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 journalist Alexander Lashmankin sentenced to administrative arrest in Orsha (Belarus). In response the journalist went on a hunger strike


The city court of Orsha settled the case of “disorderly conduct” in which Alexander Lashmankin was accused – a Russian journalist, editor of the news agency “Freedom”, which received official accreditation from the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. The judge Ina Kokhav found the arguments of the charges convincing enough and sentenced him to three days of administrative arrest. The jailed journalist went on hunger strike.

Tonight about 1 a.m. in the town of Orsha, at the first station after crossing the Russian-Belarusian border, Alexander Lashmankin was taken off the train “Chelyabinsk – Brest” by the transport police officers – lieutenant Filippov and police officer Kurochkin. Originally the journalist himself, as well as the human rights defenders who called the transport line station of the Orsha district transport police department, where Lashmankin was detained, were not explained the reasons for detention.

However, it turned out later that the reason for the detention of the accredited journalist was an anonymous telephone call stating that the journalist allegedly transported drugs. It is also reported that amphetamines-like powder was seized from Alexander Lashmankin, and now a mysterious powder was sent for examination.

The International Observation Mission now has serious concerns that in addition to the administrative case against Lashmankin he can be also criminally prosecuted for the “drug” article. It should be emphasized that Alexander Lashmankin was going to visit Belarus for the purpose of fulfilling his professional duties – reporting the situation in the country in connection with the persecution of the opposition and civil society after the presidential elections on December 19th, 2010.

The official reason for the administrative arrest was evidence of the police officers that Alexander Lashmankin at detention was obscenely swearing and waving his arms. The trial of Lashmankin started this morning, originally without a lawyer present and admission to the meeting of the representatives of the public (in particular, those of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee). Later, however, the trial was interrupted and Lashmankin was appointed a state defender – Dmitri Mironov.

According to the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the arrest of Alexander Lashmankin is not connected with his professional activities.

We look forward to the official reaction of the Russian Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the court's decision in the case of Alexander Lashmankin who in our opinion did not commit anything illegal. Actions of the Belarusian authorities are inconsistent: firstly they officially accredited the journalist, and then began to mend him obstacles in carrying out his professional duties. We will closely monitor the development of this case,” – says Konstantin Baranov, representative of the International Observation Mission in Belarus.

International Observation Mission of the Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus!/IOMission