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The Constitution and human rights

Memorandum About drafting a law on making amendments and additions to the Chapter II of the current Constitution of Ukraine prepared by the Working Group of the Constitutional Commission as of the 15 of July 2015.

01.08.15 | Vsevolod Rechytskyi
A brief report on work of the Constitutional Commission for preparation amendments to the Second Chapter of the Constitution in Ukraine
News from the CIS countries

Russia’s Sentsov-Kolchenko trial in tatters: Afanasyev retracts testimony given under duress

31.07.15 | Halya Coynash
Gennady Afanasyev, one of the four opponents of Russia’s annexation of Crimea has refused to testify in the trial of Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko and stated that he gave testimony earlier under duress. The charges against the two men are effectively based solely on Afanasyev’s ‘confession’ and that of the fourth person – Oleksy Chirniy.  
Deported peoples

Threats, bans and Soviet methods against Crimean Tatar Congress

31.07.15
Three prominent Crimean Tatars have been prevented from leaving Crimea to attend an important Crimean Tatar Congress which is politically embarrassing for Russia. The effective ban comes after weeks of FSB visitations, threats and attempts to use the small number of pro-regime Crimean Tatar organizations to undermine the Congress.
News from the CIS countries

Savchenko Trial: ‘Fort Knox’ Security and 300 kilometres on the road

31.07.15 | Halya Coynash
The lack of a remand prison in Russian Donetsk and need for Nadiya Savchenko to travel 300 kilometres every day were known from the outset, yet it required the grotesque performance on Thursday for the court to allow the defence’s application to have the place of trial reconsidered
Politics and human rights

The Kremlin’s New Project on ’Ukraine’s political prisoners’

31.07.15 | Halya Coynash
A new project launched in Moscow in support of so-called political prisoners in Ukraine has been endorsed by a number of far-right and / or pro-Russian politicians from EU countries and Israel.. Most are also known for their involvement in ‘observing’ the so-called Crimean referendum and illegal elections organized by the Kremlin-backed militants in Donbas
News from the CIS countries

Sentsov-Kolchenko Trial: “Tanks don’t make distinctions about whom they crush"

30.07.15 | Halya Coynash
In day 3 of the trial of Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov and left-wing civic activist Aleksandr Kolchenko, the court heard a ‘key witness’ who spoke about his collaboration with the FSB in connection with the activities of Oleksy Chirniy, but said nothing that could be incriminating against the two defendants
Deported peoples

Crimean Tatar leader imprisoned without trial

30.07.15 | Halya Coynash
Akhtem Chiygoz, Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis has been in detention since Jan 29 and a court in Russian-occupied Crimea has just extended this term until Nov 19 despite the lack of any grounds for holding him in custody or any conceivable legal justification for criminal proceedings at all.
News from the CIS countries

Russia Names US. NGO ’Undesirable’

30.07.15
Russian prosecutors have formally determined the activities of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to be "undesirable," paving the way for the nonprofit organization, funded by the U.S. Congress, to be outlawed on Russian territory.
News from the CIS countries

Up to 10-year sentences proposed for ‘anti-Russian propaganda’

29.07.15 | Halya Coynash
According to one Russian legislator, the proposed criminal liability would cover “statements form some Russian human rights activists who openly speak of our soldiers being present in Donbas.” ’.
Law enforcement agencies, Human Rights Violations associated with EuroMaidan

Outrage over plan to name police unit after victims of Euromaidan

29.07.15
The civic initiative Euromaidan SOS has reacted swiftly to plans by the Interior Ministry to name a law enforcement unit after Nebesna Sotnya – those killed during the Euromaidan protests.
The right to life

Chief suspect in murder of journalist Veremiy reported killed

29.07.15
Anonymous ‘underground fighters’ in Donbas claim to have “eliminated” one of the men suspected of killing Kyiv journalist Viacheslav Veremiy
News from the CIS countries

Sentsov-Kolchenko Trial. Day 2: Still looking for Right Sector

28.07.15 | Halya Coynash
Two Russian activists holding a Novorossiya flag and a sign demanding that “the fascist scum be held to answer” set the tone for the second day of the trial of Ukrainian left-wing anti-fascist activist Oleksandr Kolchenko and film director Oleg Sentsov. The witnesses for the prosecution demonstrated similar confusion as to the meaning of words like ‘Right Sector’, ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ though they used them constantly.
Elections

Election watchdog criticizes authorities over flawed mid-term election

28.07.15
OPORA sees the main problem as being the failure of the authorities to fulfil their obligation and prevent infringements.
Politics and human rights

Communist party ban will be slammed in Strasbourg, along with original decommunization law

28.07.15 | Halya Coynash
Ukraine’s Justice Ministry has used a law likely to be condemned by the European Court of Human Rights as justification for another decision which is certain to be “struck down” by that same court
Politics and human rights

The High Price of French Collaboration

27.07.15 | Halya Coynash
In Soviet times it was Holodomor, the Terror and Gulag that many western visitors to the USSR chose not to see, this time French politicians particularly betrayed Crimean Tatars and all others suffering persecution in Russian-occupied Crimea

  

Articles

New attempt to keep Nadiya Savchenko trial secret

Halya Coynash
Russia is insisting on holding the trial of captured ex-pilot Nadiya Savchenko in a Russian city bordering the area of Ukraine under Kremlin-backed militant control. There are no legitimate grounds for this move which will seriously hinder access to the trial, and could, Savchenko believes, put her mother and sister in danger

Moscow’s Kafkaesque ’Ukrainian Spy’ Cases

Halya Coynash
Two Ukrainian nationals, one elderly and in poor health, have been held in Russian detention now for almost a year on mystery spying charges. The degree of secrecy, intimidation and insistence that both men only see lawyers provided by the investigators arouse serious concern that the men’s nationality is the main ‘incriminating’ factor.

Arrest a Ukrainian – Russia’s Investigative Committee will do the rest

Halya Coynash
Serhiy Litvinov crossed the border into Russia to get treatment for an inflamed tooth, and found himself taken into a forest and tortured until he confessed to multiple crimes, allegedly ‘proving’ the Russian Investigative Committee’s accusations against Ukraine of ‘genocide of the Russian-speaking population’ and illegal warfare

The Law and Crimean Tatars held hostage in Russian-occupied Crimea

Halya Coynash
Ali Asanov has not seen his fourth child who was born in June, two months after Asanov was remanded in custody in Crimea on unprovable charges linked with a pre-annexation demonstration over which Russia has no jurisdiction

Final act in Russian reprisal against Sentsov and Kolchenko imminent

Halya Coynash
The Russian trial of renowned film director Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko whose arrests are widely viewed as politically motivated could begin within weeks. Both are facing sentences of 17-20 years effectively for refusing to ‘confess’ to non-existent acts of terrorism

On Police Reform

Yevhen Zakharov
A brief description of the changes due to take place this year in the Ukrainian police force

‘Russian World’ and Religious Persecution in Donbas

Halya Coynash
A recent report highlights widespread and systematic persecution of all religious groups except believers linked to the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Donbas, and the role of Russia and its armed criminal ‘crusaders’ in mounting crimes against humanity in the region.