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today 29.07.2016 18:47
(by Kyiv time)


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News from the CIS countries

Russian sentenced to forced psychiatric treatment for support of Ukraine

29.07.16 | Halya Coynash
Punitive psychiatry appears to have returned in Russia with a recognized political prisoner being forcibly held in a psychiatric hospital. 36-year-old Alexei Moroshkin has been receiving psychiatric ‘treatment’ against his and his family’s wishes since December 2015, and a Chelyabinsk court has just extended his confinement for a further 6 months
The right to a fair trial

Chillingly secret Crimean ‘Azov fighter’ trial ends in 6-year sentence

29.07.16 | Halya Coynash
A very young Ukrainian just sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment remains as chillingly anonymous as when his arrest in Russian-occupied Crimea was announced in May 2015. Russia claims that Maxim Filatov was a fighter in the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, though this remains in serious question as does everything else about the case.
Against torture and ill-treatment

Impunity in Ukraine in the assessment of western human rights activists

28.07.16 | Yevhen Zakharov
On the positive features and failings of the report by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch
Politics and human rights

No surprises as Trump says he could recognize Crimea as ’Russian’ & lift sanctions

28.07.16 | Halya Coynash
Donald Trump did not just call on a hostile state to hack a presidential candidate’s emails on Wednesday. He also said that, if elected US President, he would consider removing the sanctions against that same nation for its aggression against Ukraine and recognize Crimea, which Russia invaded and is occupying, as Russian territory
Court practices

Reformers warn of dangers in new bill on High Council of Justice

While broadly welcoming the law, the Reanimation Package of Reforms propose some amendments to ensure mechanisms of response to judges’ complaints of interference in their work, and to prevent preservation of the old system
Freedom of conscience and religion

Jailed Crimean human rights activist isolated as ‘dangerous’ prisoner

27.07.16 | Halya Coynash
Crimean Tatar lawyer and rights activist Emir-Huseyn Kuku and two other Crimean Muslims - Vadim Siruk and Refat Alimov - who are all in custody on concocted charges have been placed on a so-called ‘prophylactic register for dangerous remand prisoners’ and moved to a special unit
Freedom of conscience and religion

An Orthodox Procession with Political Aims?

27.07.16 | Halya Coynash
As believers arrive in Kyiv, views remain sharply divided on both the controversial religious procession organized by the Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate and how the Ukrainian authorities should have dealt with it.
The right to life

Ukraine’s Forgotten War

27.07.16 | Brian Whitmore
You need to go back nearly a year to find another month as deadly as July -- and the month isn’t even over yet. But despite all the death and destruction, almost nobody is noticing.
News from the CIS countries

Russian gets 2 years for reposting that Crimea should be returned to Ukraine

26.07.16 | Halya Coynash
A second Russian court has found Andrei Bubeev guilty of ’calls to violate Russia’s territorial integrity for reposting an article entitled “Crimea is Ukraine”, as well as of ’extremism’ for reposting a toothpaste tube with the caption “Squeeze Russia out of yourself”
Freedom of peaceful assembly

Move to sharply curtail peaceful gatherings in Russian-occupied Crimea

26.07.16 | Halya Coynash
The number of places where in theory meetings can be held has halved throughout Crimea, while in some places, like Kerch, the restrictions are much more extreme.
News from the CIS countries

Portraits of Stalin hang in police offices in Putin’s Russia

25.07.16 | Halya Coynash
Bloody Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin has not been relegated to the past in today’s Russia. Not if you judge by the offices of law enforcement officers and investigators, Ivan Pavlov, a human rights lawyer writes. He has to visit a lot of such offices, and says that one in two will have the tyrant’s portrait.
Freedom of conscience and religion

Jitters in Ukraine as Politically Charged Religious Processions Approach Kyiv

25.07.16 | Christopher Miller
Two religious processions converging on Kyiv have Ukrainian authorities warning that provocations could spark violence in the capital.
Freedom of conscience and religion

Russia warned it is occupying Crimea, must stop persecuting Crimean Muslims

22.07.16 | Halya Coynash
The renowned Memorial Human Rights Centre has called on Russia to release four Crimean Muslims from Sevastopol and reminded it of restrictions under international law since Crimea is occupied territory. This is of critical importance since Russia has (unwarrantedly) charged the four men now on trial and 10 other Crimeans with involvement in an organization which is totally legal in Ukraine.
Politics and human rights

Survey finds only 18% identifying with Kremlin-backed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’

22.07.16 | Halya Coynash
If the results of a recent survey can be trusted, less than one in five residents of areas under the control of the so-called ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [DNR] identify themselves as ‘citizens’ of this unrecognized creation. The result is even lower than the level of support which the militants themselves inadvertently revealed, and then ‘adjusted’, but it can certainly not be dismissed as insignificant.
News from the CIS countries

Hybrid Business -- The Risks in the Kremlin’s weaponization of the economy

22.07.16 | Mark Galeotti & Anna Arutunyan
"How many divisions does the pope have?" Josef Stalin was meant to have asked contemptuously. Today the question could as easily be posed: How many companies does the Kremlin have?



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.

Grave concerns for tortured Ukrainian hostage as Russia concocts new charges

Halya Coynash
The 10 months in which Ukrainian Stanislav Klykh was illegally held and tortured by Russian investigators, with no access to lawyers or to his family, have left deep psychological, as well as physical scars on the 42-year-old historian. It is his clearly disturbed state which makes the new ‘investigation’ against him particularly cynical.

Where is Russia’s ‘Minsk Implementation’ while so many Ukrainians remained imprisoned?

Halya Coynash
Nadiya Savchenko’s release is wonderful, but Western attempts to speak of Russia’s implementation of the Minsk Agreement seem at very best optimistic. There is little or no progress on freeing the other Ukrainians unlawfully held in Russia and a large, and increasing number of Ukrainians, most of them Crimean Tatars, imprisoned in Russian-occupied Crimea.

Crimean Tatar Mejlis Leader Arrested on ‘Extremism’ Charges

Halya Coynash
The charges against Ilmi Umerov, the Deputy Head of the Mejlis, or Crimean Tatar representative assembly clearly identify what Russia understands as ‘extremism’, namely opposition to Russia’s occupation of Crimea. Umerov is accused of “openly calling for the return of Crimea to Ukraine”.