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For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
News

Crimean Tatar Leader Arrested on Bogus Criminal Charges

In today’s Crimea, to be a member of the Crimean Tatar community is to be a target for the authorities. In the early hours of September 4, Russia’s security services raided the house of Nariman Dzhelyal, a deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatar…
Nariman Dzhelyal in Crimea in 2019. 
News

Raid on Kabul Journalists’ Home an Act of Intimidation

An Afghan police raid on the home of two female journalists in Kabul raises concerns about rising threats to women in public life – in this case from the Kabul police, who seem to have taken a page out of the Taliban’s playbook. At about midnight…
Afghan National Police seen near the Defense Ministry compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, February 27, 2016. 
News

Ukraine Should Join The 34 Other European States That Have Ratified the Istanbul Convention

Violence against women and girls in Ukraine remains a serious problem. A 2019 study by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Ukraine found that two-thirds of women surveyed said they had “experienced psychological, physical or sexual…
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on during a press conference in the garden of the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, May 22, 2020.
News

Deepening Repression in Occupied Crimea

A Russian military court today sentenced activist and blogger Nariman Memedeminov to two and a half years in prison for “making public calls for terrorism.” The prosecution was just the latest in the government’s relentless persecution…
Crimean blogger and activist Nariman Memedeminov at his court hearing, Rostov-on-Don, Russia
News

A Total of 70 Prisoners Included in the Swap

After several increasingly tense weeks amid swirling rumors, a much-anticipated large-scale prisoner swap has finally happened between Russia and Ukraine. Among those who arrived in Kyiv this Saturday afternoon, newly released from…
奥列格・森佐夫在乌克兰基辅鲍里斯波尔国际机场受到家属热情迎接,2019年9月7日。
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Press Freedom at Risk in Deadliest Country for Journalists

The role Afghanistan’s vibrant media plays in public life represents one of the most significant changes that have taken place in the country since 2001. But that achievement is under threat, as journalists face growing intimidation and…
Policemen help Afghan journalists, victims of a second blast, in Kabul, Afghanistan April 30, 2018.
News

Justice Ministry Calls for Emil Kurbedinov’s Expulsion from Bar Association

Few human rights lawyers are brave enough to work in Crimea these days. A recent letter from Russia’s Ministry of Justice to Crimean defense lawyer Emil Kurbedinov threatening his profession is yet another stark reminder that Russian…
Law enforcement officials during the search in Emil Kurbedinov’s office, Bakhchysarai, Crimea, January 26, 2017.
News

Pavlo Hryb, 20, Abducted and Held on Terrorism Charges in Russia

Pavlo Hryb’s ordeal began in January 2017, when he struck up an online friendship with Tatiana, then a 17-year-old from Sochi. Their friendship – which appeared to blossom into a romance – would eventually lead the 20-year-old Ukrainian…
Pavlo Hryb during his court hearing in Rostov-On-Don, July 23, 2018.
News

Groundbreaking 2009 Law Hasn’t Brought Justice for Victims

It seemed like a breakthrough. In 2009, when then-President Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan’s Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW Law), women’s rights activists celebrated a hard-won victory. They looked to a future…
Members of civil society organizations chant slogans during a protest to condemn the killing of 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday, in Kabul March 24, 2
News

Suicide Attack Targets First Responders, Journalists

Two years ago, Shah Marai, a photographer for Agence France Presse, described the pain of living in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, with little hope for a better future. “I don’t dare to take my children for a walk,” he wrote.  “All I…
Policemen help Afghan journalists, victims of a second blast, in Kabul, Afghanistan April 30, 2018.
News

Slight Fall in Ground Fighting Civilian Casualties by Government Forces

When I was in Kabul a few days ago, I caught up with an old Afghan friend, who remarked that the relentless violence in Afghanistan is hard for outsiders to comprehend. The mounting toll of dead and wounded has become abstract, he said, hard…
201710Asia_Afghanistan_Shia
News

Alleged Threats, Intimidation Demand Thorough Probe

A purported recording of an encounter between members of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s security detail and a journalist is a troubling reminder of the fragility of the country’s hard-won media freedom. Alyas Tahiri, a…
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani attends Afghan Independence Day celebrations in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 18, 2016.
News

Journalists Covering the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine Targeted

Journalists in Ukraine, especially those covering the armed conflict in the east, often put their safety on the line to get their stories out. But in recent months their job became even riskier, and not because of bullets and mortar fire. They are…
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addresses the parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, May 12, 2016.
News
Journalism is an increasingly deadly profession in Afghanistan. That is the chilling message from the Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC), based on statistics it released this week documenting attacks against the media over the past year. …
A cameraman films a news anchor at Tolo TV studio in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 18, 2015.
News
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a presidential decree this week reaffirming the government’s commitment to freedom of expression and protection of media workers. The decree commits the government to expedite investigations of journalists killed since…
Afghan policemen and fire-fighters inspect the wreckage of a minibus in Kabul targeted in a suicide attack that killed seven journalists affiliated with Tolo TV, January 20, 2016.
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
News
The photo is shocking. A young woman – 20 years old – lies in a hospital bed, cradling her infant. Where her nose should be is instead a ragged bandage. Her eyes gaze out from over the bandage, looking far away and numb. This is…
Afghan woman Raiza Gul, 20, and whose nose was sliced off by her husband in an attack, lies on a bed with her baby as she receives treatment at a hospital in the northern province of Faryab on January 19, 2016.
News
A left-wing political activist has been convicted of inciting separatism and extremist activities, the latest in a series of criminal prosecutions in Russia against people who dare speak their minds online. Unless the…
Russia's President Putin meets with representatives of Internet Initiatives Development Fund outside of Moscow, March 27, 2015.
News
The latest addition to the Taliban hit list are two of Afghanistan’s largest TV channels: 1TV and TOLO News. On October 12, the Taliban issued a statement on its website disputing a recent report by the two channels and said that the outlets’ employees…
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