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today 22.10.2014 18:22
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Privacy, Politics and human rights

A Lustration Law for the Record – and the Elections

22.10.14 | Halya Coynash
The farcical nature of Ukraine’s new Law on Cleaning up the Government was seen within hours of the law coming into force. The list made public of the first 36 heads to roll was like a modern public execution – of suspected witches rather than of known criminals.
Elections, Army

Thousands of soldiers prevented from voting

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has failed to introduce amendments to electoral legislation which would have enabled military servicemen from the ATO zone to vote in the elections
Deported peoples

Crimean Tatar Mejlis will not register as a ‘civic organization’

Attempts to pressurize the representative-executive body of the Crimean Tatar people into registering as some kind of ‘civic organization’ are unacceptable, the deputy head of the Mejlis, Akhtem Chyyhoz says
Politics and human rights

Legislating murder, abduction and land-grabs in the Crimea

21.10.14 | Halya Coynash
Russia may soon adopt a law which would waive any liability by the armed paramilitaries in the Crimea who have murdered, abducted and beaten up opponents of Russian occupation, as well as seizing land and assets. Or who will, since the impunity would be till Jan 2015
News from the CIS countries

“They torture POWs here” Moscow voices in defence of Nadiya Savchenko

On Monday people in Moscow held single-person pickets outside the notorious Serbski Institute where Ukrainian officer Nadiya Savchenko is undergoing a forced ‘psychiatric examination’. Their banners included: “They torture POWs here”; and “Back to punitive psychiatry? Pilot Nadiya Savchenko, abducted from Ukraine, is being held here”.
News from the CIS countries

Persecution of elderly activist exposing Russian soldiers’ deaths in Ukraine continues

21.10.14 | Halya Coynash
73-year-old Ludmila Bogatenkova was released only because her state of health was near critical. Please help circulate information about this case and about the investigations into the deaths of Russian soldiers that Moscow is so clearly trying to silence
The right to liberty and security

Abducted street artist Serhiy Zakharov tells of detention and torture

Tracked down and captured by the Kremlin-backed militants his street installations mocked in early August, Zakharov says that his captors fractured his left and right ribs and threatened him with execution three times
On refugees

Finally! Law on Displaced Persons adopted

On Monday, Oct 20, the Verkhovna Rada passed a long-needed law on internally displaced persons. The bill was drawn up in cooperation with NGOs directly working with people forced to flee the Crimea or Donbas.
News from the CIS countries

Nadiya Savchenko’s treatment amounts to torture, lawyers say

20.10.14 | Halya Coynash
The Ukrainian officer captured by Kremlin-backed militants and now facing ’charges’ in Russia is being deprived of sleep, is watched 24 hours a day, and not allowed to speak in private to her lawyer. She also reports that the Russian prosecution is trying to foist their own lawyer on her.
Freedom of expression

Journalist held hostage twice is freed

Lviv journalist Yury Lelyavsky is free after being held hostage for over two months by Kremlin-backed militants from the self-proclaimed Luhansk people’s republic. This is the second time he was taken prisoner – the first was in Slovyansk, under the equally self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic
News from the CIS countries

Russian rights activist investigating soldiers’ deaths in Ukraine arrested

18.10.14 | Halya Coynash
73-year-old Ludmila Bogatenkova, head of a regional Committee of Soldiers Mothers, who has been investigating the deaths of Russian conscripts in Ukraine, was arrested on Friday, Oct 17 and is currently in detention facing charges of ’fraud’
Politics and human rights

Whose Revanche? Key suspects in the Oct 14 disturbances

17.10.14 | Halya Coynash
Nobody is admitting liability for the disturbances on Oct 14 when certain masked protesters tried to storm parliament and attack police. A marginal group hankering for a military junta to take control seems the likeliest candidate, though multiple questions remain.
Freedom of expression

Journalist Veremiy killing: Kyiv court releases key suspect

One of the titushki, or hired government thugs, who has admitted beating Viacheslav Veremiy during the attack in which the journalist died of a gunshot wound is accused only of group hooliganism, despite the level of the violence and fact that the attacks, abduction, etc. were for money
Prohibition of discrimination

Call for sanctions against Russia over repression in Crimea

The Coalition for Combating Discrimination in Ukraine [CCD] is calling on the Ukrainian government and international community to pay heed to systematic rights violations in the Crimea under Russian occupation and to impose international sanctions.
On refugees

Displaced and disregarded

On Oct 14, the last day possible for adopting vital legislation on internally displaced people, civic activists staged a picket outside parliament but to no avail. Not one MP even came out to speak to them



Targeting the Crimean Tatar Mejlis as pro-Russian euphoria fades in Crimea

Halya Coynash
Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov recently asserted that the Crimean Tatar people have received what they couldn’t have dreamt of within Ukraine”. Lavrov was unusually close to the truth since in their worst nightmares Crimean Tatars could not have imagined the violations of their rights seen since Russia annexed their homeland.

Tortured by Kremlin-backed militants

Halya Coynash
Assertions that the men whose bodies have been brought to a Zaporizhya morgue suffered horrific torture are corroborated not only by the harrowing photos, but by tales of soldiers or civilians held captive by militants from the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic..

If Russia is not at war, then who is in those freshly-dug graves?

Halya Coynash
Russians are also now asking hard-hitting questions as macabre efforts continue in Pskov and other parts of Russia to conceal the death or injury of a large number of soldiers sent to fight Russia’s undeclared war against Ukraine

Invasion by any other name

Halya Coynash
The suspicion that Russia’s ‘humanitarian convoy’ was being used to divert attention from other activities was probably confirmed on Aug 23. Western leaders concentrated only on that undoubted violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty while ignoring NATO reports of direct Russian military incursions

Serious failings seen in new ‘lustration’ bill

Volodymyr Yavorsky, lawyer and human rights specialist, has subjected the latest draft law on lustration to close analysis and his verdict is not good. Instead of defending democracy, lustration as per this bill would be more likely to turn into a mechanism of selective political persecution of officials and would destroy independent institutions.

Odessa "Massacre" Propaganda vs. the Facts

Halya Coynash
The tragic events in Odessa on May 2, 2014, are rapidly being transformed into a propaganda campaign for Moscow. The facts are now available and need to be widely known. By allowing outrageous claims of a fascist ‘massacre’ to go unrefuted, we risk proving yet again how very little human beings learn from history.

Whose war?

Halya Coynash
The shooting down of MH17 has led to harsh words used about Moscow’s very major role in providing the arms and military technology, men and training for artificially manufactured unrest (and bitterly real bloodshed), but left terminology, like ‘civil war’ and ‘separatist’ largely intact