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

"We are not agents!" - 11 NGOs apply to European Court


On 6 February 2013 eleven Russian NGOs submitted an official application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg against Federal Law No. 121-FZ of 20 June 2012 “On introducing amendments to specific laws of the Russian Federation concerning the regulation of the activity of non-profit organizations acting as foreign agents” (below – the “Law on Foreign Agents”).

The 11 applicant organizations, that include human rights, educational and ecological groups, are:

  • Golos Foundation for Democracy (headquarters in Moscow),
  • Citizens’ Watch (St. Petersburg),
  • Civic Assistance Charitable Organization for Help to Refugees and Forced Migrants (Moscow)
  • For Human Rights (headquarters in Moscow)
  • Committee Against Torture (headquarters in Nizhny Novgorod)
  • Mashr (Ingushetiya)
  • International Memorial Society (headquarters in Moscow)
  • Memorial Human Rights Society (headquarters in Moscow)
  • Moscow Helsinki Group (Moscow)
  • EcoDefence (Kaliningrad)
  • Public Verdict (Moscow)

The application was drafted by Furkat Tishaev, a lawyer from Memorial Human Rights Centre. The applicants are being represented by lawyers from Memorial Human Rights Centre (Moscow) and the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (London).

On Thursday, 7 February at 13:30 representatives of the applicant organizations held a press conference at the Independent Press Centre (17/9 Prechistenka St., Moscow) to explain the following:

  • The “Law on Foreign Agents” is a crude violation of rights guaranteed by Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association), Article 10 (freedom of expression), Article 14 (prohibition on discrimination), and Article 18 (limits on the imposition of restrictions of rights) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;
  • The basis on which the applicants are addressing the European Court of Human Rights;
  • Systemic issues raised by the “Law on Foreign Agents”.

6 February, 2013