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

Statement of Moscow Helsinki Group on War Conflict in South Ossetia and Georgia


Russia and Georgia military involvement for quite short period of time had led to multiple victims among population and disastrous destructions on the territory of South Ossetia and Georgia. In these war crimes the guilt is owned to both sides – Georgia that had started military actions on South Ossetia territory, and Russia that had used such circumstances to invade Georgian territory. Both sides also guilty in nonselective use of fire, in use of heavy-weight ground arms and aviation in places of civilian population location, in that thousands inhabitants of South Ossetia and Georgia had become refugees. Neither one, nor the other side made no effective attempts for protection of local people living in the war conflict zone, supplied no safe evacuation from this territory. Consequently, both Russia and Georgia had lost the moral right to peacemaking in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It is international interference that needed for the conflict to be resolved. Russia by acting, not in words, should pullout troops from Georgia. Russia and Georgia should pullout their troops from South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in both regions the armed forces should be replaced by the presence of peacemaking units of the UN.

Moscow Helsinki Group supports appeals made by Russian Federation government on attracting those citizens that had made crimes against peaceful population to responsibility. But attempts of criminal persecution of the guilty using national justice systems are not allowable neither in Russia, nor in Georgia. Those who guilty should be punished by International Criminal Court created in 1998. This Court can bring to responsibility those guilty in genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes regarding range and diplomatic immunity.

The Statutes of International Criminal Court had been ratified by more than a hundred states, including Georgia. Russian Federation, having signed the Statute on September 13, 2000, hadn’t yet ratified, meaning it cannot claim for hearings in this Court of cases against citizens of other states, responsible for crimes.

Moscow Helsinki Group appeals to the Parliament and Government of Russian Federation with the proposal to immediately ratify the Statute of International Criminal Court, having acquired by that the right to appeal and execute with this right straight ahead.

Moscow Helsinki Group supposes that Georgia having the right to appeal to International Criminal Court should have used this right to bring to responsibility those guilty in crimes against peaceful people.

Immediate cut-off on military actions by both sides, agreement of both countries on UN peacemakers’ presence in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and appeals to International Criminal Court will be the best solution for this war conflict using mechanisms available to humanity in XXI century.

Ludmilla Alexeeva
Chair of Moscow Helsinki Group
Moscow Helsinki Group