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today 29.07.2014 03:30
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The right to a fair trial

Russian TV helps prosecution in Nadya Savchenko case

29.07.14 | Halya Coynash | comments: 1
Russia has thus far proven unable to credibly explain how Nadya Savchenko came to be in Russian detention and to be charged with involvement in the deaths of a Russian journalist and cameraman. It is instead applying dubious tactics to ensure that the questions are either not asked, or not heard. Not for the first time, Russian TV has been assigned a key role.
Children’s rights

Kremlin-armed militants continue to terrorise and use children as hostages

40 children from a Luhansk children’s home abducted by Kremlin-backed militants on Saturday are now in Ukraine and safe, however militants are still refusing to allow the evacuation of other children with medical conditions from the area of fighting
Freedom of expression, Deported peoples

Crimean Tatar newspapers again suspected of ‘extremism”

In yet another unpleasant echo of Soviet times, two Crimean Tatar newspapers – ‘Avdet’ and ‘Kyyrym’ - have been ‘denounced’ for allegedly ‘circulating extremist material’
Freedom of conscience and religion, Deported peoples, The right to life

Ongoing harassment of ethnic Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars & others in Crimea

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has pointed to ongoing concerns, the imprisonment of Oleg Sentsov and three other activists; the banning of Refat Chubarov and Mustafa Dzhemiliev from their homeland; religious harassment; and much more, with none of its previous recommendations implemented
Politics and human rights, Human rights protection, The right to life

UN: Reign of Fear and Terror inflicted by armed groups

The latest report by the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights documents how armed groups in eastern Ukraine “continue to abduct, detain, torture and execute people kept as hostages in order to intimidate and “to exercise their power over the population in raw and brutal ways.”
Politics and human rights

Russia justifies State-sponsored Abductions

28.07.14 | Halya Coynash
The head of Russia’s Investigative Committee has suggested that Russia needs new legislative and other changes to enable it to abduct and take to Russia all those it suspects of crimes against Russians. He claims that this is following western countries’ lead and that Russia has a history-given right to fight fascists and ‘nationalists’ in this way
Freedom of expression

Polish journalist seriously injured in eastern Ukraine

Bianka Zalewska, a Polish journalist working for the Ukrainian channel Espreso TV received serious injuries on Sunday near Starobielsk in the Luhansk oblast. She has been moved to a hospital in Kharkiv
The right to a fair trial

FSB on the hunt for new ‘suspects’ in the Sentsov ‘terrorism’ case

Russia’s FSB has issued summonses to the heads of the Karman Art Centre whom they suspect of involvement in what they claim was a terrorist conspiracy organized by renowned Crimean film director Oleg Sentsov. The FSB seems to find first aid courses particularly ‘suspicious’.
The right to liberty and security

Abducted Roman Catholic priest released by militants

Father Viktor Wąsowicz, head of the Roman Catholic Church in Horlivka was released on Saturday after being held hostage by Kremlin-backed militants for two weeks. Anton Skyba, a Donetsk journalist seized on July 22 was also [separately] released.
Children’s rights

Kremlin-backed militants abduct infants with special medical needs

40 infants in need of constant medical care have been abducted by Kremlin-backed militants from a children’s home in Luhansk who were planning to take them – without the necessary documentation and vital medical records into Russia.
Politics and human rights

Whose war?

25.07.14 | 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
News from the CIS countries

Moscow court convicts Udaltsov and Razvozzhaev on ‘riots’ charges

Leonid Razvozzhaev, the Russian asylum seeker abducted in Kyiv and taken to Moscow has been convicted, together with Left Front activist Sergei Udaltsov of ‘organizing mass riots”. The men’s "patriotic position" in supporting the Kremlin-backed militants in Donbas did not prevent a guilty verdict which most observers see as politically motivated
The right to liberty and security

Lviv journalist taken hostage for a second time

Yury Lelyavsky, a freelance journalist reporting for ZIK has once again been taken hostage by Kremlin-backed militants. According to a friend and fellow journalist Vlad Yakushev, this time he was seized in the Luhansk oblast where the anti-terrorist operation is underway
Implementation of European Law

Ongoing saga over bulletproof vests v. EU legislation

There is still no resolution in the absurd saga involving efforts by Polish volunteers to bring bulletproof vests and helmets to Ukraine to help save Ukrainian soldiers’ lives.
Politics and human rights

Russian Media hype over ban on parliamentary communist faction [Updated]

24.07.14 | Halya Coynash
Russia’s LifeNews has found a new crusader “for the truth” against the “nationalist-fascist regime in Kyiv” in the figure of Petro Symonenko’s whose communist party faction in parliament dissolved on Thursday.



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

Call for joint Ukrainian-Russian human rights mission for Donbas

Representatives of human rights organizations in Ukraine and Russia have addressed an open appeal to the Ukrainian and Russian Human Rights Ombudspersons and the Chairperson of the Russian Human Rights Council under the President, Mikhail Fedotov.

Where are the sanctions?

Halya Coynash
There were overt – and successful – efforts to disrupt the elections in two regions, and there are now large numbers of trucks with armed fighters crossing the Russian border into Ukraine. Only the ’grave consequences’ for Russia are yet to be seen.

Russian Clamp on Crimean Tatar Remembrance

Halya Coynash
The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People has been forced to cancel the huge remembrance gathering in the centre of Simferopol on May 18. Russian repressive measures under annexation have now extended to remembering victims of the Deportation