upcoming elections, as well as on the level of awareness of the voters about the election procedure. The attention was especially concentrated on infringements by the local authorities which were noticed by a vast regional network of observers within a two weeks longing monitoring. “Multinational Georgia” accentuated three basic trends of infringements noticed during the pre-election period:
pressure exerted by the local authorities on political opponents (in particular in Akhalkalaksky, Marneulsky and Dmanissky regions);
forced agitation among pedagogues to gather groups of support of the ruling party from among teachers and students;
the issue of a detained observer of “Multinational Georgia” in Marneulsky region who stays under arrest up to the moment.

At the same time “Multinational Georgia” mentioned the positive role the CEC played in raising the level of awareness of the electorate which became the highest before the coming parliamentarian elections in Georgia during the whole period of the 17 years of Georgian independence. Namely, the “Multinational Georgia” paid special attention to an operative reaction of the CEC to the inaccuracy of elector’s lists revealed by the organization, as well as the translation of the elections documentation and informational materials on the election process into the languages of the minorities and – which is even more important – their wide dissemination by means of press and non-governmental sector in the regions in which the minorities reside compactly. In the opinion of the “Multinational Georgia”, such a step is not only a technical issue, but also has a strategic significance as it promotes the importance of active citizenship among the minorities and their civil integration, which of course has an effect on strengthening Georgia’s stability as a state and partner on the international level.

Dmytro Potekhin, director of the analytic centre “Group of European strategy”, also participated in the press conference. The Ukrainian colleague shared his experience of involving the citizens into the election process observation, of educating the voters, of the process of parallel counting of votes as well as of creating a system of operative reaction on possible infringements. Dmytro Potekhin came to Georgia by the invitation of “Multinational Georgia” in the framework of the project “Equal chances for fair elections”. In 2004 Dmytro Potekhin coordinated the Ukrainian civil initiative “I know!”, the largest campaign of raising awareness and mobilizing the voters.