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today 27.08.2016 11:16
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Freedom of conscience and religion

Russian prosecutor demands long sentences for 4 Crimean Tatar political prisoners

26.08.16 | Halya Coynash
The ‘trial’ is ending in Rostov [Russia] of four Crimean Muslims from Sevastopol, who are accused by the Russian occupiers of involvement in an organization which is legal in Ukraine. The prosecutor has demanded sentences of from 7 to 17 years.
News from the CIS countries

1 year on Sentsov & Kolchenko remain jailed & isolated, their persecutors untouched

26.08.16 | Halya Coynash
Civic activists have marked the first anniversary of the sentences passed on Crimean filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko by handing down their own verdicts on the Kremlin and the investigators, prosecutors and judges directly implicated in that show trial. Real liability, however, remains largely theoretical
Politics and human rights

Behind The Scenes In Ukraine, Ties To Putin Help Power Broker Pull Strings

26.08.16 | Christopher Miller
More than a decade ago, Viktor Medvedchuk became known as the "Gray Cardinal" because his low profile masked unparalleled clout in the halls of power in Ukraine. These days, detractors call the millionaire tycoon and backroom politician with close personal ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin: tthe Prince of Darkness.
Politics and human rights

25 years on, Russia resurrects Soviet repression, punitive psychiatry in occupied Crimea

25.08.16 | Halya Coynash
25 years since the coup which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has returned to the punitive psychiatry, politically motivated trials of dissidents, rights violations and virulent propaganda of Soviet times. Nowhere is this seen more dramatically than in Ukrainian Crimea, invaded and annexed in early 2014.
News from the CIS countries

Putin Appoints Apologist for Stalin as Russian Education Minister

25.08.16 | Halya Coynash
Olga Vasilyeva, the new arch-conservative Russian Minister of Education is known for her highly specific position on bloody dictator Joseph Stalin and for remarks implying that the figures given for victims of Stalin’s Terror are exaggerated
The right to life

Raising the Ukrainian Flag Volodymyr Rybak and Many Others Died For

24.08.16 | Halya Coynash
The 25th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence would have been a very special date under any circumstances. After Maidan and then Russia’s invasion, that anniversary and the Day of the Ukrainian Flag have become imbued with acute poignancy
News from the CIS countries

Oleg Sentsov: I would like to be a nail in the tyrant’s coffin. This nail will not bend.

23.08.16 | Halya Coynash
Imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov has written a powerful letter from Russian captivity in which he rejects attempts to free him and others at any price, saying instead to "use us as a weapon"
On refugees

Russian activist persecuted for ‘Putin Mask’ seeks political asylum in Ukraine

23.08.16 | Halya Coynash
Roman Roslovtsev, the courageous Moscow activist challenging Russia’s draconian anti-protest legislation has had enough, and is planning to apply for political asylum in Ukraine.
Politics and human rights

Deutsche Welle is continuing to mislead the public about Russia’s Crimea land-grab

22.08.16 | Halya Coynash
Internationally recognized borders are not re-drawn by armed annexations. This is certainly understood by Germany’s leaders and it is baffling that Deutsche Welle is continuing to present a different picture
Politics and human rights

The West Has a Ukraine Challenge, and It’s Not Going Away

22.08.16 | Ariel Cohen | www.atlanticcouncil.org
The Kremlin has found that Ukraine is too big to swallow. Nonetheless, despite Russia’s international isolation, sanctions against it, decline in oil prices, and subsequent recession, the Kremlin has not changed its Ukraine agenda
Politics and human rights, Against torture and ill-treatment

Russia denies alleged ‘Ukrainian Crimea saboteur’ access to a lawyer

20.08.16 | Halya Coynash
With nothing to confirm Russia’s claims of Ukrainian ‘attacks’ in Russian-occupied Crimea except televised ‘confessions’, it is highly suspicious that the FSB are trying to prevent Yevhen Panov from seeing a proper lawyer.
On refugees

76-year-old Russian on trial for peaceful protest granted asylum in Ukraine

19.08.16 | Halya Coynash
Vladimir Ionov has been granted political asylum in Ukraine, eight months after he was forced to flee likely imprisonment for peaceful protest in Russia under the draconian new anti-protest laws
Against torture and ill-treatment, The right to liberty and security

Ukrainian civic activist tortured & ‘sentenced’ by Donbas Kremlin-backed militants

19.08.16 | Halya Coynash
23-year-old Volodymyr Fomichov was taken hostage by Kremlin-backed militants from the so-called ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ over 7 months ago when he tried to visit his family in Makiyivka for New Year. He has now been ‘tried’ by the militants and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
Politics and human rights

Paul Manafort Is the Tip of the Iceberg

19.08.16 | Arch Puddington, Freedom House
Trump’s campaign chairman is under the microscope for his dealings in Ukraine, but he is part of a much larger consulting industry that serves the interests of autocrats.
The right to liberty and security

KGB Echoes in Reaction to Ukrainian Bloggers’s Escape from Russian-occupied Crimea

18.08.16 | Halya Coynash
After nearly a year spent in detention on ‘extremism’ charges, Yury Ilchenko, Sevastopol teacher and blogger, was released under house arrest. Expecting no justice from a court in Russian-occupied Crimea, Ilchenko decided to flee to mainland Ukraine.

  

Articles

Grave Fears for Crimean Tatar leader in Psychiatric Clinic for Saying Russia must Leave Crimea

Halya Coynash
There has been a sharp deterioration in the health of 59-year-old Ilmi Umerov who has been forcibly placed in a psychiatric clinic in Russian-occupied Crimea despite the lack of any grounds for the criminal charges Russia has brought against him, or for the supposed ‘psychiatric assessment’.

Send a Sunflower for Independence Day to Russia’s Ukrainian Hostages

Halya Coynash
Ukraine is celebrating 25 years of Independence on August 24. The anniversary is poignant for so many reasons, but must be particularly painful for those Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia or Russian-occupied Crimea. Please show them solidarity with a breath of Ukraine – a sunflower!

Terror on a Conveyor Belt in Russian-occupied Crimea

Halya Coynash
The 14 Crimean Muslims now facing huge sentences in Russian-occupied Crimea for unproven involvement in an organization which is legal in Ukraine include rights activists or people active in their communities, and the prosecutions seem clearly intended as a form of intimidation.

Russia moves to silence imprisoned Crimean Tatar leader

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.

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.