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

Stop the Anti-Constitutional Bill! Public Appeal to the President of the Russian Federation


Mr President, we appeal to you, since today only you can stop the passing of a bill that annuls not only the very meaning of Article 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Article 21 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, but also abrogates the universal principle of law, according to which only a court can impose a punishment that limits civil rights and freedoms. At the same time, this bill puts in question the presumption of innocence.

The Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation is considering amendments to the Federal Law “On Assemblies, Rallies, Demonstrations, Marches and Pickets”.

In the first place, these amendments violate the provisions of Article 55, Part 2 of the Constitution, which states that in the Russian Federation no laws must be passed that abrogate or limit human rights, rescinding for a whole category of persons their unconditional civic right to the freedom to hold peaceful rallies and assemblies.

The new law introduces a special punishment for a form of violation of administrative law: a ban on being an organizer of a public event. However, no such sanction is provided for by the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation.

We are convinced that neither citizens nor civil society organizations should be banned from acting as the organizers of public events, even if law enforcement agencies have concerns with regard to their organization of, or participation in, mass demonstrations. The very fact that the authorities are notified of the planned event indicates a striving to observe the law.

We consider the demand, included in the bill, that the authorities be provided with data about the means of transport to be used in protest demonstrations to be an absolutely unlawful interference in the right to private life and privacy, protected by Articles 23 and 24 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, and a violation of the prohibition on enforced disclosure of opinions and convictions, as laid down by Article 29 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Furthermore, this norm would practically serve to prevent other citizens from joining these demonstrations, which is impermissible.

In making public events that use transport the equivalent of political demonstrations, the new bill widens indefinitely the very concept of outside agitation, making, for example, blue buckets, ribbons on antennae, emblems or stickers on cars the equivalent of placards and banners. This directly contradicts the text of Federal Law No. 54 law on rallies and demonstrations.

A state that considers itself to be based on the rule of law and to be democratic, must strive to achieve a meaningful dialogue with civil society, and not take the path of absurd bans and confrontations.

We urge you to take into account these facts and not sign the proposed bill that violates human rights and basic freedoms.

Yours sincerely,

Elena Bonner

Human Rights Council, St. Petersburg (executive secretary, Natalia Evdokimova)

Ludmila Alekseeva, chair, Moscow Helsinki Group

Valery Borshchev, member, Moscow Helsinki Group

Svetlana Gannushkina, Civic Assistance Committee

Lidiya Grafova, journalist and human rights defender

Lev Ponomarev, executive director, For Human Rights

Oleg Orlov, Memorial Human Rights Centre

Aleksei Devotchenko, honoured Artist of Russia

Liliya Shevtsova, senior associate, Moscow Carnegie Centre

Boris Altshuler, member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation

Liliya Shibanova, GOLOS Association

Konstantin Azadovsky, historian of culture, chair of the executive committee of St Petersburg PEN Club

Nina Katerli, writer, member of the Union of Writers of Moscow and PEN Club

Yury Dzhibladze, president, Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights

Andrei Piontkovsky, writer

Aleksandr Kobrinsky, Professor

Yury Ryzhov, member of the Academy of Sciences, chair, Public Committee for the Protection of Scientists

Ernst Chernyi, executive secretary, Public Committee for the Protection of Scientists

Father Gleb Yakunin, Public Committee for Freedom of Conscience

Sergei Davidis, Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners

Mikhail Shneider, executive secretary, Federal Political Council of Solidarity

Boris Vishnevsky, member, bureau, Yabloko Party, columnist, Novaya gazeta

Evgeny Ikhlov, journalist

Dmitry Belomestnov, journalist, human rights defender

Sergei Sorokin, Movement Against Violence

Yury Samodurov, Exhibition Curator

Ruslan Badalov, Chechen Committee for National Salvation (Ingushetia)

Vladimir Shaklein, Inter-regional Human Rights Centre (Ekaterinburg)

Galina Nechaeva, college teacher, St. Petersburg

Liubov Bashinova, journalist, human rights defender

Larisa Fefilova, human rights defender (Izhevsk)

Sergei Valkov, Ivanovo Region Human Rights Society

Vadi Postnikov, Tiumen Human Rights Centre

Ella Kesaeva, Voice of Beslan, Ossetia

Svetlana Isaeva, Mothers of Dagestan for Human Rights

Yuliya Basinova, journalist

Veniamin Dmitroshkin, reporter

Tatiana Voltskaya, poet, member of the St. Petersburg PEN Club, member of the Union of Writers

Roman Kachanov, lawyer, director, Masters of Legal Cases Chambers

Evgeny Usov, press secretary, Greenpeace Russia

V.N. Kuznetsov, chair, Omsk Region Human Rights Committee

Tatiana Kotlyar, deputy of Obninsk City Legislative Assembly

Ludmila Yarilina, Vladimir Region Branch, For Human Rights

Tatiana Malushina, Vladimir Region Branch, Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia

Oleg Vasilev, college teacher, Moscow

Elena Efros, journalist, St. Petersburg

Zarema Gasanova, journalist, Makhachkala

A.K. Soboleva, lawyer, Lawyers for Constitutional Rights & Freedoms (IURIKS)

Aleksei Moma, researcher, Moscow

Vladimir Vedenkov, Professor of Mathematics, Siberian Federal University, Human Rights Defender


On 28 October 2910 this appeal was sent to the Presidential Administration by fax and electronic mail, and on 29 October 2010 by ordinary mail.

Collection of signatures continues "HERE"

Source: Novaya gazeta