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

What Civil Society Russia Is Building


A popular wisdom says if a force could not be fought, it should be led. There is an impression that this is the way Russia chose to shape a civil society.

So, the general course of the Third NGO Congress organized by the INGO Conference of the Council of Europe on December 4-7, 2008 in Penza, the Russian Federation, served as yet another illustration for the Russian government concept of "guided" or "imitating" democracy. The first two congresses were held in Warsaw and Kyiv (2007).

By the way, the first Congress in Warsaw was co-organized by the Casimir Pulaski Foundation and the Polish Forum of Young Diplomats. The second congress Kyiv was co-held by the Laboratory for Legislative Initiatives and the International Renaissance Foundation. The Third NGO Congress in Russia was held in conjunction with the Council of the Federation Commission on Civil Society Development Institutes Affairs. As a matter of fact, the important action held under the aegis of the Council of Europe was led by the government institution.

The respective format of involving power as a main "public" institution can symbolically demonstrate not only problems of the civil society development as regards the Congress holding but also the state of democracy in Russia and on the post-Soviet space on the
whole. In this sense, politics directly deals with us, actually suggesting quasi-initiatives, or rather an imitation of a dialogue of power with society. The observation of the course of the Congress, in which some 250 NGO representatives from the post-Soviet states and European neighboring countries took part, suggests about the role of civil society in this region and a frontier in relations with power, which would not be the Rubicon for civil society institutions.

Full article «What Civil Society Russia Is Building» by Ihor Zhdanov (Open Policy Analytical Center), Halyna Usatenko (Europe XXI Foundation) and Yulia Tyshchenko (Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research) read here: