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


The public prosecutor has withdrawn the charges against Anastasia Denisova, recognizing significant violations in the conduct of the case. The investigation had confused dates, the names of streets and experts, and had not even established the real owners and users of the hard drives and laptop seized.


The Russian human rights defenders - representatives of group on protection of human rights defenders of the All-Russia civil network - repeatedly addressed to authorities of the Russian Federation with the offer to generate «contact group» from representatives of human rights defenders community and law enforcement bodies for securing the human rights defenders.


On March 21 there has officially come to an end the annual International Action «Stop Racism!»; it was held for a seventh year in many cities on a territory of the New Independent States for all those who consider actions against racism and intolerance important, in protection of human dignity, equality and variety. This year about 20 initiative groups from Russia (Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Voronezh, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod etc.), and also from Ukraine and Belarus took part in it.


Dear friends and colleagues! 

Your support is vital for our Participant and member of the international network Youth Human Rights Movement – Anastasia Denisova (Krasnodar, Russia). A criminal charge is filed against her. She could be sentenced to prison on fraud charges for several years.

Since 2007 you might have heard or read about different incident of harassment of Anastasia Denisova, her colleagues and NGO “ETHnICS” she is the head of because of its human rights activities. You can read more about this following this link.

Unfortunately, the situation evolved so rapidly that in late 2009 it came to a criminal case and accusation of “illegal use of objects of copyright (software) with the use of official position” and “creation of computer viruses”. Maximum penalty for these crimes is up to 9 years of imprisonment. In spite of numerous law violations and the absurdness of accusation, the case has reached the court. More details about how the criminal case was initiated and why we consider it a demonstrative pressure on a human rights defender are here.


In this respect, we ask you to support Anastasia!

  1. Fax and mail the appeal to the Public Prosecutor of Krasnodar krai with the copy to Prosecutor General, Plenipotentiary of the President of Russian in South Federal District. You can download the typical appeal here or request for it here -

  2. Visit the court trial in Krasnodar (the first open hearing will be around 1-2 April, 2010)

  3. Follow the updates on the website in support of Anastasia her personal blog –

  4. Spread the word about the situation around Anastasia's case and pressure in Krasnodar krai in general:

  • post about it in your blog;

  • tell about it to your fellow journalists, and bloggers, probably this topic might seem attractive to them;

  1. Appeal to Microsoft and Corel and demand to announce their position publicly – what is their attitude to the fact that on their behalf their representatives in different regions of the Russian Federation instigate criminal cases against civil activists and human rights defenders under the pretext of fight for legal software?



Dear friends and colleagues!

We invite you to participate in the international conference:

"Combating Racism: Non-violent Strategies and Tactics"
Voronezh, Russia
April 21-23, 2010

This conference is a continuation of a long-term cooperation between the European network UNITED for Intercultural Action and the Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM). We see this conference as a meeting place for around 65 Russian speaking activists, representatives of anti-racist organisations and groups, young educators and journalists - all those who want to discuss urgent questions and challenges, share their experience and successful practices, find new allies and partners, etc.
During the conference we will gladly discuss your ideas and projects, some of which may find support from the YHRM micro-grants programme.

The following sections are scheduled within the conference:
- discussion of contemporary challenges and problems of anti-racist activity in Russia and Europe;
- presentation of successful practices and new tactics;
- development of possible non-violent youth actions against racism and discrimination;
- presentation of international networks and initiatives that are open for participation;
- and many others.

Experts of the European network UNITED for Intercultural Action, the Youth Human Rights Movement, the Moscow Helsinki Group, the 'GROZA' movement and others will participate in the conference. The representatives of OSCE, European Commission and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are also supposed to participate.

The conference programme includes a number of open discussions, workshops, master-classes and expert report. You can also contribute to forming the programme.

The main conference language will be Russian. Participants are expected to have a basic knowledge of Russian.

We invite everyone involved in youth actions against racism and discrimination and interested in cooperation with the European network UNITED for Intercultural Action and the Youth Human Rights Movement.

Looking forward to meet you!

The conference prep-team:
Anastasia Nikitina and Irina Aksenova
phone +7 4732 54 55 29, fax +7 4732 54 55 30

Geert Ates
phone +31-20-6834778

This conference will be held within the project 'Civil organizations serving society: youth actions against racism, nationalism and xenophobia and for human rights and multicultural dialogue', supported by the MATRA program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and within the project 'Building partnership for successful non-violent youth action to promote human rights culture, tolerance and inter-cultural dialogue', supported by the Delegation of European Commission to Russian Federation.


Washington – February 8 – Freedom House, the Moscow Helsinki Group and the Youth Human Rights Movement announced a new partnership today, aimed at strengthening ties between civil society groups in Russia and the United States in order to jointly support democracy, rule of law, and human rights activists worldwide.

The U.S.-Russian Civil Dialogue will also provide a framework for a larger role of civil society institutions by seeking to create a system for mutual support and common action aimed at advancing human rights standards.

"We believe our own advocacy efforts will be strengthened by joining with Russian partners more frequently on matters of shared interest," said Thomas O. Melia, Freedom House deputy executive director. "We hope the dialogue being launched today will formalize an already effective partnership between U.S. and Russian civil society groups working together to promote human rights and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide."

The U.S.-Russian Civil Dialogue will conduct joint research projects and advocacy on important human rights issues and present findings at international fora. In the coming months, the partners plan to hold a follow-up meeting of the US-Russian Civil Society Forum that took place in Moscow on July 6-7, 2009 and continue to discuss the role of human rights in the bilateral relations. The U.S.-Russian Civil Dialogue invites other civil society groups to join in common initiatives to advance the cause of human rights around the world.

We believe it is essential to formulate common platforms of issues. The civil society has to play a more significant role not only in bilateral relations between our countries, but also on the international level. The partnership seeks to work in solidarity with democracy and human rights activists working in various countries,” said Dmitri Makarov, Youth Human Rights Movement program coordinator.

Freedom House, an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world, has been monitoring political rights and civil liberties in Russia since 1991 and the United States since 1972. Moscow Helsinki group is the oldest active human rights organization in Russia, established in 1976. Youth Human Rights Movement is an international network of individuals and youth groups, created in 1998 with the goal of forming a new generation of human rights and civil society activists. 

YHRM information office


Svetlana Gannushkina is a chairman of "Civil assistance" committee and a member of the Council of "Memorial" human rights center became one of the competitors for Nobel Peace Prize.

Gannushkina was suggested as a candidate by Erna Solberg, the minister of municipal self-government of Norway.

Svetlana herself, as well as her colleagues, hopes that this event would draw additional public attention to Russian human rights organizations activities and would help, at least indirectly, in changing public attitude towards human rights community in a positive way.


On October, 12th, at 16.30, in Krasnodar city certain people appeared at Frunze street, 15 indoors and introduced themselves as officials of the Department for Counteraction to Economic Crimes (DCEC). The incomers began to confiscate computers which were in the room, explaining that they had allegedly received information about counterfeit software installed on the computers.

During the inspection the officials of the DCEC of the western district Dmitry Anatolevich Prihodko and Gasparjan Armen Vladimirovich in presence of Bektashev Ruzhdi Eknenderovich the representative of the law firm "Spectrum" confiscated three computers.

As Anastasia Denisova the head of “ETHnICS” organization says, the officials of the DCEC carrying out the inspection have shown a statement (that ostensibly formed the basis for inspection) with a wrong specified address. The address stated in the paper was Lenina street, 4.

Subsequently there was an attempt to detain Anastasia Denisova, the head of the organization, member of the coordination council of the Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM), participant of the GROZA movement and activist of HRC “Memorial”. As the reason for the detainment the officials of the DCEC indicated the necessity to identify her personality. Anastasia refused to go, and explained that the inspectors did not indicate a lawful basis for detention. Witnesses affirm that the officials of the DCEC attempted to take her by her hands and take away in a grey “Opel” without license plates.

Victoria Gromova, a participant of the team for protection of Human Rights advocates of YHRM, asserts that, these actions are “illegal and, as fact, are directed at intimidation. They demonstrated total disregard of legal procedures, ignorance of laws of the Russian Federation and assurance of their own impunity”.

The officials of the DCEC demanded a copy of Anastasia’s passport only after the interference of an expert from Moscow over the phone they went away.

Comment by Dmitriy Makarov, a participant of the team for protection of Human Rights advocates of YHRM, activist of Moscow Helsinki Group: “As a matter of fact, under the pretext of inspection, search and confiscation are conducted without lawful bases. It is a new stage of pressure upon the Human Rights advocate. It seems to us, that it is connected with Anastasia’s peace-making activity on Northern and Southern Caucasus. We have bases to suppose that in the actions of the officials of the DCEC there are lots of evidence of excess and abuse of the powers of office”.

Human Rights advocates have enough proof to suppose that the fact of rigid pressure on Anastasia Denisova is obvious. The basis for such conclusion is that it is far not the first attempt to impede her professional activities.

At the end of August Anastasia together with her colleague photojournalist were detained at the border when returning from a mission in Abkhazia and were subjected to unreasonable hours-long check of their transported gadgets (the laptop, the camera).

And last week Anastasia could not get to the meeting of the OSCE which took place on September, 28th - October, 9th in Warsaw. Anastasia Denisova was invited to participate in the working group and the presentation of the Georgian-Russian Civil Dialogue, but could not take off from Krasnodar because of illegal actions of the Service of Aviation Safety of the airport.

We will keep watching what is going on, and report new information on this cause.

The phone number for additional information is:
+79155822745 – Victoria Gromova

YHRM Information service


Dear friends and colleagues!

We appeal to you on behalf of the Youth Network against Racism and Intolerance and the international program “Solidarity” of the Youth Human Rights Movement. Your support is needed to Konstantin Baranov, human rights activist and anti-fascist from Rostov-on-Don, Russia (see biography for more detail). In the middle of July Konstantin started receiving threats connected with his anti-fascist activity.

There are serious reasons to suppose that the cause of the threats is the disclosure of Konstantin's personal data that he indicated in a complaint to the Office of Public Prosecutor of the Rostov region about neo-Nazi concerts taking place in the city, and also his activity on monitoring xenophobia. You can learn more about this situation at the website of the international program “Solidarity” of the YHRM.

Unfortunately such a situation is a distressing tendency.

During the last period in Russia the occasions of threats to human rights defenders and anti-fascists due to their professional activity are becoming more frequent. From January 2009 it happened to the employees of the “SOVA” Center for Information and Analysis (Moscow) – Alexander Verkhovsky and Galina Kozhevnikova, from August 2008 – to the director of the Institute of Social Problems “United Europe” (Orel city) – Dmitry Krayukhin, from December 2008 – to the chairman of the “Memorial” human rights commission of the Komi Republic – Igor Sazhin and others. Such actions of the people adhering to the extreme-right views remain unpunished. Besides, it is well known that a widespread practice of the offices of public prosecutor is to demonstrate any received appeal to those against whom it is directed. It might lead to a disclosure of an applicant’s personal data, which is illegal and particularly dangerous in the case the applicants are human rights defenders and anti-fascists.

We believe that public authorities should pay special attention to the appeals of human rights defenders, and also to ensuring safety for human rights defenders and anti-fascists.

Thereupon we ask you to join the solidarity campaign and to send a message to the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation with the following appeal:

  1. To carry out prosecutor’s examination on the fact of the applicant’s personal data disclosure and to engage the guilty in disciplinary liability;
  2. To reinforce control for security of personal data of any applicants, in particular indicated in requests coming from human rights activists and anti-fascists and related to the activity of the extreme right organizations and groups;
  3. To organize an explanatory work on this subject for employees of the regional offices of public prosecutor;
  4. To inform the applicant about the decisions taken within statutory time period.

You may find the sample text of the appeal here.

You can request additional information on the situation by e-mail:

Yours faithfully,

Youth Network against Racism and Intolerance
with support of the international program “Solidarity”
of the Youth Human Rights Movement

More info

Alexandra Nazarova,
Victoria Gromova,
Dmitri Makarov.


Dear friends and colleagues!

Youth Human Rights Mothement and Trade Union of literati are beginning the new stage of the campaign for abolition death penalty. We’re planning to publish enlightenment materials with purpose of advancement of humanistic ideas and values of human life.

We are preparing for publishing a methodic workbook for discussions of films about death penalty and a collection of poetry. The first book will be devoted for poetries of poets, who died being sentenced to death. The second book will include poetry about human rights, right for life, humanism, opposition to cruelty and to death penalty.
You can take part in development and preparation of materials. We will be glad to have information from you about:
- films with the topic or any ideas of death penalty
- poets, that died due to death sentence.
- writings about right for life and value of life.
- writings about death penalty

Please, send your recommendations and materials to the work-group of “the campany for abolition of death penalty and humanization of law” or to Trade Union of literati.

Trade Union of literati
International network “Young Europe”
Youth Human Rights Mothement
+7 910 320 40 72
Alexandra Bereslavtseva
Trade Union of literati
Elena Dudukina