Tatars

ECHR: Russia liable for rights violations in Crimea

Ruling in the case Ukraine v. Russia (re Crimea), the European Court of Human Rights unanimously found June 25 that Russia is guilty of a pattern of human rights violations since 2014 in Crimea, as codified under the European Convention on Human Rights and international humanitarian law. These violations include ill-treatment, intimidation, disappearances, forced Russian citizenship, and suppression of Ukrainian media and press.

Crimea: 10 years of illegal occupation

Amnesty International states in a report issued March 18 that during 10 years of illegal occupation, Russia has attempted to reshape the demography of the Crimean Peninsula. It has also suppressed Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar identities through "restrictions on education, religion, media, representative institutions, [the] judicial system, and cultural celebrations."

ICJ issues mixed ruling in Ukraine case against Russia

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Jan. 31 that Russia failed to investigate Ukrainian claims that Russian nationals finance terrorism in Ukraine, in violation of its obligations under Article 9 of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (ICSFT). The ruling's press release states that the ICJ otherwise rejected requests by Ukraine for a plethora of provisional measures. Ukraine had requested the ICJ declare Russia in violation of both the ICSFT and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), seeking a court order demanding Russia comply with its obligations under these conventions. Ukraine also requested that the ICJ order Russia to prosecute certain officials, such as the Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, and further requested reparations for civilian shelling.

Russia prolongs detention of Tatar-language journalist

A district court in Kazan, capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan, on Dec. 1 extended the detention of Alsu Kurmasheva, a journalist holding joint Russian and United States citizenship. Kurmasheva faces allegations of failing to comply with Russia's stringent "foreign agent" registration law. The decision, extending her pre-trial detention through early February, was made without actually setting a trial date.  

Russian officials sanctioned for abuse of Crimea journalist

The Council of the European Union announced sanctions Sept. 8 on six Russians it says committed rights violations in Crimea. The six individuals were singled out for participating in legal proceedings against Ukrainian journalist Vladyslav Yesypenko, who was targeted by Russia for his outspoken opposition to the Russian occupation of Crimea. Federal Security Service (FSB) agent Vitaliy Vlasov was sanctioned for his investigation of Yesypenko. Denis Korovin, another FSB agent, was sanctioned for allegedly participating in Yesypenko's torture.

Russian anti-fascist released from prison, promptly re-arrested

Russian anti-fascist activist Azat Miftakhov was arrested by FSB agents Sept. 4, immediately upon his release from a prison colony in Omutninsk. Azat had been in detention since February 2019, convicted in connection with the breaking of a window at a Moscow protest outside an office of the ruling United Russia party. At that time of that arrest Miftakhov was a mathematics graduate student at Moscow State University. Miftakhov endured torture, threats, and other mistreatment at the hands of authorities while imprisoned. After a trial marked by widespread judicial abuses and the use of "secret witnesses," in January 2021 he was convicted of "hooliganism" and sentenced to five years in prison. He was released on parole two days after an International Day for the Liberation of Azat Miftakhov was held in cities around the world. But just as he exited the prison colony to meet his family, he was taken into custody again—this time on charges of "publicly justifying terrorism."

Podcast: Ukraine and anarchist internationalism

In Episode 187, the CounterVortex podcast presents audio from the panel "Ukraine and Anarchist Internationalism" at the Los Angeles Anarchist Book Fair. Bill Weinberg urges solidarity with the Ukrainian anarchist units fighting the Russians—and calls out the American left for essentially supporting the wrong side in the war. For instance, the perennially problematic Democracy Now ignores the heroic Russian left-dissidents who have sacrificed their freedom or even lives to resist Putin's war effort, such as Darya Polyudova, Aleksandra Skochilenko and Dmitry Petrov. But it gives splashy coverage to Yurii Sheliazhenko, the Ukrainian pacifist just arrested in Kyiv for "justifying Russian aggression." Also: Yevgeny Lerner speaks on the national liberation struggle of the Crimean Tatars. Introduction by Javier Sethness, author of Eros & Revolution: The Critical Philosophy of Herbert Marcuse and the upcoming Queer Tolstoy. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

Russia: anti-draft uprising spreads

More than 2,000 people have been detained in protests across Russia since President Vladimir Putin announced a mobilization of military reserve troops to fight in Ukraine, according to human rights monitor OVD-Info. The demonstrators are risking long prison terms under laws passed shortly after the Ukraine invasion was launched, which have facilitated a harsh crackdown on dissent.

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