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today 27.02.2015 05:59
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Freedom of conscience and religion

Ukrainian Churches are facing imminent ban in Crimea

27.02.15
As feared, the demand that religious communities re-register according to Russian legislation is being used as a weapon enabling an effective ban on Ukrainian churches and religious organizations functioning in Crimea.
The right to a fair trial

Mustafa Dzhemiliev’s hostage son to be tried by jury in Russia

27.02.15
A Krasnodar court has allowed an application from Khaiser Dzhemiliev’s lawyers and appointed trial by jury, with the preliminary hearing scheduled for March 3. While it was difficult to expect justice from an ordinary Russian court, Khaiser is held illegally in Russian detention, and should not be tried there at all
On refugees

Russian journalist to seek political asylum in Ukraine

27.02.15
Before feeling pride that a Russian opposition blogger facing persecution at home has sought refuge in Ukraine, note that Ukrainian border guards initially tried to stop Dmitry Shipilov entering the country even after he lodged an application for asylum
News from the CIS countries

Famous Russian writer tells Putin to quit shaming himself and Russia - Release Nadiya Savchenko!

26.02.15 | Halya Coynash
Another former Soviet political prisoner, Viktor Fainberg, has joined Mustafa Dzhemiliev in addressing Nadiya Savchenko as a Russian ‘court’ yet again refuses to release her from custody despite the real danger that she will die in detention. Meanwhile Russian writer Vladimir Voinovych, searingly truthful as ever, has addressed his letter to Vladimir Putin telling him not to appear in any western capital if he lets Savchenko die.
Freedom of expression

New Weapon against Dissent in Crimea: ‘Ideology of Terrorism’

26.02.15 | Halya Coynash
Try defining ‘the ideology of terrorism’, and it should be clear why there are real grounds for concern over new measures to counter such ideology that have been announced in Russian-occupied Crimea. Only the coating is new, since the essence is Soviet and aimed at crushing dissent
News from the CIS countries

Mustafa Dzhemiliev: Nadya, daughter, stop your hunger strike. We will save you

25.02.15 | Halya Coynash
Nadiya Savchenko’s latest letter from Russian imprisonment coincides with a poignant appeal from Mustafa Dzhemiliev calling on her to stop her hunger strike using the same argument with which, when he was equally resolute in 1975, Andrei Sakharov saved his life
Politics and human rights

Remind the World: Crimea is Ukraine!

25.02.15
Join in a twitter campaign reminding the world that Crimea was and remains Crimea, and Russian occupation must end. Remind them also of those banished from their homeland, murdered, arrested, those who have disappeared without trace since Russia’s invasion, and of political prisoners Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko.
Terrorism

Death toll rises from Kharkiv terrorist attack

25.02.15
Up to 500 Kharkiv residents joined in a civic panakhyda, or requiem service on Tuesday in memory of the four victims, including two young lads, of Sunday’s terrorist attack
Politics and human rights

Moscow suspected of playing ‘Polish Card’ in Hybrid War against Lithuania

24.02.15 | Halya Coynash
There are increasing signs that a Polish minority in Lithuania could be mobilized as a destabilizing force. Self-proclaimed Vilnius and Lviv ‘people’s republics’, clearly reminiscent of the ‘republics’ in Donbas, may for the moment exist only on Facebook, but their appearance has chilled many observers both in Poland and Lithuania
News from the CIS countries

Nadiya Savchenko: “I won’t see the Spring, nor the Sun”

24.02.15 | Halya Coynash
After 73 days on hunger strike, Nadiya Savchenko is reported to be experiencing kidney and gall bladder problems, Germany, while admitting that two German doctors examined Savchenko on Feb 15, is still saying nothing about what they found.
Freedom of expression

Journalist facing dubious ‘treason’ charges exchanged for Ukrainian soldiers

23.02.15 | Halya Coynash
Andriy Zakharchuk, the Ukrainian journalist charged most controversially with ‘state treason’ over his work for Russian media has been freed in exchange for Ukrainian prisoners of war held by Kremlin-backed militants in Donbas. While the release of 139 Ukrainian soldiers was wonderful news, Zakharchuk’s inclusion in the deal is not only questionable, but also an unfortunate propaganda coup for Russia
Freedom of expression

Silencing ‘hostile’ media? Crimean News Agency refused licence

23.02.15
Russia’s media regulator has turned down independent QHA Crimean News Agency’s application for a licence. This comes just days after Russian-installed ‘prime minister’ Sergei Aksyonov made it clear that ‘hostile’ media who talk of a return to Ukrainian control, etc. have no place in annexed Crimea
Deported peoples

Russia seeks to create Puppet Crimean Tatar self-governing bodies

23.02.15
Having tried and failed to cower Crimean Tatar leaders into submission, the Crimean puppet government installed after Russian soldiers seized control last February is now attempting to replace elected members of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis and Qurultay with ‘reliable people’.
Terrorism, The right to life

Three dead in Kharkiv terrorist attack as world leaders join Ukrainians in March of Dignity

22.02.15 | Halya Coynash
At least three people have now died after a bomb exploded while people were gathering for a Unity March in Kharkiv. Both the procession and the service in memory of those killed in fighting in Donbas took place, as has a huge march in Kyiv attended by delegations from 24 countries
We remember

Arrests in Moscow for those honouring Maidan’s slain heroes

21.02.15
While thousands gathered on Maidan in Kyiv in memory of over 100 EuroMaidan protesters gunned down by police snipers a year ago, eight Muscovites were detained by police while trying to lay flowers outside the Ukrainian embassy

  

Articles

Crimean Tatar leader arrested in new wave of repression

Halya Coynash
The arrest of Akhtem Chyyhoz, Deputy Head of the Mejlis, on suspicion of ‘organizing and taking part in mass disturbances’ is of unprecedented cynicism. There is not only video footage demonstrating his innocence, but the charges are under Russian legislation which not even Russia would claim was in force on Feb 26, 2014

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.