The Media Initiative for Human Rights (MIHR) is a media team that changes foreign and domestic policy for Ukraine’s integration into the free world.
The Main Lines of MIHR Actions:
- Investigating war crimes committed in connection with Russian aggression in Ukraine. In particular, forcible disappearances, improper detention of prisoners of war, as well as tracking war trials and studying the quasi-legal system in the part of the territory of Ukraine occupied by Russia.
- Analysis of the practices implemented by the military of the Russian Federation, based on which we prepare recommendations for the government of Ukraine, the international community, and the public to achieve justice.
- Advocacy for changes in government policies and social practices regarding the provision and observance of human rights and freedoms.
Topics of Investigations:
- Prisoners of war: analyzing situations, maintaining non-public lists of detainees, supporting families, drawing the attention of the media, the Ukrainian government and the international community to the problem.
- Forcible disappearances: monitoring public information to find relevant cases, informational support and advocacy of cases involving the families of the disappeared at international human rights institutions.
- War and justice: analyzing and drawing attention to key processes in Ukrainian courts and problems of pre-trial investigation regarding the war, involving journalists in more active coverage of this topic.
- Quasi-legal system: analyzing Russia-formed quasi-organizations in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories on the example of separate politically motivated cases, including analyzing violations of the rights of participants in so-called courts.
- Other war crimes: monitoring crimes committed by the Russian army on the territory of Ukraine, maintaining lists of victims, identifying alleged perpetrators, and cooperating with both national and law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes.
The Founding Story of MIHR
Journalists Maria Tomak and Olha Reshetylova launched the organization in September 2016. At first, the main activity of MIHR was journalistic investigations of human rights violations followed by legal support of cases. Currently, MIHR combines monitoring and recording human rights violations in connection with the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, coverage and investigation of separate episodes, analysis of collected data, and advocacy activities.
For the team, it is crucial not only to talk about the problems of human rights violations in the occupation and the war zone but, above all, to influence their solution and encourage an appropriate response to them both at the national and international levels.