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

Murder Threats Against “Memorial”’s Vitaliy Ponomarev


On January 12, 2013, the head of the Central Asia programme of the Human Rights Centre “Memorial” Vitaliy Ponomarev received e-mails with death threats. Several messages were sent in both Russian and Uzbek from different e-mail accounts within about two minutes.

The “Memorial” Human Rights Centre Сentral Asia programme records human rights violations in the Central Asian states, particularly Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. The monitoring of the situation is done in the cooperation with the human right defenders on the ground in those countries.

The e-mails with deaths threats come shortly after Vitaliy Ponomarev’s report criticising the activities of the security services of Uzbekistan on the territory of the Russian Federation. The news story, posted on the “Memorial”’s website on December 27, 2012 said the Uzbekistan's security services had used torture against the Uzbek citizens held in prison on the Russian territory.

The e-mails were sent from IP-addresses in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent. The expressions in the e-mails are characteristic of the Uzbek dialect typical of the Tashkent area.

The “Memorial” Human Rights Centre requested the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, to investigate the case and ensure that those behind the treats are identified and brought to justice.

This is not the first time when “Memorial” Central Asia programme workers come under pressure. On June 6, 2011, “Memorial”’s Bakhrom Khamroev was beaten when entering his home in Moscow. As of now, no perpetrators of the crime have been identified.