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today 30.05.2015 03:04
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News from the CIS countries

Deadly secret: Putin criminalizes disclosure of Russian losses in Ukraine

29.05.15 | Halya Coynash
Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a decree classifying information about Russian military losses during “special operations in peacetime”, thus potentially enabling prosecution and imprisonment for divulging details about the deaths of Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine. As well as coinciding with publication of a second damning report this month about Russia’s undeclared war on Ukraine, the decree comes as another opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, lies remains gravely ill in Moscow with symptoms of poisoning..
News from the CIS countries

High price for probing Russian soldiers’ deaths in Ukraine

29.05.15 | Halya Coynash
74-year-old Ludmila Bogatenkova, head of a Soldiers’ Mothers committee in Russia, is facing charges potentially carrying a six-year sentence after she probed the deaths of nine Russian soldiers who were almost certainly killed in Ukraine
News from the CIS countries

Scathing Report Says Russia At War With Ukraine, Putin Lying

29.05.15
The report by the Atlantic Council also charges that Putin is using the decrease in hostilities that has followed a February cease-fire deal to reinforce Russian-backed rebels with troops and weaponry in order "to prepare for the next stage of fighting."
The right to a fair trial

Russian ’trial’ of Putin’s hostage to continue despite Ukrainian court verdict

28.05.15 | Halya Coynash
A Russian court has refused to terminate the trial of veteran Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemiliev’s son Khaiser, despite a verdict and sentence having been passed on the 33-year-old Ukrainian national by a Ukrainian court and his extradition requested. The judge’s ‘argument’ was that there had been no verdict from a Russian court.
Implementation of European Law

Ukraine’s laws for military zone criticized

28.05.15 | Halya Coynash
Human rights activists call Ukraine’s derogation of certain international obligations, adopted in parliament’s May 21 resolution, logical in areas not under Ukrainian control, but slam other legal moves such as the possibility of 30 day detention without a court order
Human Rights Violations associated with EuroMaidan, The right to life

Euromaidan: A Year of Impunity and what went wrong

28.05.15
Euromaidan SOS and other civic organizations and lawyers have issued a damning report of the lack of progress in investigating crimes against Euromaidan activists, and identified systemic failings that urgently need to be rectified. .
News from the CIS countries

Prominent Kremlin Critic Hospitalized In Moscow

28.05.15
A prominent Russian opposition activist and grassroots political organizer who has lobbied U.S. officials to sanction Kremlin loyalists has been hospitalized in Moscow after suddenly falling ill.
Deported peoples

Crimean Tatar leader to remain imprisoned on absurd charges

26.05.15 | Halya Coynash
Akhtem Chiygoz, Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis [representative assembly] has been in detention now for 3 months, and despite the lack of any grounds, the ruling on May 25 which upheld the court order extending Chiygoz’ detention was unfortunately predictable.
Law enforcement agencies, The right to life, The right to a fair trial

Movement at last on Odesa 2 May investigation

26.05.15 | Halya Coynash
A year after the tragic riots and fire in Odesa on May 2, 2014, a top police official is facing charges and civic investigators have upheld their right to information which is of clear public importance. A draft bill has also been tabled which could waive charges for people accused only of participation in riots, increasing the chances of finding the organizers and initiators
The right to life

Finding the real culprits of the events in Odesa on May 2, 2014

26.05.15
A bill just tabled in Ukraine’s parliament could, if passed, put an end to ‘chance prosecutions’ in connection with the tragic disturbances and fire in Odesa on May 2, 2014, and help the investigators to find those responsible for the death of 48 people and multiple injuries that day.
News from the CIS countries

Moscow shouts ‘abduction’ yet holds Ukrainian hostages incommunicado

25.05.15 | Halya Coynash
While Ukrainians have either disappeared without trace after being taken prisoner in Russia over the last year, or are being denied access to lawyers and the Ukrainian consul, the Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a warning to its own nationals travelling abroad that they could face arrest or detention
Law enforcement agencies

Another attack on journalists investigating Interior Ministry corruption

25.05.15 | Halya Coynash
For the second time in the space of a few weeks, investigative journalists probing corruption within the Interior Ministry have come under attack. The film crew was from the same programme whose findings recently led to the top Traffic Police official losing his job
Against torture and ill-treatment

Ukraine: Overwhelming new evidence of prisoners being tortured and killed amid conflict

25.05.15
Overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes, including torture and summary killings of prisoners, serve as a stark reminder of the brutal practices being committed on a near-daily basis in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Amnesty International says in a new report
The right to liberty and security

Desperate plea from Luhansk hostage facing 15-year ‘sentence’

22.05.15 | Halya Coynash
30-year-old Luhansk journalist Maria Varfolomeyeva is clearly seen as a trophy by the Kremlin-backed militants. A new video of their terrorized captive, whom they are threatening with a ’trial’ and 15-year ’sentence’, has now been broadcast for propaganda purposes by Russia’s LifeNews TV channel.
Freedom of peaceful assembly

Embroidery Day in Crimea: Detention, Interrogation & Ghoulish Threats

22.05.15 | Halya Coynash 
A flash mob to mark Ukrainian Embroidery Day in Russian-occupied Crimea resulted in 4 Ukrainian activists and 3 journalists being detained, interrogated for 5 hours and having their fingerprints taken. When asked why the fingerprints were needed, the officers replied that this is in case “something happens to you tomorrow. Headless bodies get found here”.

  

Articles

On Police Reform

Yevhen Zakharov
A brief description of the changes due to take place this year in the Ukrainian police force

‘Russian World’ and Religious Persecution in Donbas

Halya Coynash
A recent report highlights widespread and systematic persecution of all religious groups except believers linked to the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Donbas, and the role of Russia and its armed criminal ‘crusaders’ in mounting crimes against humanity in the region.

President signs dangerously flawed ‘decommunization’ laws

Halya Coynash
President Poroshenko has signed highly contentious laws one of which effectively criminalizes public expression of views held by many Ukrainians. The assurance given that a bill will be tabled to rectify some of the problems appears to refer to only one of the laws and begs the question of why faulty laws should be signed into law before being corrected

EuroMaidan activist sentenced to 4 years on surreal charges

Halya Coynash
The trial in Russian-occupied Crimea of Oleksandr Kostenko is one of unprecedented cynicism and of critical importance, sending a message to any Crimean, or Ukrainian national who appears in Crimea that they can face trumped-up charges over which courts in Crimea can have no jurisdiction, yet still find themselves behind bars.

Chillingly Soviet: Imprisonment without a Crime in Crimea

Halya Coynash
Crimeans, mostly Crimean Tatars, under Russian occupation are effectively being imprisoned without any elements of a crime, in most cases without any sign of a trial, with the lack of international reaction making them as defenceless as the many Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian activists who have disappeared without trace since Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Second sentence passed in Crimean ‘terrorist’ trial of opponents of annexation

Halya Coynash
Oleksy Chirniy, who ‘confessed’ and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution has received a 7-year sentence. The final indictments against Crimean film director Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko have, as expected, proven devoid of any elements of ‘terrorism’, yet both men are facing likely maximum sentences as punishment for refusing to ‘cooperate’

More Evidence against Incendiary Lies about Odesa 2 May

Halya Coynash
Important findings about the fire in the Trade Union Building on May 2, 2014 demonstrate yet again the full cynicism of the Russian propaganda machine in its deliberate attempts to stir up hatred and desire for revenge through lies about a massacre that day.