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today 26.07.2016 18:58
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News from the CIS countries

Russian gets 2 years for reposting that Crimea should be returned to Ukraine

26.07.16 | Halya Coynash
A second Russian court has found Andrei Bubeev guilty of ’calls to violate Russia’s territorial integrity for reposting an article entitled “Crimea is Ukraine”, as well as of ’extremism’ for reposting a toothpaste tube with the caption “Squeeze Russia out of yourself”
Freedom of peaceful assembly

Move to sharply curtail peaceful gatherings in Russian-occupied Crimea

26.07.16 | Halya Coynash
The number of places where in theory meetings can be held has halved throughout Crimea, while in some places, like Kerch, the restrictions are much more extreme.
The right to a fair trial

Russia moves to silence imprisoned Crimean Tatar leader

25.07.16 | Halya Coynash
Russia’s most openly lawless prosecution since occupying Crimea has descended to a new low with the refusal to allow Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz to even attend his own court hearings and the unfounded decision to separate the proceedings into two trials.
News from the CIS countries

Portraits of Stalin hang in police offices in Putin’s Russia

25.07.16 | Halya Coynash
Bloody Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin has not been relegated to the past in today’s Russia. Not if you judge by the offices of law enforcement officers and investigators, Ivan Pavlov, a human rights lawyer writes. He has to visit a lot of such offices, and says that one in two will have the tyrant’s portrait.
Freedom of conscience and religion

Jitters in Ukraine as Politically Charged Religious Processions Approach Kyiv

25.07.16 | Christopher Miller
Two religious processions converging on Kyiv have Ukrainian authorities warning that provocations could spark violence in the capital.
Freedom of conscience and religion

Russia warned it is occupying Crimea, must stop persecuting Crimean Muslims

22.07.16 | Halya Coynash
The renowned Memorial Human Rights Centre has called on Russia to release four Crimean Muslims from Sevastopol and reminded it of restrictions under international law since Crimea is occupied territory. This is of critical importance since Russia has (unwarrantedly) charged the four men now on trial and 10 other Crimeans with involvement in an organization which is totally legal in Ukraine.
Politics and human rights

Survey finds only 18% identifying with Kremlin-backed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’

22.07.16 | Halya Coynash
If the results of a recent survey can be trusted, less than one in five residents of areas under the control of the so-called ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [DNR] identify themselves as ‘citizens’ of this unrecognized creation. The result is even lower than the level of support which the militants themselves inadvertently revealed, and then ‘adjusted’, but it can certainly not be dismissed as insignificant.
News from the CIS countries

Hybrid Business -- The Risks in the Kremlin’s weaponization of the economy

22.07.16 | Mark Galeotti & Anna Arutunyan
"How many divisions does the pope have?" Josef Stalin was meant to have asked contemptuously. Today the question could as easily be posed: How many companies does the Kremlin have?
Freedom of expression, The right to life

Pavel Sheremet: “You can’t be ready to be killed”

21.07.16 | Halya Coynash
The above words, spoken about Pavel Sheremet’s friend Boris Nemtsov are bitterly poignant, as is so much else on a dark day, when the well-known and respected 44-year-old Belarusian journalist and former prisoner of conscience has himself been murdered. He died in Kyiv almost exactly two years after leaving Russian ORT in protest at the virulent warmongering propaganda against Ukraine.
Freedom of peaceful assembly

Judge who persecuted Maidan activists found to have done nothing wrong

21.07.16 | Halya Coynash
The High Council of Justice has decided that Ludmila Kozyatnik, who was directly implicated in the persecution of Euromaidan activists, should not face dismissal from her judge’s post
News from the CIS countries

Denounce others or face imprisonment in Russian-occupied Crimea

20.07.16 | Halya Coynash
Russia has criminalized not denouncing people, with terrifying implications for the many politically motivated and / or fabricated criminal cases against Crimean Muslims, Crimean Tatars and any Ukrainians opposing Russia’s occupation of Crimea.
The right to a fair trial

Russian revenge for Maidan extends to Crimean political prisoner’s brother

20.07.16 | Halya Coynash
Yevhen Kostenko has been fined for showing disrespect to the judge who handed down a knowingly unjust sentence against his brother and Maidan activist Oleksandr Kostenko on May 15, 2015. The latter was sentenced to over 4 years’ imprisonment for an unproven offence during Euromaidan in Kyiv over which a court under Russian law had no jurisdiction
Against torture and ill-treatment, Against torture and ill-treatment, The right to liberty and security, Right to a fair trial

A brief description of KHPG strategic litigations in the first half of 2016

20.07.16 | Gennadiy Tokarev
Description of cases that KHPG Strategic Litigation Center considered in the period January - June of 2016.
News from the CIS countries

Ukraine’s Sentsov ’Victim of Vindictive System,’ says European Filmmaker

20.07.16 | Claire Bigg
Mike Downey, a film producer and the deputy head of the European Film Academy, spoke with RFE/RL about why Sentsov’s case remains important to people across Europe
Politics and human rights, Implementation of European Law, The right to life, Against torture and ill-treatment, The right to liberty and security, The right to a fair trial

Genuine Investigations and Prosecutions for Increasing Crimes Committed in Eastern Ukraine Urgently Needed

19.07.16 | FIDH and its partner organisation Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Paris-Kharkiv, 19 July 2016. After a three-day seminar on documenting human rights violations held for Ukrainian lawyers and human rights defenders in Kharkiv from 4 to 6 July 2016, our organisations express their concern on the prevalent climate of impunity for crimes committed since the beginning of the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

  

Articles

Alternative report on the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by Ukraine

Prepared by Anti-Discrimination Centre “Memorial” and Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group for the 90th session of the UN CERD, 2016

When Abduction Turns to FSB ’Search’ in Russian-occupied Crimea

Halya Coynash
Did the FSB arrest Crimean Tatar rights activist Emir-Huseyn Kuku because an attempt to abduct him failed? There are serious grounds for thinking this and for yet again asking why the de facto authorities were so reluctant to launch an investigation into the recent abduction of Crimean Tatar activist Ervin Ibragimov

Ukraine’s MPs block last chance of justice for tortured Ukrainian prisoners

Halya Coynash
Long prison sentences based solely on ‘confessions’ tortured out of people. Prosecutors who demand long sentences and judges who oblige despite all evidence pointing to the defendant’s innocence. If this sounds familiar, it should, but not only because of Russia’s treatment of its Ukrainian hostages over the last two years.

Where is Russia’s ‘Minsk Implementation’ while so many Ukrainians remained imprisoned?

Halya Coynash
Nadiya Savchenko’s release is wonderful, but Western attempts to speak of Russia’s implementation of the Minsk Agreement seem at very best optimistic. There is little or no progress on freeing the other Ukrainians unlawfully held in Russia and a large, and increasing number of Ukrainians, most of them Crimean Tatars, imprisoned in Russian-occupied Crimea.

Crimean Tatar Mejlis Leader Arrested on ‘Extremism’ Charges

Halya Coynash
The charges against Ilmi Umerov, the Deputy Head of the Mejlis, or Crimean Tatar representative assembly clearly identify what Russia understands as ‘extremism’, namely opposition to Russia’s occupation of Crimea. Umerov is accused of “openly calling for the return of Crimea to Ukraine”.

How Russia Terrorizes Children & Destroys Lives in Occupied Crimea

Halya Coynash
Safiyeka and Bekir Kuku have not seen their father since armed officers burst into their home in Yalta on Feb 11 and took Emir-Huseyn Kuku away. It is not the first time their father, a lawyer and human rights activist has been detained since Russia’s annexation of Crimea.  This time, however, the children’s Babashka has not come home

Russia bans Mejlis, declares war on Crimean Tatar people while the West watches

Halya Coynash
A Crimean court has formally completed its criminalization of the Mejlis, or self-governing body of the Crimean Tatar people. There have been no serious threats of sanctions or other measures from European structures and western countries although this is a direct attack on the main indigenous people of Crimea