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

Raid on an independent research centre Memorial should be investigated


Amnesty International is calling for a full investigation into the legality of a raid by law enforcement officers at the office of an independent research and information centre in St Petersburg, amid concerns that serious violations of Russian law were committed during the process.

Amnesty International considers this raid with its violations to be a further indication of the climate of harassment faced by civil society and human rights defenders in Russia. As the organization pointed out in its report Russian Federation: Freedom Limited – the right to freedom of expression in the Russian Federation, EUR 46/008/2008, published on 26 February 2008, there appear to be more and more limitations on the right to freedom of expression, as well as the rights to freedom of assembly and association in the Russian Federation. The space for dissenting views, independent media and independent organizations to operate is shrinking.

The Research and Information Centre Memorial was established by the human rights organization Memorial and investigates human rights violations committed during the time of the Soviet Union, including those committed in Stalin's GULAG.

Masked officers of Investigatory Committee of St Petersburg Prosecutor's office armed with truncheons raided Memorial and seized all computer hardware and other materials containing the files of thousands of people who had been repressed during the Soviet regime. In violation of the Russian Criminal Procedure Code no record of the seized items or the content of hard drives was made and the lawyer was not allowed in the premises. The search was conducted without attesting witnesses and the Memorial representative was not given the record of the search to familiarize themselves with it.

The officers claimed the search was in connection with an article allegedly of an extremist nature published in a newspaper in St. Petersburg, which is currently under criminal investigation. Representatives of the research centre denied any connection with the newspaper or the author of the article in question.

Representatives of the centre underline that the seized materials are of great research and historical value and are concerned that valuable information may be lost.

Web-site Amnesty International

See more on YHRM site:
"Memorial" issues statement over the seizure of its office in St Petersburg