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today 01.11.2014 05:37
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News from the CIS countries

Ekho Moskvy warned over ‘extremism’ for its report on Donetsk airport siege

01.11.14 | Halya Coynash
Roskomnadzor, Russia’s censor has accused the radio station of ‘extremism’ and claims that the material on Ukrainian soldiers’ defence of Donetsk airport ‘justifies war crimes’. A second such warning could mean the station is stripped of its licence

Death Sentence with a Show of Hands

31.10.14 | Halya Coynash
The full video clip of what the Kremlin-backed militants in the Luhansk oblast call a ‘court’ has been posted on the Internet. In it two men are sentenced to death, supposedly for attempted rape and group rape, with the ‘sentence’ being passed by the audience through a show of hands.
News from the CIS countries

Chief suspects in abduction of Nadiya Savchenko named

The Prosecutor’s announcement follows the news that the Ukrainian pilot abducted to Russia had recognized Ihor Plotnytsky, now leader of the self-styled Luhansk people’s republic, as one of the Kremlin-backed militants who took her hostage in mid-June
Social and economic rights

Part of Mezhyhirya returned to the State

Almost 1.8 hectares of the former State residence and grounds at Mezhyhirya illegally privatized by Viktor Yanukovych has been restored to public ownership
Elections, Deported peoples

Crimean Tatars ignored in Ukraine’s new parliament

Members of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, or representative-executive assembly have expressed disillusionment over the failure by Ukrainian political parties to ensure that Crimean Tatars are represented in the new Ukrainian parliament
Victims of political repression

Returning - or Silencing - the Names of Stalin’s Victims

This Day in Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression comes as Memorial, the organization that enabled us to learn the fate of our parents or grandparents is under threat of closure and the Kremlin is increasingly trying to conceal or distort the darkest days of the country’s recent history

CVU: Electoral reform must be part of any coalition agreement

The Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] stresses the need for an electoral code and properly held local elections before any decentralization can be carried out

Russia’s Right Sector Fever and its Victims

29.10.14 | Halya Coynash
Russian media response to the galling failure by Ukrainian voters to provide any indication of a descent into ‘fascism’ was predictable: they shouted louder. In the meantime at least 7 people remain in detention on absurd ‘Right Sector plot’ charges.
News from the CIS countries

Savchenko: Abducted, then charged with ‘illegally crossing the border’

Russia’s Investigative Committee is planning to charge Nadiya Savchenko, the Ukrainian pilot captured by Kremlin-backed militants and then taken by force to Russia, with “illegally crossing the border”.
Politics and human rights

Kharkiv’s authorities find themselves in no need of lustration

The Kharkiv City Council has reported that it carried out a ‘check of personnel’ in according with the Law on Cleaning up the Government and found not one single person who fell under the force of the law
Deported peoples

Crimean Tatar activists jailed: Closed court and bizarre charges

28.10.14 | Halya Coynash
Charges on a supposed incident 6 months ago which result in three men being remanded in custody for (at least) two months are already a matter of concern. In this case, the court and prosecution have clearly not even learned their roles, with the charges and the claims of ‘Right Sector’ involvement and extremism seeming unrelated.

Significant number of ‘new’ MPs voted in Jan 16 dictatorial laws

Despite active campaigning to ensure that voters knew which MPs voted for the Jan laws aimed at crushing peaceful protest, freedom of speech and civil society in general, it is claimed that around 65 MPs who voted for them have been re-elected
Law enforcement agencies

One Step Closer to Real Police Reform

“For the first time in the last 17 years a conceptual normative act has been adopted on police reform, and one that was drawn up by the human rights community!”.
News from the CIS countries

Nadiya Savchenko: Unbroken in Russian detention, now Ukrainian MP

27.10.14 | Halya Coynash
Although the vote count is not over, it is basically certain that Nadiya Savchenko has been elected to Ukraine’s parliament. She remains held against her will in the notorious Serbski institute with a Moscow court meeting in closed session having extended her detention until Feb 13

CVU: serious concerns over at least 2 single mandate constituencies

The Committee of Voters of Ukraine believes the elections should be declared invalid in the Kirovohrad oblast No. 102 single mandate constituency where former secretary of the Kyiv City Council Oles Dovhy is in the lead



A Lustration Law for the Record – and the Elections

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.

Human rights in Ukraine in March – August 2014: general trends

Yevhen Zakharov
Brief analysis of the human rights situation in Ukraine following the Revolution of Dignity

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.