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today 31.08.2016 09:00
(by Kyiv time)


Kharkiv Human Rights Group Social Networking

Freedom of expression

Elderly Pensioner Arrested by Kremlin-backed militants for a Ukrainian flag

31.08.16 | Halya Coynash
73-year-old Anna Ivanivna Hrusha was first attacked, then manhandled by Kremlin-backed militants on Ukrainian Flag Day and held for many hours, facing threats and abuse. She has no intention of being cowered, saying that she is in her native homeland
Freedom of conscience and religion, The right to liberty and security

Jailed Crimean Tatar rights activist’s lawyer banned from Russian-occupied Crimea

31.08.16 | Halya Coynash
The FSB must view telling the truth as a threat to Russia’s national security since there were no other grounds for banning Yevhenia Zakrevska. She is representing Emir-Huseyn Kuku whom the FSB first tried to ‘recruit’, then abduct, and are now holding in prison on trumped-up charges
The right to liberty and security

Archbishop Kliment appeals to Russian religious leaders to help free Umerov, other Crimean political prisoners

Archbishop Kliment, the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Kyiv Patriarchate in Crimea which is itself facing persecution has called on Russian Patriarch Kirill and the Russian Supreme Mufti to help secure the release of Umerov, Chiygoz, Sentsov, Kolchenko and all those Ukrainian nationals persecuted for their convictions under Russian occupation
Prohibition of discrimination

Terrifying Precedent Set by Authorities’ Response to Violent Anti-Roma Pogrom

30.08.16 | Halya Coynash
Disturbances on August 27 in Loshchynivka (Odesa oblast) have resulted in the targeted ethnic group ‘agreeing’ to leave the area, and being too fearful to even return to collect their possessions. There are differences from the pogroms of the past, but there are also some very worrying similarities, including how the authorities and law enforcement bodies reacted.
The right to liberty and security

HRW and Amnesty International distorted their own picture on abuses in Ukraine

30.08.16 | Halya Coynash
Ukraine’s SBU [Security Service] heeded well-deserved criticism from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and released 13 people it had been holding in a secret prison. As a result, both the SBU and Ukraine in general received a second hammering from the same NGOs. Perhaps it was still deserved, but it made for an extremely incomplete picture.
We remember

Remembering the Victims of Putin’s Ilovaisk Treachery

30.08.16 | Halya Coynash
On August 29, Ukrainians honoured the memory of all those soldiers killed exactly two years ago in the Ilovaisk Battle in which Russian President Vladimir Putin played a major – and treacherous - role.
The right to life

Russia steps up torture of Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov amid protest over return of punitive psychiatry

29.08.16 | Halya Coynash
Russia is ignoring international protest over its use of punitive psychiatry against Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov. As well as continuing practice that could endanger the 59-year-old’s life still further, men facing criminal charges have been placed in the same room as him.
Freedom of expression

Ukrainian activist prosecuted in occupied Crimea for ’anti-Russian’ posts on Facebook

29.08.16 | Halya Coynash
Larisa Kitaiska has been prohibited from leaving Crimea and formally charged with inciting hatred and enmity towards Russians over posts on Facebook which are claimed to be ‘Russophobic’.
Politics and human rights

How to Manufacture a War

29.08.16 | Brian Whitmore
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office has released what it says are recordings of intercepted telephone conversations between Kremlin aide Sergei Glazyev and proxies in Ukraine, in which he gives them specific instructions about instigating unrest in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhya, and Odesa as early as February 2014
Law enforcement agencies, The right to life

Horrific police killing elicits assurances of a shakeup & local fears of a cover-up

27.08.16 | Halya Coynash
Three police officers are currently in detention after a 32-year-old man was beaten and fatally shot while in handcuffs in the early hours of August 24.
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



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.