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 Civil Society Problems Raised during the EU-Russia Human Rights Consultations


On April 17 the European Union and the Russian Federation held the seventh round of human rights consultations in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Such consultations took place for the first time in March 2005.

At the consultations the EU raised a number of concerns related to specific human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Russian Federation. Issues covered freedom of media, expression and assembly, especially in the light of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections, functioning of the civil society, the rights of persons belonging to minorities and combating racism and xenophobia and the rights of children. The issue of human rights in the Northern Caucasus was also discussed.

The member of the YHRM Coordination Council Dmitry Makarov, who took part in the consultations, made an intervention on the freedom of assembly in Russia.

On April 15, on the eve of the consultations, three human rights NGOs: the Moscow Helsinki Group, the International Partnership for Human Rights and Human Rights Without Frontiers published an appeal to the EU to use this event as an opportunity to demand to take concrete action to improve the situation of Russian civil society.

The statement highlighted a growing attack under which the civil society in Russia has come during the period in office of outgoing President Vladimir Putin, as the work of independent groups has been curtailed in the name of protecting national security and preventing foreign "interference" in Russian politics. The authors of the document point out that such rhetoric was used to justify the adoption in 2006 of the so-called NGO law, which introduced significant changes to existing legislation on NGOs. Since its entry into force in April 2006, this law has become a major tool of repression against civil society.

The authors of the appeal list the problems that Russian NGOs faced in recent years and propose specific steps which must be taken by the Russian government to improve their situation including the amendments of legislation. The full text of the appeal is available at: