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today 26.09.2016 08:27
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Freedom of conscience and religion

Prosecutor demands harsher sentence for Crimean Tatar political prisoner

26.09.16 | Halya Coynash
There are absolutely no grounds, but the case against Ruslan Zeitullayev; Ferat Saifullayev; Rustem Vaitov and Nuri Primov now looks bad for the prosecutor, since even the court in Rostov could not ignore the lack of any evidence to back the charges and passed the minimum sentences possible.
News from the CIS countries

Russian arrested, fined for reading aloud the Constitution

26.09.16 | Halya Coynash
Viktor Kapitonov has received a huge fine after being detained on Sept. 12 outside the State Duma for reading out Russia’s Constitution, a document supposedly of direct force which guarantees the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
We remember

Roma Victims Remembered at Babyn Yar

25.09.16
As the 75th anniversary approaches of the massacre of 33 thousand Ukrainian Jews at Babyn Yar, Ukraine’s religious leaders have joined in a memorial service for the Nazis’ Roma victims killed at what was then a ravine on the outskirts of Kyiv
Deported peoples

New Wave of Repression Feared after Crimean Tatar Mejlis Ban Comes into Force

23.09.16 | Halya Coynash
Ukrainian parliamentarians and international organizations have been urged to keep Russian-occupied Crimea on the agenda and warned that a new escalation in repression against Crimean Tatars is probable once the ban on the Crimean Tatar Mejlis or representative assembly comes into effect
Freedom of expression

No Mercy for Crimean Journalist Facing 5-Year Sentence for Opposing Russian Occupation

23.09.16 | Halya Coynash
Mykola Semena, a 66-year-old Crimean journalist has been refused permission to travel to Kyiv for an urgently needed operation following a spinal injury. Without the operation, Semena could face irreparable damage to his health, making him an invalid.
Freedom of expression

Pro-Russian propagandist Graham Phillips should be delighted by the calls to take away his passport

23.09.16 | Halya Coynash
However reprehensible pro-Russian propagandist Graham Phillips’ behaviour is, the calls to strip him of his travel documents seem misguided, which is probably why Russian propaganda media are eagerly reporting them. It is authoritarian states who restrict their own citizens from travelling abroad
The right to a fair trial

Russia jails Ukrainian for Maidan, denies right of appeal

22.09.16 | Halya Coynash
The court in Russian-occupied Crimea which handed down a surreal 10-year sentence against Andriy Kolomiyets over an alleged event during Euromaidan is blocking an appeal against the sentence. The 23-year-old Ukrainian is being held in appalling conditions, with his family unable to visit him.
Freedom of expression

Crimean activist fined for ‘extremist post’ 4 YEARS before Russian annexation

22.09.16 | Halya Coynash
It seems any pretext will do in Russian-occupied Crimea to prosecute civic activists. A court on Sept. 20 fined Alexei Shestakovych 1, 000 roubles for a video he reposted 4 years before Russia invaded and occupied Crimea. Another court rejected his appeal against a 20-thousand rouble fine for a totally peaceful picket in defence of political prisoners
Elections

Numbers Don’t Lie: Statistics Point To Massive Fraud In Russia’s Duma Vote

22.09.16 | Valentin Baryshnikov, Robert Coalson
According to one estimate, " the scope of the falsification in favor of United Russia in these elections amounted to approximately 12 million votes"
Freedom of expression

Not in Our Name: Journalist NGOs Should Condemn Propagandist Graham Phillips’ Torture Stunt

21.09.16 | Halya Coynash
At a human level, it is impossible to understand somebody accosting a person maimed and blinded and telling him that he’s useless, a zombie whom nobody needs. When that individual, Briton Graham Phillips, claims to be acting as a ‘journalist’, such behaviour needs a clear response from the journalist community.
Politics and human rights

Ukrainian citizens are now a group at risk in Russian-occupied Crimea

21.09.16 | Halya Coynash
Gury Kornilyev, a young botanist from Yalta, recently lost his job after two years of harassment over his rejection of Russian citizenship. He knows of two other colleagues who were dismissed or demoted for their pro-Ukrainian position, and they are only some of the many Ukrainian nationals who are now a group at risk in occupied Crimea
The right to life

Odesa Smoking Gun Leads Directly to Moscow

20.09.16 | Halya Coynash
A new film has exposed direct links between Moscow and the disturbances in Odesa from late February to the tragic events of 2 May 2014. The film ‘2 May. Moscow Trail’ is based solely on Russian and pro-Russian sources, and adds weight to recently published tapes on which Sergei Glazyev, Vladimir Putin’s adviser and others discuss the organization of disturbances in Odesa and other Ukrainian cities
News from the CIS countries

Separatists of the world unite in Moscow while Russia steps up repression of Crimean Tatars

20.09.16 | Halya Coynash
The Kremlin is funding a second separatist jamboree in Moscow on Sept 25. The event which purports to unite “parties and movements advocating for self-determination”, and which Russian embassies tout as in defence of minorities, will be held 4 days before the Supreme Court appeal against Russia’s criminalization of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, the self-governing body of the main indigenous people of Crimea..
News from the CIS countries

KGB 2.0? Report says Kremlin plan afoot for major Security-Service Shakeup

20.09.16 | Tom Balmforth
Russia plans to create a super security agency called the Ministry of State Security (MGB), the name once given to Josef Stalin’s Soviet spy apparatus before it was renamed the KGB after his death, Kommersant newspaper reports.
Elections, Politics and human rights

Crimean Tatars boycott Russia’s illegitimate elections in occupied Crimea

19.09.16 | Halya Coynash
Most Crimean Tatars appear to have boycotted the elections which Russia illegally held in occupied Crimea. How many other Ukrainians also refused to take part is as yet unclear, but it seems likely that despite threats and coercion, the turnout was low. Judging by previous experience since Russia’s invasion of Crimea, the boycott could lead to an escalation in repression.

  

Articles

Crimean Tatars sentenced for kitchen chat in Russian-occupied Crimean ‘conveyor belt trial’

Halya Coynash
The sentences could have been much worse which is the only positive thing to say about the conviction on Wednesday of four Crimean Tatars on trumped up charges. The men’s defiant T-shirts and taped mouths said it all.

Umerov Released: Only Russia’s Persecution Showed Pathology

Halya Coynash
What Russia was hoping to achieve by risking Umerov’s life and resorting to punitive psychiatry remains unclear. Presumably not the actual result, namely to highlight the Soviet-style repression unleashed since Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea

Russia resurrects Soviet repression, punitive psychiatry in occupied Crimea

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.

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