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Another Women’s Rights Group Could Be Labeled a “Foreign Agent”

In Russia, working to prevent and combat domestic violence can be considered a “political activity.” And that means risking state harassment and intimidation. The authorities are now targeting Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that…
The staff of Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that provides assistance to domestic violence survivors.  
News

New Fines, Instructions Send Chilling Messages

As Russia reports record numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths, authorities seem paradoxically concerned with preventing health workers from talking about the crisis, hospital overcrowding, and shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE).…
A medical specialist wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a break at the City Clinical Hospital Number 15 which delivers treatment to COVID-19 patients in Moscow, Russia May 25, 2020.
News

Public Abuse of Dead Woman’s Mother Will Deter Others Seeking Help

Two weeks ago, Madina Umaeva, 23, died in Russia’s Chechen Republic under suspicious circumstances. She had previously complained to family members about her husband repeatedly beating her. On the day she died, neighbors heard screams from her house…
The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, on December 13, 2011.
News

Russia Should Support Medical Aid via Syria-Iraq Border to Prevent Covid-19 Spread

The UN Security Council – including Russia – needs to act quickly to reauthorize medical aid deliveries from Iraq to Syria’s northeast to prevent further spread of Covid-19 that could devastate the region.    The council needs to move…
A medic checks the temperature of a man inside a health isolation centre which has been established on the Syrian-Turkish borders in order to place people coming from Turkey to Idlib as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19.
News

Afro, Indigenous Communities Especially at Risk

  Internally displaced people in Colombia often live in overcrowded conditions with limited access to water and food. These families, who fled violence in their home regions and often struggle economically, face further risk from Covid-19.…
A photograph sent to Human Rights Watch showing the living conditions of a displaced indigenous community in Buenaventura, Colombia. Their limited access to water and health services means that Covid-19 could spread quickly through the community.
News

Civilians Need to be Protected as Coronavirus Cases Spread in Syria

After almost a decade of conflict, and with new cases of Covid-19 recorded across the country, at least four million people, a quarter of whom are displaced in camps, await the next disaster in northwest Syria. While much of the world was…
A surgical operation room is damaged after an airstrike hit a hospital in the town of Ariha, in Idlib province, Syria, January 30, 2020.
News

When Feeding, Protecting the Homeless from Covid-19 Becomes an Offense

While “Safe at Home” becomes a global motto, those without a home find themselves particularly vulnerable. In Moscow,  which now has  14,776 of Russia’s 24,490 officially registered Covid-19 cases, the homeless population, numbering…
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News

Reported Project Would Create Online Pass System

Moscow is considering a highly intrusive, online regime for enforcing the lockdown imposed this week to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As of April 1, Russia had recorded more than 2,300 cases, 1,630 of them in Moscow. According to one media…
A man wearing a protective face mask rides an empty train on the Moscow Metro, Russia, March 30, 2020.
News

COVID-19 Provides Excuse to Extend; New Monitoring Technology

Moscow’s officials are forging ahead with installing one of the world’s biggest surveillance camera systems equipped with facial recognition technology, despite protests from activists. The system is ostensibly to help in the fight against…
Two surveillance camera are seen in a street in Moscow, Russia
News

Overcrowding Conditions in Detention Facilities Leave Prison Population at Serious Risk

Some of the world’s top human rights bodies are issuing guidelines for how governments should deal with preventing and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in prisons, and with good reason. People in custody do not enjoy the same hygiene and sanitation…
A view of Butyrka, one of Moscow’s pretrial detention facilities, 2020.
News

Government Response to European Court Defies Belief – and the Facts

According to Russian authorities, men in Russia are more likely to suffer from discrimination in domestic violence cases – an outrageous claim that flies in the face of the facts. The dubious statement is part of Russia’s…
A A protest performance staged by women’s rights activists in Saint Petersburg after Russia’s adoption of domestic violence legislation, January 2017.
News

Independent Group Closes, One of Several Slapped with Crippling Fines

Last week, a Russian group in Saratov, that for three decades has helped people living with diabetes, announced it was shutting down. According to the group’s leader, Larisa Saygina, its board members are “no longer willing to be…
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News

Shutdown of HIV Site the Latest Attack on Freedom of Expression

Earlier this week, Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal agency responsible for overseeing online and media content, took steps to shutter ParniPlus, a website raising awareness about the exploding HIV epidemic among men who have…
An anti-gay rights activist shows a badge during a flash mob organized by gay rights protesters in St. Petersburg May 17, 2012.
News

One Year Since Legislative Changes Weakened Protections

A jealous husband from a small town near Moscow took his 25-year-old wife and mother of their two small boys, Margarita Gracheva, to the woods, put a knife to her throat, and threatened to kill her. The woman called the police, but when a police…
A A protest performance staged by women’s rights activists in Saint Petersburg after Russia’s adoption of domestic violence legislation, January 2017.
News

New Domestic Violence Law in Russia Hurts Victims

Only after a year of abuse, when Marina fell out a second-storey window as her husband tried to strangle her, did she go to police in Russia. Even then – wheelchair-bound, with metal plates holding her smashed feet together – Marina said she had to beg…
Russian activist protesting decriminalization of domestic violence in front of Russia’s state parliament building.
News

Russian Lawmakers Put Children at Risk

If hitting an adult is considered assault, should it be permissible to hit children? More and more countries recognize that the answer is “no.” Since 2001, the number of countries that have banned all corporal punishment of children has more than…
Russian activist protesting decriminalization of domestic violence in front of Russia’s state parliament building.
News

New Law Can Help End Epidemic of Violence Against Women

In September last year, Marem Aliyeva vanished from her home in Ingushetia, in Russia’s North Caucasus. Over the years Marem, 35, had filed multiple complaints to the police, detailing how her husband beat her. But the police would not budge. “We don’t…
Marem Aliyeva
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
Prompted by a seemingly endless string of stories about suicides by people suffering from cancer pain, the Russian government has finally been pressured into acting - by barring the media from reporting on the issue. The story begins with a February 20…
News
It’s rare that a high-level Russian official takes a public stand for justice vis-a-vis the law enforcement establishment. But Russia’s health minister did just that. The minister, Veronika Skvorstova, publicly endorsed the acquittal of a…