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Politics and human rights

Brexit a gift to Putin, the far right & Trump, a blow to democracy

24.06.16 | Halya Coynash
Britain’s parliament is not legally obliged to heed this referendum. It probably will, but should not claim that this is “the voice of the people” when those who will suffer most and the longest had no voice and certain politicians and media misinformed their readers about the critical facts
Deported peoples

Russian propaganda claims soldiers who invaded Crimea were “peacekeeping mission”

24.06.16 | Halya Coynash
A monument to the victims of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars is to appear in Crimea, sculpted by the same artist responsible for the monument to the Russian soldiers used by Moscow to invade and annex Crimea and now referred to as ’peacekeepers’.
News from the CIS countries

New ’anti-terrorist’ law to unleash terror on Russia and Occupied Crimea

24.06.16 | Halya Coynash
Two and a half years after Ukraine’s Maidan forced the withdrawal of a law introducing sweeping dictatorial powers, Russia has passed a law which seems aimed at terrorizing and silencing civil society with direct impact for Ukrainians in Crimea under Russian occupation.
Politics and human rights

New Russian Fake ‘Ukrainian Separatism’ Season Gets Underway

23.06.16 | Halya Coynash
A fictitious ‘Assembly of Romanians of Bukovyna’ is for the second year running reported to be demanding greater autonomy for ethnic Romanians and complaining that the rights of minorities are violated in Ukraine
The right to a fair trial

Sentenced twice for pro-Ukrainian position in Russian-occupied Crimea

23.06.16 | Halya Coynash
The good news that a court in Russian-occupied Crimea had revoked a politically motivated sentence against Volodymyr Balukh was short-lived. The pro-Ukrainian activist has been tried on exactly the same absurd charges and received an identical sentence.
News from the CIS countries

Beatings and Arson Attacks: Is Online Dissidence Becoming Dangerous in Russia?

23.06.16 | Dmitry Treshchanin, Aleksandr Gorokhov, Claire Bigg
There have been a string of assaults and arson attacks targeting Russians who have openly criticized their government on social-networking sites.
Freedom of conscience and religion

Crimean Tatar Arrested for Refusal to be FSB Informer?

22.06.16 | Halya Coynash
Arsen Dzhepparov, one of the two youngest Crimean Tatars facing invented ‘terrorism’ charges in Russian-occupied Crimea may well have been arrested as revenge for his refusal to secretly collaborate with the local FSB. The lack of any grounds for the accusations is of no concern to the courts and both Dzhepparov and Refat Alimov have been remanded in custody for a further 3 months
Against torture and ill-treatment, The right to liberty and security

Kremlin-backed militants refuse to release hostages of Putin’s Minsk II deceit

22.06.16 | Halya Coynash
Any talk about easing sanctions against Russia for partial compliance must seem particularly insulting to the wives of two Ukrainian military officers - Oleksandr Korinkov and Serhiy Glondar - taken prisoner during the siege of Debaltseve in February 2015, four days after a supposed ceasefire agreed by Vladimir Putin in Minsk
On refugees

How can Ukraine turn away friends fleeing persecution in Russia?

21.06.16 | Halya Coynash
While Ukraine’s leaders actively protest against Russia’s political trials of Ukrainians, politically motivated charges against Russian nationals are cited as reasons for rejecting asylum requests
News from the CIS countries

Russia flouts its own Supreme Court to revenge Ukrainian Maidan activist

21.06.16 | Halya Coynash
A Kirov court on June 16 ignored not only the fact that Russia is illegally holding Oleksandr Kostenko in prison, but the Russian Supreme Court’s guidelines on parole. Nothing, it seems, matters if the order has come to convict a person and then make sure he serves the sentence to the end.
Children’s rights

Ukraine’s Grassroots Transformation of Education

21.06.16 | Yuriy Didula, Nadiya Mykhalevych
The Center for Innovative Education, better known as or Pro.Svit, works to provide Ukraine’s teachers with tools for professional and personal growth
News from the CIS countries

Grave concerns for tortured Ukrainian hostage as Russia concocts new charges

20.06.16 | Halya Coynash
The 10 months in which Ukrainian Stanislav Klykh was illegally held and tortured by Russian investigators, with no access to lawyers or to his family, have left deep psychological, as well as physical scars on the 42-year-old historian. It is his clearly disturbed state which makes the new ‘investigation’ against him particularly cynical.
Dissidents and their time

Donetsk University Finally Named After Great Ukrainian Poet Vasyl Stus

20.06.16 | Halya Coynash
Vasyl Stus, the great poet, human rights defender and Ukrainian patriot who died in the notorious Perm-36 labour camp in September 1985 has finally been properly honoured by his university. Poignantly, it took the university’s own exile to make this possible.
The right to life

Relentless Terror against Crimean Tatars. Where is Ervin Ibragimov? Who will be the next victim?

19.06.16 | Halya Coynash
Crimean Tatars gathered on Sunday evening in prayer for the young Crimean Tatar activist abducted on May 24. The occupation authorities did not, at least, obstruct the gathering, but they have also done nothing to find this latest victim of forced disappearances since Russia’s annexation of Crimea
The right to life

Interpol refuses to search for Russian militant suspected of war crimes in Donbas

17.06.16 | Halya Coynash
It is an undoubted war crime to murder a prisoner of war in cold blood, and the murder of Donetsk Airport defender Ihor Branovytsky is only one of the crimes which Russian national Arseny Pavlov, otherwise known as Motorola, is suspected of having committed in eastern Ukraine, yet Interpol has decided that Ukraine has ’political motives’ in wanting him caught

  

Articles

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”.

Ukrainian blogger gets long sentence for expressing contentious views

Halya Coynash
Ruslan Kotsaba, a controversial Ivano-Frankivsk journalist and blogger, has been convicted of obstructing the legitimate activities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by producing a video in which he set out his opposition to mobilization. The Ivano-Frankivsk court did, however, acquit him of the more serious, and absurd, charge of ‘state treason’

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

Why are Putin’s Enemies held in Ukrainian Prisons?

Halya Coynash
If Ukraine’s SBU has evidence that Olga Sheveleva, Anastasia Leonova and Pavel Pyatakov were working for Russia’s FSB, they have not revealed it. Yet they are being held in detention on the ludicrous grounds that they could flee to Russia, where each can expect arrest for their opposition to the Putin regime and support for Ukraine

Russia’s Invented ’Terrorism’ and its Crimean Muslim Victims

Halya Coynash
Eight Crimean Muslims, including a prominent human rights activist, are in detention in Russian-occupied Crimea and facing long prison sentences for fictitious ’terrorism’ based solely on claims that they are members of a peaceful organization which is banned in Russia, but not in Ukraine