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

Petition #1 of long-term international supervisory mission of the Human rights committee in Belarus

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Acting upon the Order of the Committee of the international control of the human rights in Belarus, which unites representatives of human rights organizations from the OSCE countries and international civic organizations,
Monitoring the general situation with observance of the fundamental human rights in the Republic of Belarus, as well as the questions of protection of human rights activists and support of the professional activity of the latter,
Stressing the fact that human rights are a matter of direct and legal concern of the civil society;
Urging the government of Belarus to follow the undertaken international obligations in the sphere of human rights, and urging the participating OSCE countries to control the fulfillment of these obligations according to the principles of OSCE.
Having reviewed the first two days of its activity, long-term International supervisory Mission is expressing concern over the following issues:
According to the information that the Mission received from the Belarusian and international human rights organizations as well as the Internet mass-media, there are problems with providing medical care for the detainees, particularly Andrey Sannikov, Vladimir Neklyaev, Nataliya Radina and others. We would like to remind everybody that if these facts are true, then according to the international standards, they can be equated with torture or cruel and inhuman treatment. Mission urges the Government of Belarus to either acknowledge these facts or officially deny them and in any case provide the detainees and arrestees with immediate and full medical care.
The mission notes the fact of the pressure on the human rights activists and hampering their legal activity. On December 29, a well-known Belarusian human rights activist Elena Tonkacheva was called into KGB office in Minsk in order to undergo interrogation, after which she gave a written undertaking not to disclose any information related to the conversation. After the interrogation, Tonkacheva’s apartment was searched. During the search, the documents and materials, directly related to her professional human rights activities, were confiscated. The Mission believes that under current conditions, not only should the government of Belarus not impede the human rights activists’ and organizations’ work, but also strongly support their activity, according to the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, as well as the OSCE obligations stated in the fundamental documents of the Organization and confirmed at the Leaders Summit that took place in Astana on December 1 and 2, 2010.
In connection with the introduction of the presentation to the management of the Minsk City Bar Association by the Ministry of Justice ( ), in which the ministry requests that some disciplinary measures are taken against a number of lawyers that defend politicians and public figures. The Mission is convinced that this kind of pressure can endanger professional activity of the independent lawyer society.
Lawyers, that lawfully defend citizens and their guaranteed rights and freedoms, according to the international standards (primarily embodied in the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and confirmed by the OSCE documents) are equated with human rights activists and are to be particularly protected.
That is why the Mission is going to give special attention to guaranteeing that lawyers have fully fledged professional activities. We believe that any pressure on the lawyers may question the access to an effective legal assistance for their clients and can obstruct the administration of justice, which, as the Government of Belarus has stated, is something they seek.
The Mission urges the Government of the Republic of Belarus to act in accordance with the undertaken international obligations and prevent any violations of human rights and pressure on human rights activists as well as anyone else who carries out human rights protection.

The city of Minsk