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News from the CIS countries

Forget Minsk: Ukrainians get 22 & 20 years for Invented Crimes in Chechnya

27.05.16 | Halya Coynash
One day after releasing Nadiya Savchenko, Russia has sentenced two other Ukrainians to virtually identical terms of imprisonment on even more insane charges. The indictment flew in the face of historical fact, and both Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh can prove that they were in Ukraine at the time of the alleged crimes in Chechnya
Against torture and ill-treatment

Outrage as the Security Service shames Ukraine by blocking torture monitors

27.05.16 | Halya Coynash
The news that UN anti-torture monitors had been forced to suspend a visit to Ukraine due to obstruction from Ukraine’s SBU [Security Service] has elicited outrage and consternation. The feeble excuses issued only compound the suspicion that the SBU has a lot to hide.
News from the CIS countries

Russian Monument to Stalin’s Victims Highlights Fate Of Executioner

27.05.16 | Robert Coalson
One of the few monuments in Russia devoted to "the victims of political repressions during the 1930s." has a single line noting that fact, then dedicates 12 lines to honoring one particular victim of Stalin’s Terror: Valter Vand, the former head of the local branch of the NKVD
Deported peoples, The right to life

Crimean Tatar World Congress Member Abducted in Occupied Crimea

26.05.16 | Halya Coynash
Ervin Ibragimov, a Crimean delegate to the World Congress of Crimean Tatars, has disappeared and was almost certainly abducted late on May 25 near his home in Bakhchysarai. This is the latest of many abductions and disappearance since Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, and is made especially chilling by the FSB’s refusal to allow his family to report Ervin’s disappearance.
The right to liberty and security

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

26.05.16 | 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.
Against torture and ill-treatment

UN torture prevention body suspends Ukraine visit citing obstruction

26.05.16
The United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) has suspended its visit to Ukraine after being denied access to places in several parts of the country where it suspects people are being deprived of their liberty by the Security Service of Ukraine, the SBU.
Freedom of expression

Ukrainian journalist who twice confronted Putin targeted by Myrotvorets Centre vigilantes

25.05.16 | Halya Coynash
Instead of closing down as promised after a previous scandal, the contentious Myrotvorets website has published a new list, this time ‘exposing’ journalists working in Russia. Those it accuses of ’collaboration’ include UNIAN’s Roman Tsymbalyuk who has for two years running asked extremely hard-hitting questions of Vladimir Putin about Russia’s aggression against Ukraine
Penal institutions

Crimean prisoner slashes his throat in protest at forced Russian citizenship

25.05.16 | Halya Coynash
Crimean prisoners sentenced under Ukrainian law are having Russian citizenship foisted on them and being illegally ‘retried’ under Russian law. Elvis Asanov, a life prisoner, registered his protest at such attempts on May 11 by slashing his throat directly in the courtroom.
News from the CIS countries

Russian poet detained for ripping down portrait of Stalin

25.05.16
Sergei Gandlevsky was detained on May 23 by police officers at the Lubyanka Metro station in Moscow after he ripped down a portrait of the bloody dictator Joseph Stalin stuck on a wall
Deported peoples

Chief Rabbi of Ukraine: The world must not ignore the suffering of the Crimean Tatars the way it once ignored ours

24.05.16 | Halya Coynash
Our cry must be heard, so that the horror of the past is not repeated here and now. Our voice must ring out because the world is now silent about the fate of the Crimean Tatars. This was the message on May 18 from Yaakov Dov Bleich, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine
News from the CIS countries

Not Forgotten! Solidarity Campaign for ‘Crimean Four’ imprisoned in Russia

24.05.16 | Halya Coynash
Russia has hidden Crimean political prisoners: renowned filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko; Gennady Afanasyev and Oleksiy Chirniy as far from their families, the media and western diplomats as could be achieved, which in Russia is far. Join Ukrainian civic organizations in proving that it’s not far enough!
Terrorism

Ghosts of MH17

24.05.16 | Brian Whitmore
The fallout from the senseless deaths of 298 people is not going away. Sooner or later, Vladimir Putin and his cronies will need to answer for their actions.
Deported peoples, The right to liberty and security

Russia’s brutal revenge on Crimean Tatar political prisoner for refusal to collaborate

23.05.16 | Halya Coynash
PLEASE SEND, SHARE & TWEET BIRTHDAY GREETINGS to Crimean Tatar political prisoner Mustafa #Degermendzhy who is turning 27 on May 22. It is his second birthday in custody in Russian-occupied Crimea facing absurd charges linked with a pre-annexation demonstration over which Russia has no jurisdiction. .
Politics and human rights

Swedish TV SVT misleads viewers through Moreira’s ‘Masks of the Revolution’ film about Ukraine

23.05.16 | Halya Coynash
Can lies that kill and distortion of events that have led to mass human rights violations be protected by the right to freedom of speech? Swedish TV SVT seems to think that they can since it has, despite strong protest, decided to broadcast Paul Moreira’s ‘Masks of the Revolution’ which gravely misrepresents Euromaidan, a tragedy in Odesa and Russia’s annexation of Crimea
Law enforcement agencies

An End to Sabotage of Maidan Crime Investigations?

23.05.16
Newly-appointed Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko has held a meeting with lawyers representing victims of crimes against Euromaidan. While it is definitely early days, the lawyers are obviously pleased at the moves Lutsenko has announced which may help to remove the sources of sabotage from within the Prosecutor General’s Office

  

Articles

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”.

Ukrainian blogger gets long sentence for expressing contentious views

Halya Coynash
Ruslan Kotsaba, a controversial Ivano-Frankivsk journalist and blogger, has been convicted of obstructing the legitimate activities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by producing a video in which he set out his opposition to mobilization. The Ivano-Frankivsk court did, however, acquit him of the more serious, and absurd, charge of ‘state treason’

How Russia Terrorizes Children & Destroys Lives in Occupied Crimea

Halya Coynash
Safiyeka and Bekir Kuku have not seen their father since armed officers burst into their home in Yalta on Feb 11 and took Emir-Huseyn Kuku away. It is not the first time their father, a lawyer and human rights activist has been detained since Russia’s annexation of Crimea.  This time, however, the children’s Babashka has not come home

Russia bans Mejlis, declares war on Crimean Tatar people while the West watches

Halya Coynash
A Crimean court has formally completed its criminalization of the Mejlis, or self-governing body of the Crimean Tatar people. There have been no serious threats of sanctions or other measures from European structures and western countries although this is a direct attack on the main indigenous people of Crimea

Why are Putin’s Enemies held in Ukrainian Prisons?

Halya Coynash
If Ukraine’s SBU has evidence that Olga Sheveleva, Anastasia Leonova and Pavel Pyatakov were working for Russia’s FSB, they have not revealed it. Yet they are being held in detention on the ludicrous grounds that they could flee to Russia, where each can expect arrest for their opposition to the Putin regime and support for Ukraine

Russia’s Invented ’Terrorism’ and its Crimean Muslim Victims

Halya Coynash
Eight Crimean Muslims, including a prominent human rights activist, are in detention in Russian-occupied Crimea and facing long prison sentences for fictitious ’terrorism’ based solely on claims that they are members of a peaceful organization which is banned in Russia, but not in Ukraine

Putin’s Death Sentence for Russia’s Oldest Ukrainian Hostage

Halya Coynash
Yury Soloshenko, the 73-year-old Ukrainian pensioner, sentenced to 6 years in Russia on mystery ‘spying’ charges has cancer. This is the latest blow for the elderly Ukrainian who has not seen his grandchildren since August 2014