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today 01.12.2015 23:54
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Against torture and ill-treatment

Russian military & mercenaries directly implicated in torture of Ukrainian prisoners

01.12.15 | Halya Coynash
A study has found that over 87% of Ukrainian soldiers and 50% of civilians taken prisoner by Kremlin-backedmilitants in Donbas have been subjected to torture or ill-treatment. In over 40% of the cases, key roles were played by mercenaries from the Russian Federation or people who identified themselves as Russian military personnel
News from the CIS countries

Russia Declares Open Society ‘Undesirable’: Vital Soros NGOs outlawed

Russia’s Prosecutor General has declared the renowned civic organization Open Society and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation ‘undesirable’ foreign NGOs on Russian territory.
Politics and human rights

’The Day I Killed The Soviet Union’

01.12.15 | Natalya Churikova
December 1 is the happiest day of my life. On this day I killed the Soviet Union. I am not a violent person. But on December 1, 1991, I voted in a referendum on the independence of Ukraine, along with more than 90 percent of Ukrainians.
News from the CIS countries

Mustafa Dzhemiliev’s hostage son punished in Russian captivity

30.11.15 | Halya Coynash
Unable to touch Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemiliev, Russia is imposing inhuman conditions on his 33-year-old son Khaiser whom it continues to hold hostage, in an Astrakhan prison.
On refugees

Bemused anger as Poroshenko vetoes vital law for people forced to flee their homes

In yet another blow to the huge number of Ukrainians forced to flee their homes in Crimea and Donbas, President Petro Poroshenko has vetoed a law lobbied by groups working with displaced people and human rights NGOs
Politics and human rights

Repressive measures intensify as Crimean blackout bites

30.11.15 | Halya Coynash
There have been inadequate and mostly repressive reactions from the occupation authorities to the ongoing blackout in Crimea, but also a frustrating failure from the western media to probe the legitimate human rights demands that Mustafa Dzhemiliev and other leaders have put forward
Victims of political repression

In Memory of the Victims of Holodomor

Against torture and ill-treatment

Kremlin-backed militants flaunt video with tortured disabled ‘saboteur’

27.11.15 | Halya Coynash
The so-called ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ [‘LNR’] has released a video on which a man ‘confesses’ to having carried out sabotage and intelligence activities for Ukraine’s military. Despite being severely disabled, with both arms amputated, he has clearly been badly beaten and finds it difficult to even speak
News from the CIS countries

Russian court refuses to reveal testimony from Nadiya Savchenko’s militant captor

27.11.15 | Halya Coynash
A week after allowing Kremlin-backed militant leader Igor Plotnytsky to testify in the trial of Nadiya Savchenko behind closed doors, the court has now refused to make his testimony public. It also rejected the defence’s application to have the prosecutors removed for threats of criminal proceedings against them
The right to a fair trial

Crimean court refuses to investigate imprisoned Maidan activist’s torture

After a ‘confession’ tortured out of Ukrainian Euromaidan activist Oleksandr Kostenko was used to imprison him on surreal charges, a military court in Russian-occupied Crimea has refused to even consider his appeal against the refusal to investigate clear evidence of torture
Interethnic relations

Police officer accused of involvement in racist attack on football fans

26.11.15 | Halya Coynash
Compelled by police inaction and misleading information presented to the President regarding a shocking racist attack on black football fans in Kyiv, journalists have carried out their own investigation which implicates a police officer and parliamentary aide and members of the Azov Civic Corps
Freedom of movement

Crimean Ukrainian Activist Detained on Border, Threatened with Ban

Veldar Shukurdzhiyev, a member of the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, has again faced harassment, this time from Russian border guards and FSB officers as he tried to return to Crimea from mainland Ukraine
News from the CIS countries

Wish Crimean Political Prisoner Sasha Kolchenko Happy Birthday!

It is Oleksandr Kolchenko’s BIRTHDAY on Nov 26. It is bleak spending your birthday in Russian captivity facing a monstrous sentence on trumped up charges. Please send him birthday greetings and sign the petition demanding his release and that of Oleg Sentsov and Gennady Afanasyev!
Freedom of expression

Important media privatization bill adopted

Ukraine’s parliament has passed a law which prohibits state bodies and bodies of local self-government owning printed media. This is an important and belated step towards media independence since media owned by the authorities have traditionally placed enormous pressure on editorial teams to report events as suits those in power.
News from the CIS countries

Sentsov & Kolchenko Appeal Rejected in Predictably Farcical Court Hearing

25.11.15 | Halya Coynash
A military panel of Russia’s Supreme Court has taken just hours to ‘examine’ and reject the appeal lodged by Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko. Sentsov is facing a 20-year sentence, Kolchenko 10 years after a trial described as “absolutely Stalinist” and “ideologically motivated state terror”



Dzhemiliev: Free Political Prisoners & Restore Rights if You Want Power Back

Halya Coynash
Russia must free Crimean political prisoners, if it wants electricity supplies from mainland Ukraine restored, Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemiliev has stated, listing other demands linked with rights violations since Russian invaded and occupied Crimea

Russia’s Ideologically Motivated State Terror and Its Ukrainian Victims

Halya Coynash
Russia’s Supreme Court is due on Nov 24 to hear appeals against the 20- and 10-year sentences passed on two Ukrainians – renowned filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko. The same court has already refused to reconsider the 7-year sentence passed on Gennady Afanasyev, the third of four Ukrainians who opposed Russia’s annexation of Crimea and were tried as ‘terrorists’

Russia sentences 73-year-old Ukrainian pensioner to 6 years for ‘spying’

Halya Coynash
In a closed trial held after Yury Soloshenko was denied access to the lawyers of his choice and to the Ukrainian consul, a Russian court has sentenced the 73-year-old pensioner with no access to state secrets or Russian weapons to 6 years maximum security imprisonment.

Savchenko Trial turns into Insultingly Absurd Pantomime

Halya Coynash
As well as an FSB officer (or not) in make-up and a wig, a witness was heard whose account is alleged by the defence to be a lie from beginning to end but who was protected by the court and allowed to conceal information that would have immediately confirmed that his story was false

What is meant by amnesty for the separatists?

Yevhen Zakharov
Full amnesty for people who have killed or tortured is simply impossible

24-year sentence in Russia’s ‘Ukrainian Chechnya fighter’ show trial

Halya Coynash
Mystery Ukrainian Alexander Malofeyev has been sentenced to 24.5 years maximum security prison, after ‘confessing’ and claiming that he fought in Chechnya together with Russia’s Ukrainian prisoners Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh, as well as Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and other prominent Ukrainians.

Crimean Blockade: No More ‘Mutually Advantageous Collaboration’

Halya Coynash
At midday on Sunday, Sept 20 Crimean Tatars and various Ukrainian civic organizations, including Right Sector, began an indefinite blockade of the ‘border’ between mainland Ukraine and Crimea. All three crossings into Crimea were blocked to trucks, though cars and individuals on foot were allowed through