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On Wednesday, Boris Johnson accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Johnson is certainly right that Ukrainian civilians are being killed by indiscriminate attacks, but will anyone end up in the dock? The…
A residential building in Chernihiv, Ukraine damaged by Russian aerial attack on March 3, 2022.
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Robust Changes Urgently Needed After Revelations of Wide-Scale Torture

On February 17, Russia’s parliament will consider new legislation aimed at punishing state officials who commit torture.  The recent leak of multiple videos revealing horrific physical, sexual, and psychological abuse of inmates in prisons across…
Screen shot from leaked footage of how Evgeny Makarov, a prisoner in Yaroslavl Colony No. 1, was brutally tortured in June 2017.
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The candidates may disagree on some human rights issues, but the next president will face challenges that transcend partisan lines. How might tomorrow's presidential election affect U.S. policy on human rights? The common wisdom is that unlike their sharp…
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Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov correctly pointed out in a recent article that human rights problems are one of the “main causes of the ‘Arab revolutions.’” As an investigator for Human Rights Watch who has interviewed hundreds of people in Syria…
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A heavy, stifling heat envelops the Caucasus in midsummer. During the day the sun fries your brain, your throat itches from the hot dust, and the night brings no relief, only hordes of maddened mosquitoes. After hurtling along Chechen roads from dawn…
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The attacks usually occur in the dead of night. Vehicles full of uniformed men pull up to a home, rouse the terrified occupants and herd them outside. Then the gunmen methodically ransack the house, pile the furniture and other belongings, douse it all…
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Published in Newsweek Russia After the recent assassination attempt against the president of Ingushetia, Yunus-bek Yevkurov, the question of whether Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of the Chechen republic, will be granted control over the neighboring…
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The Fujimori Verdict

Standing in the packed courtroom annex as a Supreme Court panel this week sentenced the former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori to 25 years in prison for two massacres and two kidnappings, I had mixed emotions. As a human rights advocate who has…
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Bringing their tormentors to book is an important way for victims to recover their dignity

John Laughland suggests that human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, are more concerned about the conviction of former heads of state than about them getting fair trials. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Fujimori's trial could…
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MOSCOW: During the Soviet era, Russian human-rights defenders looked to the West as our only hope for leverage on a government that was utterly unaccountable to its people. It is surreal to find myself in that position again today. Outside pressure is now…
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Anna Neistat is emergencies researcher for Human Rights Watch and the author of many reports on Chechnya. All names in the article have been changed to protect witnesses’ identities. Only when I got closer did it become clear that these buildings were…
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Who would not want to see some silver lining to the case of Andrei Sychyov, the conscript who recently lost both his legs due to vicious beatings inflicted on him by older conscripts? There might be one — but only if this tragedy finally spurs the Russian…
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Khodorkovsky’s trial occurs at a time when the Russian authorities—guided by President Putin’s seemingly benign concept of “managed democracy”—are exhibiting extraordinary determination to reestablish control over numerous spheres of public life—business…
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From everything we have heard from Tony Blair in recent days and weeks, it seems unlikely that he will wish to ask Vladimir Putin difficult questions when the two leaders meet at Downing Street today. On the contrary. The Prime Minister seems eager to go…
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One measure of America's importance is the frequency with which countries do outrageous things when they think Americans aren't watching. Saddam Hussein used to do his worst when official Washington was on vacation — his offensive into Iraqi Kurdistan…
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(Washington, DC) - Under President Bush's November 13th Military Order on military commissions, any foreign national designated by the President as a suspected terrorist or as aiding terrorists could potentially be detained, tried, convicted and even…
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