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today 22.08.2014 16:44
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Law enforcement agencies

President signs repressive ‘anti-terrorist’ laws (updated)

22.08.14
Poroshenko has signed into law bills which human rights organizations warn are an unwarranted restriction on people’s rights. The increase in the prosecutor’s powers could lead to criminal proceedings being questioned, if not in Ukraine, then in Strasbourg
Politics and human rights

Children deployed in Russia’s anti-Ukrainian propaganda

22.08.14 | Halya Coynash
1960s Soviet propaganda was nothing in comparison to how children are being used now both by Kremlin-backed militants and to push Moscow’s extremely specific version of events in eastern Ukraine
Freedom of expression

Journalist could be blacklisted for not standing to Russian anthem

22.08.14
A group of Crimean MPs want to strip Shevket Namatullayev of his accreditation for parliament because he did not rise when the Russian national anthem was played
The right to life, The right to liberty and security

Families of murdered hostages demand proper investigation

22.08.14
The relatives of Volodymyr Rybak, Yury Popravko and Yury Diakovsky, who died of horrific injuries after being abducted by Kremlin-backed militants are critical of police inaction
Freedom of expression

Putin’s Soviet ’therapy’ for Crimea

21.08.14 | Halya Coynash
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin the events known variously as land grab, annexation or reunification of the Crimea were about "therapy" for a deep trauma, "a wound inflicted on our people as the result of the dramatic schism of the twentieth century".
Deported peoples

Mustafa Dzhemiliev appointed Commissioner on Crimean Tatar issues

21.08.14
Said Ismagilov called the President’s appointment a good move and spoke of Russia’s folly in “banishing a person who has devoted his whole life to regaining his homeland”
Human Rights Violations associated with EuroMaidan, The right to life

Yury Verbytsky murder investigation concluded

21.08.14
The police have established the identity, although seemingly not the whereabouts, of two men whom they suspect of carrying out the abduction and torture of two EuroMaidan activists Ihor Lutsenko and Yury Verbytsky and murder of the latter
Freedom of peaceful assembly, Deported peoples

Remembrance of Victims of Stalinism and Nazism banned in Simferopol

20.08.14
The Simferopol authorities have refused to allow Crimean Tatars to hold their traditional remembrance gathering to mark European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism on Aug 23. They claim that this is because of the hot weather.
The right to liberty and security

Abducted street artist released briefly, then imprisoned again

20.08.14
Donetsk artist Serhiy Zakharov, whose street installations ridiculing the Kremlin-backed militants led to his abduction was released on Aug 17, but has not returned since returning to try to get his documents back.
The right to a fair trial

Nadiya Savchenko’s defence hopes for a swap of prisoners

20.08.14
Lawyers of the Ukrainian officer who is now in detention in Russia after being captured in Ukraine by Kremlin-backed militants hope that she can be brought back to Ukraine in exchange for the release of Russian security service officers.
The right to a fair trial

Punitive psychiatry used against Crimean ‘terrorist plot’ suspect?

20.08.14
Alexei Chirny, one of four Crimeans accused by Russia of a ‘terrorist plot’ in Crimea, is in a pre-suicide state which activists from the Open Dialogue Foundation believes was brought about by drugs he was ‘treated’ with in the notorious Serbsky Institute.
Terrorism, The right to life

Kremlin-backed militants introduce ‘death penalty’ and ‘military tribunals’

19.08.14
The self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic has introduced its own ‘criminal code’, based on that of the Russian Federation. It includes the death penalty for particularly grave crimes as "the highest degree of social protection"
News from the CIS countries

Truth about Beslan blocked

19.08.14
On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the Beslan tragedy, Russia’s biggest provider Rostelekom is blocking the website Pravda Beslana which contains vital material including the report by explosives expert Yury Savelyev who concluded that the explosion used to justify the storming of a school and terrible loss of life did not, as claimed by the authorities, come from within the school
The right to a fair trial

Crimean ‘terrorist plot’ suspect in Russian psychiatric ward

19.08.14
Alexei Chirny, one of the four Crimeans known for their opposition to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and now facing extremely dubious ‘terrorist charges’ in Moscow, has written a letter seemingly from a psychiatric ward within the Butyrka pre-trial detention centre asking for the Ukrainian consul to come and see him
Deported peoples

Dzhemiliev: Putin wants a meeting while holding my son hostage

18.08.14 | Halya Coynash
Veteran Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemiliev is adamant that acceptance of Russia’s annexation of Crimea must not become part of any agreement to stop Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine. He is equally blunt about attempts to make his son’s ongoing detention in Simferopol dependent on Dzhemiliev’s malleability.

  

Articles

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

Russia resurrects Soviet ways in treatment of the Crimean Tatars

Halya Coynash
Enforced exile is always a personal tragedy. In this case, however, a ban has been imposed on Refat Chubarov, head of the Crimean Tatars’ representative body and this is an affront to all Crimean Tatars. It is also a test and challenge to western countries who claim commitment to rule of law and human rights while wanting business as usual with Russia

The EU’s Opaque Dealings with Ukraine

Halya Coynash
The decision to extend a ceasefire which one side was not respecting was doubtless taken under pressure from the EU, and not widely understood at home. Trust in the president, and in the EU, will be undermined if the latter fails to make good its threats of sanctions this time. The same applies if negotiation arrangements lack transparency

Russia’s FSB launches first Crimean show trial

Halya Coynash
Five days after Ukraine’s presidential elections gave the lie to Moscow’s claims of a far right ‘junta’ in which the nationalist Right Sector is lead villain, four Crimean opponents of Russian annexation, one a prominent film director, have been accused of a Right Sector ‘terrorist conspiracy’

The Kremlin’s Propaganda Coup in Donetsk

Halya Coynash
There has still been no adequate response from the west to the effective seizure of control in Donetsk by the Vostok Battalion comprised mainly of well-armed and trained fighters from the Russian Federation