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

Voronezh House of Human Rights is to be put up for sale


One of the biggest regional Human Rights centres in Russia may become “homeless” in some months to come.

Voronezh House of Human Rights – a union of regional and inter-regional human rights and civil organizations – was founded at the beginning of 2009 to strengthen the positions of the human rights organizations in the region, building dialogue with the authorities, joining the efforts in defending and promoting Human Rights.

Most organizations that “inhabit” the House used to being neighbours in this building for years, that enabled them to work together, share costs and support activity in defending citizens’ rights. It was here where the Public reception of the Ombudsman of the Russian Federation (in Voronezh region) had a grand opening 4 years ago. All the consultations for citizens are free, most lawyers work as volunteers, the organizations participating in the Voronezh House of Human Rights have never got significant financial support from the authorities. That is the reason explaining the lack of resources necessary for paying the rent according to commercial prices.

The recent news for the human rights activists has stated that due to the city Duma’s decision dated by February 2, 2009, the municipal building that hosts the Voronezh House of Human Rights at present is to be put up for sale, and the planned commercial price is 10-11 million roubles.

Most non-governmental organizations that work in the Voronezh House of Human Rights don’t limit their activity to Voronezh only; they represent a kind of international laboratory on human rights defence and promotion. It means that the Voronezh authorities’ thoughtless decision is not only to paralyse regional non-governmental organizations but to strike one more blow at civil society in Russia.

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