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today 29.01.2015 20:18
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Politics and human rights

Russia’s Duma suggests condemning West German “annexation” of GDR

29.01.15 | Halya Coynash
Russia’s State Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin, who once accused Ukraine of ’annexing’ the Crimea has now instructed the parliamentary committee on international relations to examine the possibility of adopting a statement condemning “the annexation of the German Democratic Republic by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1989”.
Prohibition of discrimination

Kyiv Court allows National Bank’s discrimination against Crimeans

Human rights activists are adamant that calling Crimeans ‘non-residents’ and restricting their right to bank operations in Ukrainian banks is in breach of Ukraine’s Constitution which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of place of residence.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attack on democracy

In its just published annual report, Freedom House cites Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including the outright seizure and formal annexation of Crimea, as a prime example of “the open disdain for democratic standards that coloured the words and actions of autocratic governments during the year.”
Politics and human rights

Ukrainian Students Call On Russian Counterparts To End ’Information War’

Ukrainian students have released an emotional video calling on their Russian counterparts not to believe what Russia’s state-controlled media are saying about their country.
News from the CIS countries

Russian activists jailed for demanding Nadiya Savchenko’s release

28.01.15 | Halya Coynash
On the eve of a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] debate on whether to reinstate the Russian delegation’s credentials, Ukrainian MP and PACE delegate Nadiya Savchenko is on the 46th day of her hunger strike in Russian detention and a number of people in Moscow have been jailed for up to 45 days in connection with a peaceful protest demanding Savchenko’s release.
News from the CIS countries

Record number of Russians ‘positive’ about Joseph Stalin

Less than 8 years after Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly encouraged ‘positive moves’ in the presentation of the country’s history, a Levada Centre opinion poll has found 52% of Russians viewing Joseph Stalin in a positive light, the highest rating for the bloody dictator since such questions were asked. Only 30% see him in a negative light.
Freedom of expression

Armed Offensive against Independent Crimean Tatar TV Channel

27.01.15 | Halya Coynash 
Monday’s armed search of TV ATR was the most dramatic, but not the only offensive against the only Crimean Tatar TV channel since Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014 and appears part of mounting efforts to intimidate, silence or banish Crimean Tatars
We remember

70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz: “Politicization of this place is unthinkable”

On this 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, it will be survivors who are heard, not politicians. Around 300 former prisoners are expected to attend, and the ceremony this year centres around them. No ‘snubs’, no political scandals, simply recognition of a day when politicians should fall silent.
News from the CIS countries

Why has Nadiya Savchenko not been freed? Demand that Russia answers!

26.01.15 | Halya Coynash 
How can Nadiya Savchenko, captured by Kremlin-backed militants in Ukraine, be in RUSSIAN detention? How can we believe that she will get a fair trial when the investigators and the court are ignoring an irrefutable alibi? Please help tweet these and other questions on Nadiya Savchenko’s FORTY FIFTH day on hunger strike.
The right to life

Russia is Abetting War Crimes: Ratify Rome Statute Now!

26.01.15 | Halya Coynash 
“As of Jan 24, 2015 there are all the signs that an aggressive war is being waged against Ukraine in the understanding of international criminal law (including judgments from the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals)".
Deported peoples

Russia in no hurry to answer for its Soviet-type bans on Dzhemiliev and Yuksel

Two court hearings over appeals lodged against bans imposed since Russia’s annexation of Crimea on people linked with the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, or representative assembly, have been postponed.
Deported peoples

Crimean Tatar rights activist ‘deported’ from his native Crimea

24.01.15 | Halya Coynash 
The Crimean authorities under Russian rule have ‘deported’ Sinaver Kadyrov, a Crimean Tatar activist with Ukrainian citizenship, Crimean registration, but with views and a concern over human rights violations that the occupation regime clearly finds inconvenient. The message this sends any Crimean is chilling.
The right to life

Sinister Remake: Blood and POW Humiliation for the Cameras

23.01.15 | Halya Coynash 
On disturbing echoes in the bus shelling and humiliating parade of Ukrainian POWs in Donetsk on Jan 22 - from the inaccurate“13 passengers killed” which Kremlin-backed militants and Russian media kept pushing to draw associations with Volnovakha to the remake of the shameful POW march on Independence Day, this time staged on Ukrainian Unity Day.
Freedom of expression

Crimean librarian fined for ‘anti-Russian’ books about Holodomor

23.01.15 | Halya Coynash
In the latest example of Russia’s dangerously broad anti-extremism legislation, the director of a Feodosiya library, now under Russian occupation, has been fined for holding books about the Ukrainian Holodomor, or manmade Famine of 1932/33
News from the CIS countries

Memorial declares Oleg Navalny a political prisoner

The three-year sentence passed on Oleg Navalny has been widely seen as hostage-taking and an attempt to stifle his brother – leading political opposition figure Alexei Navalny. Memorial’s stand only strengthens this view.



Nadiya Savchenko will not end her hunger strike nor let them break her spirit

Halya Coynash
Nadiya Savchenko has passed a letter via her lawyers to all those concerned for her fate in which she thanks everybody but rejects pleas for her to end her hunger strike. It is the only way she has to seek justice and she is adamant that she will not eat until the day of her return to Ukraine – or the last day of her life in Russian prison

Report on the human rights mission to the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts

Lyudmila Klochko, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group [KHPG], together with the German NGO ‘European Exchange’ and representatives of NGOs from the Russian Federation and Germany with the support of the German Foreign Ministry, carried out an international mission to monitor human rights in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts on territory which is back under Ukrainian control.

Russian secret trial to convict opponents of Crimean annexation

Halya Coynash
More details have emerged of the secrecy behind the closed trial of Gennady Afanasyev whose testimony is the only ‘evidence’ in the ‘Crimean terrorist plot’ case and may be used to get renowned Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov and left-wing activist Oleksandr Kolchenko 20 year sentences

European-style Police Force: Strategy for Reform

Oleh Martynenko, Yevhen Zakharov
For the first time in 18 years the government has adopted a package of proposals for reforming the Interior Ministry, and most importantly a Police Reform Development Strategy written by human rights activists

80-year-old Crimean Tatar summoned for ‘questioning’ by Russian FSB

Halya Coynash
Veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement Vedzhie Kashka turned 80 recently and should have been admitted to hospital on Dec 10 over a heart condition. She couldn’t because she had been summonsed for questioning by the FSB [Russian Security Service].

Missing, believed denounced: hundreds held prisoner by Kremlin-backed militants

Halya Coynash
The Soviet echoes in the prevailing atmosphere of fear and intimidation in Donbas are most chillingly seen in the widespread use of ‘denunciations’ with accusations as empty, but potentially fatal as in Stalin’s times.

In Memory: Yevhen Sverstyuk 1928 – 2014

We mourn together with family and friends the passing of Yevhen Sverstvyuk, Ukrainian writer, thinker and civic figure, a man who spent years in the Soviet labour camps for his commitment to truth and to Ukraine and who became a moral beacon for very many in Ukraine and beyond.