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News from the CIS countries

No end in sight to Russia’s revenge against imprisoned Maidan activist

29.04.16 | Halya Coynash
While Russian-occupied Crimea is looking set to convict another former Euromaidan activist of invented crimes over which it has no jurisdiction, efforts are continuing to secure the early release of Oleksandr Kostenko, the Ukrainian now serving a politically-motivated sentence in Russia over events in Kyiv before annexation.
Law enforcement agencies, Human Rights Violations associated with EuroMaidan

Suspected Euromaidan crimes no impediment for current Ukrainian police job

29.04.16 | Halya Coynash
Anton Zazymko, who is facing serious charges over an attack by Berkut officers on Euromaidan activists, has held onto a renamed, but similar post in a National Police special forces regiment. In a move viewed with anger by lawyers representing Maidan victims, the Kyiv Court of Appeal upheld the original rejection of the application for his suspension
News from the CIS countries

Russian nationalists attack event for high-school history students

29.04.16
Russian nationalists attacked attendees of an awards ceremony for high school history students in Moscow on April 28, spraying them with a green antiseptic liquid and hurling eggs at them for what the activists called a foreign-sponsored attempt to rewrite Russia’s history.
News from the CIS countries

Facts & Defence Denied in Russia’s Trial of Tortured Ukrainians

28.04.16 | Halya Coynash
The court in Chechnya trying two Ukrainians on absurd and historically inaccurate facts has suddenly foisted ‘extra lawyers’ on the two men. This is against the will of Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh, was not agreed with their lawyers and comes as the trial is coming to an end.
The right to life

Two Years Later, Kremlin’s Lethal Lies about Odesa Fire Still Motivate Donbas Recruits

28.04.16 | Halya Coynash
48 people lost their lives in the Odesa disturbances and fire on May 2, 2014. How many people have since been killed because of Russia’s use of deliberate lies about the events for warmongering in Donbas can never be known. What is clear, however, is that the number is increasing with no end to the toxic propaganda in sight.
News from the CIS countries

Magnitsky family condemns lies in film at European Parliament about Sergei Magnitsky

28.04.16
Sergei Magnitsky’s widow and mother have condemned the Green Party in the Euro¬pean Par¬lia¬ment for showing a new false, offen¬sive and defam¬a¬tory film by Russ¬ian film¬maker Andrei Nekrasov about their mur¬dered hus¬band and son
Freedom of expression

Concern extends beyond Ukraine over suspect measures against journalist Savik Shuster

27.04.16 | Halya Coynash
A journalist whose flight to Ukraine from freedom of speech restraints in Russia was widely publicized 11 years ago has suddenly been denied a work permit in Ukraine, and on highly questionable grounds. Who is behind this move is unclear, but nobody seriously believes the pretext given for the move, and that already does Ukraine’s reputation no good.
Deported peoples

Russia bans Mejlis, declares war on Crimean Tatar people while the West watches

27.04.16 | 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
Environmental rights

From Concealment to Half-Truth about the Chornobyl Disaster

26.04.16 | Halya Coynash
With so much media attention now, it is hard to imagine the terrible silence & dearth of information in 1986, when virtually nothing was reported, and no advice given on fundamental safety measures and when communist officials, who had evacuated their own children, sent others onto the street for May Day ‘celebrations’
The right to liberty and security, The right to a fair trial

Why are Putin’s Enemies held in Ukrainian Prisons?

26.04.16 | 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
Politics and human rights

BBC Accuses British, Russian Media of Skewing MH17 Reporting

26.04.16 | Carl Schreck
The BBC has issued a rare defense of an upcoming documentary about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, accusing British media of distorting its report about a tragedy that killed 298 passengers and crew in July 2014.
News from the CIS countries

More reprisals against Tatar leader jailed for criticizing Russian occupation of Crimea

25.04.16 | Halya Coynash
Rafis Kashapov, the Russian Tatar activist serving a 3-year sentence for criticism on social networks of Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea is being moved to the worst form of cell-like imprisonment, with no indication of any time limit
The right to liberty and security, The right to a fair trial

Kyiv court quashes famous accordionist’s rigged sentence yet refuses to release him

25.04.16 | Halya Coynash
After 4 years imprisoned on fabricated sex-crime charges, Ihor Zavadsky should have been released after the court finally threw out a gravely flawed conviction and 13-year-sentence
Point of view

Why Has a Former Soviet Dissident Gone on Hunger-Strike in Britain?

25.04.16 | Masha Karp
My British friends are puzzled: why should one weaken oneself? Why jeopardize one’s already very poor health? Can’t things be resolved in court? No, says Vladimir Bukovsky, a man of outstanding courage and integrity, who has devoted his life to the struggle with the Soviet regime
News from the CIS countries

New Russian Ombudsperson sees no political prisoners in Russia, only ‘extremists’

24.04.16 | Halya Coynash
The Chief of Russia’s Investigative Committee has proposed criminalizing ‘denial’ of the fake ‘Crimea referendum’, and the country’s new Human Rights Ombudsperson plans to fight attempts by the West to ‘use’ human rights as a weapon “to destabilize Russia”’

  

Articles

Russia abandons all pretence, ’suspends’ Crimean Tatar Representative Assembly

Halya Coynash
Nobody expected real court hearings on Russia’s execution of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis [Representative Assembly], but the effective criminalizing of it without a court ruling still came as a shock. The gates of the ghetto are closing, one commentator has said, and all should be warned

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

Ukraine must not become like Russia – Free Journalist & Blogger Ruslan Kotsaba!

Halya Coynash
However objectionable we may find somebody’s views, it is Russia who is imprisoning its citizens for expressing opinions and Ukraine should not follow suit. The charges of state treason against blogger and journalist Ruslan Kotsaba are manifestly unwarranted

Putin’s Death Sentence for Russia’s Oldest Ukrainian Hostage

Halya Coynash
Yury Soloshenko, the 73-year-old Ukrainian pensioner, sentenced to 6 years in Russia on mystery ‘spying’ charges has cancer. This is the latest blow for the elderly Ukrainian who has not seen his grandchildren since August 2014

Russia Declares War on Crimean Tatars

Halya Coynash
Two years after invading and annexing Crimea, Russia appears ready to outlaw the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, the representative body of the largest indigenous people of the peninsula. It is unclear whether Western countries will respond with more than words of deep concern if the Mejlis and its 2,300 representatives at various levels are criminalized. At present, the West is largely silent, although the danger is real and immediate.

Russia’s Memorial demands release of tortured Ukrainian political prisoners

Halya Coynash
The Memorial Human Rights Centre has declared Ukrainians Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh political prisoners and victims of the unrelenting anti-Ukrainian campaign in the Russian state media and pronouncements from high-ranking Russian officials

Russian crimes & religious persecution in Donbas that the Pope ignored

Halya Coynash
If it was bad for dialogue between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill to admit to Russia’s pivotal role in the war in Ukraine, they should have kept off the subject altogether, particularly given the evidence of systematic religious persecution by Russian & Russian-backed militants and the role played by many paramilitary groups under Russian Orthodox banners