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today 22.12.2014 18:16
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Freedom of expression, News from the CIS countries

Russian Censor threatens to block Ukrainian site

22.12.14 | Halya Coynash
Roskomnadzor, the Russian body effectively responsible for censorship, has threatened to block the Ukrainian website GORDON if it does not remove information about protests planned in Moscow on Jan 15 in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his brother. Most worryingly, Facebook has already given in to similar demands
Deported peoples

Repressive measures against key Crimean Tatar charity

In apparent retaliation for the appeal lodged by the Crimea Foundation, a charity closely linked with the Mejlis, or representative body of the Crimean Tatar people, against a massive fine, the FSB have initiated a criminal investigation against the Foundation’s Director, Riza Shevkiev.
The right to health care

Strasbourg Court finds against Ukraine over lack of medical care for prisoner

In a case supported by the Kharkiv Human Rights Group’s Strategic Litigation Fund, the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously found that Ukraine violated an inmate’s rights through the substandard conditions in which he was held and lack of proper medical care, as well as through his initially unregistered detention
News from the CIS countries

Ukrainian journalist tackles Putin on Russian aggression in Donbas and Savchenko

19.12.14 | Halya Coynash
The most hard-hitting questions at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press conference on Thursday came from Ukrainian journalist Roman Tsymbalyuk. Respect due to one courageous journalist whose initiative was frustratingly not followed up by Russian colleagues despite Putin’s evasive and dishonest response.
Freedom of peaceful assembly

As if Maidan had never happened: Kharkiv court bans peaceful protest

The Kharkiv City Council has yet again applied to the court for a ban on a protest action in the centre of the city, and a Kharkiv court has once again obliged. The reason given was one commonly used for the nearly wholesale bans on demonstrations during Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency
Interethnic relations

Occupation regime’s detentions in Crimea carried out with serious infringements

The actions of the Crimean law enforcement bodies in detaining more than 160 people at markets in Simferopol was in breach of Russian law, the Crimean Field Mission on Human Rights reports
Politics and human rights

Luhansk CVU: Donbas territory effectively annexed by Russia

Oleksiy Svyetikov, head of the Luhansk Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] paints a grim picture of the situation in the Luhansk oblast and is blunt in rejecting the Human Rights Watch definition of events as ’internal conflict’
We remember

In Memoriam: Stefaniya Shabatura

Stefaniya Shabatura, artist, former member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group and political prisoner has died after a long illness. She was 76
News from the CIS countries

Russia continues to force its citizenship on Crimean political prisoners

17.12.14 | Halya Coynash
Russia is trying to claim that Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko are ‘automatically’ Russian since they didn’t formally appear at the Crimean offices during the requisite timeframe which ended after the men had been arrested.
Freedom of expression

Ukraine up with most dangerous countries for journalists because of Russian aggression

While Ukraine is the territory on which journalists were threatened, arrested or killed in 2014, Oksana Romanyuk, Director of the Institute for Mass Information stresses that most of the violations are due to the undeclared war waged by Russia and its proxies
Penal institutions

How amendments to the Penal Code are (not) working

Oleksandr Bukalov from Donetsk Memorial reports that amendments to the Penal Code which allowed life prisoners to have long visits are still encountering resistance from the Penitentiary Service
News from the CIS countries

Ask Putin about Nadiya Savchenko!

Questions at the Russian president’s press conference on Thursday should ask why the Ukrainian MP and former military pilot has been forced to go on hunger strike in protest at the failure to treat a bad ear infection, how she came to be in Russian detention after being abducted in Ukraine by Kremlin-backed militants, and much more
Law enforcement agencies

European-style Police Force: Strategy for Reform

16.12.14 | Oleh Martynenko, Yevhen Zakharov
For the first time in 18 years the government has adopted a package of proposals for reforming the Interior Ministry, and most importantly a Police Reform Development Strategy written by human rights activists
Deported peoples

80-year-old Crimean Tatar summoned for ‘questioning’ by Russian FSB

15.12.14 | Halya Coynash
Veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement Vedzhie Kashka turned 80 recently and should have been admitted to hospital on Dec 10 over a heart condition. She couldn’t because she had been summonsed for questioning by the FSB [Russian Security Service].
Freedom of expression

Fake website seen as attempt to discredit Ukrainian independent media union

The Kyiv Independent Media Union warns of a fake website (at knmpu.org) which in design and content copies the official site of the Independent Media Union of Ukraine [NMPU] at http://nmpu.org.ua.



In Donbas protests against militant rule – and hunger - mounting

Halya Coynash
The Kremlin-backed militants in Sverdlovsk have come up with pitiful amounts for public sector workers following the angry protests by over a thousand residents last week.

Ukrainian Citizens and Russia’s Political Prisoners

Halya Coynash
In a letter otherwise devoid of real content*, Russia’s Prosecutor General has inadvertently admitted that Oleg Sentsov and three other Crimean opponents of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea are Ukrainian citizens

Nadiya Savchenko: I’m sick of Russia and your lying courts

Halya Coynash
Nadiya Savchenko was finally taken to the Basmanny Court in Moscow on Friday and expressed her full contempt of both the Russian media and ‘courts’. In fact, however, Friday’s court hearing did bring one surprise – an impeccably law-based decision.

A Lustration Law for the Record – and the Elections

Halya Coynash
The farcical nature of Ukraine’s new Law on Cleaning up the Government was seen within hours of the law coming into force. The list made public of the first 36 heads to roll was like a modern public execution – of suspected witches rather than of known criminals.

Human rights in Ukraine in March – August 2014: general trends

Yevhen Zakharov
Brief analysis of the human rights situation in Ukraine following the Revolution of Dignity

Targeting the Crimean Tatar Mejlis as pro-Russian euphoria fades in Crimea

Halya Coynash
Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov recently asserted that the Crimean Tatar people have received what they couldn’t have dreamt of within Ukraine”. Lavrov was unusually close to the truth since in their worst nightmares Crimean Tatars could not have imagined the violations of their rights seen since Russia annexed their homeland.

Tortured by Kremlin-backed militants

Halya Coynash
Assertions that the men whose bodies have been brought to a Zaporizhya morgue suffered horrific torture are corroborated not only by the harrowing photos, but by tales of soldiers or civilians held captive by militants from the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic..