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 Azerbaijani authorities should be invited to speedily solve the cases on a consolidated list of 89 alleged political prisoners by releasing or retrying them, according to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
About 1,000 opposition protesters gathered in the center of Pushkin Square 5th of March chanting slogans. Despite thousands of riot police and special military units called into the city the main rally remained peaceful. Participants formed a human chain around the central fountain on the square. Police threatened to break up the protest, which the protesters said was legal, for almost an hour, before it began to dislodge the protesters by force and shove them into waiting minibuses.
Paris-Geneva, December 20, 2010. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), firmly denounces the crackdown on independent civil society calling for free and fair elections in Belarus.
In the lead-up to and following the presidential election in Belarus on December 19, reports indicate that the rights of civil society have been severely limited and violated. According to the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), on December 19, Belarus Helsinki Committee (BHC) Chairman, Mr. Aleg Hulak. was arrested by riot police as he left a peaceful post-election demonstration at Nezavisimosti Square in Minsk. He was then taken to Akrestina police detention center. His exact whereabouts are currently unknown. 
There is a need for a systemic programme of judicial reform in the Russian Federation, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said today, as it released the final report of an ICJ research mission to consider judicial reform and the functioning and independence of the judiciary in Russia. The Report, The State of the Judiciary in Russia, called for a programme of reform to be led by an expert, independent body, with the meaningful involvement of civil society.
On 26 November 2010 the State Duma plans to adopt a statement on the Katyn tragedy, a draft of which states that the shooting of thousands of Polish citizens, detained in NKVD prisoner of war camps and prisons in the western regions of Ukraine and Belarus, is a tragedy “for both Poland and Russia,” RIA Novosti news agency reports. As stated in the draft statement, official Soviet propaganda laid responsibility for the atrocity, that has received the general name of "Katyn tragedy," on Nazi criminals.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has put veto on amendments to the federal law on protests and rallies, the Kremlin said on Saturday. Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on October 22 adopted changes to the law on protests and rallies which stipulated tighter sanctions against those who violate terms of public meetings set by the government. The changes prohibited those already undergoing proceedings for disorderly behavior from organizing protest rallies.
Microsoft is vastly expanding its efforts to prevent governments from using software piracy inquiries as a pretext to suppress dissent. It plans to provide free software licenses to more than 500,000 advocacy groups, independent media outlets and other nonprofit organizations in 12 countries with tightly controlled governments, including Russia and China. With the new program in place, authorities in these countries would have no legal basis for accusing these groups of installing pirated Microsoft software.
Sverdlovsk Regional Court has started criminal proceedings in the cassational instance on a charge of Alexey Sokolov, the Head of the regional civic organization “Pravovaya osnova”, in finding him guilty with criminal acts provided by cl. “c” part.
As deputies accuse ombudsman Vladimir Lukin of “taking sides” with some opposition figures and missing other issues, human right activists and analysts say he is doing his job properly. Lukin, who was appointed the human rights commissioner in 2004, came under fire after he urged an inquiry into the brutal activities of the riot police during the dispersal of an unauthorized opposition rally in Moscow.
Recent ethnic conflict between Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationalities has shattered the communities in southern Kyrgyzstan. Over 2,000 are estimated dead, and local reports indicate that the actual death toll may be much higher. Approximately 400,000 people have fled their homes, with an estimated 100,000 crossing the border into neighbouring Uzbekistan. Tens of thousands of these refugees are without shelter, food or access to water as humanitarian aid is slow to reach those in need.
Russian police in Moscow remove protesters calling for justice in the case of Memorial activist Natalia Estemirova, who was murdered in North Caucasus last JulyEUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Lack of hard evidence, boilerplate answers from Russian envoys and poor follow-up have seen the past six years of EU-Russia human rights talks add up to little more than diplomats getting to know each other.
The death of Eduard Chuvashov, a judge killed in cold blood on April 12 in Moscow, is another in a long and growing list of murders perpetrated on those in Russia who try to seek justice for the victims of crimes — an essential task for the country’s future development.
A Russian human rights defender has been jailed for five years on charges of theft and robbery amid fears that he may have been targeted for his human rights work.

Aleksei Sokolov, a human rights activist who has campaigned against alleged torture and corruption in law enforcement agencies, was sentenced by the court in Bogdanovich, in the Sverdlosk Region of Russia, on Thursday.

The court found him not guilty of another theft charge. The sentence is to be served in a high security penal colony.
Governments around the world target youth for military recruitment and service. In response, human rights organizations have developed innovative ways of introducing youth to non-violent alternatives to military service and combating the culture of militarism. This tactical dialogue is a space for those working with and interested in engaging youth in non-violent alternatives to militarism to share their stories, challenges, resources and ideas.