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Macron Should Address Rights Abuses in Gulf Region

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a large delegation of French ministers and major business executives. In the UAE, he will apparently be finalizing a weapons deal, when…
News

Kidnapping, Interrogation Exposes Brutal Intent

The Russian LGBT Network has reported that in May 2021, Chechen-speaking men abducted Ibragim Selimkhanov in Moscow and forcibly returned him to Chechnya’s capital Grozny, where authorities interrogated him about gay people in the region. This is the…
Campaigners protest for LGBT rights in Chechnya outside the Russian embassy in London, Britain on June 2, 2017.
News

VkusVill Pulls Ad Featuring Lesbian Customers

Last week, VkusVill, a prominent Russian food market chain, ran an online advertisement entitled “Family Happiness Recipe” that featured, among others, a family that included several lesbian women. In Russia, where discrimination against lesbian, gay…
A VkusVill’s market in central Moscow, Russia on July 7th, 2021.
News

Discrimination Harms Parents and Children

In a victory for a transgender parent’s right to maintain contact with her children, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on July 6 that Russia’s denial of her visitation violated her rights to family life and freedom from discrimination. The…
Activists participate in the St Petersburg LGBT Pride march on August 12, 2017.
News

UN Report Shows Transfers of Banned Landmines in Conflict

Buried in a new report by the United Nations Panel of Experts on Libya comes disturbing news about recent transfers of internationally banned antipersonnel landmines. The report shows that antipersonnel mines manufactured in Russia were likely brought…
PMN-2 blast mines recovered from Tripoli, Libya, December 2020. 
News

Government Offers Compensation for Unwanted Surgeries

The Dutch government has apologized to transgender people for previously mandating surgeries, including sterilization, as a prerequisite for legal gender recognition. During a Cabinet meeting this week, government officials also announced plans to…
The Dutch flag flies at the parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, March 16, 2017.
News

Critic’s Punishment and Disappearance is Met with Moscow’s Silence

A video circulating on Russian social media shows a young man apparently being forced to penetrate himself with a glass bottle: a forced punishment for allegedly helping to “spread lies” about Chechen authorities. It once again highlights the Chechen…
Graphic circulating on Russian social media in support of  the Telegram channel "1ADAT". 
News

Move Raises Questions of When Gender Markers Are Necessary

The Dutch government will no longer include gender markers on national identification documents (IDs) in the next five years, a move that balances the potential harms – such as harassment, discrimination, and violence – that requiring people to…
The Dutch flag flies at the parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, March 16, 2017.
News

Authorities Should End Violations of Freedom of Expression and Assembly

Police in Moscow detained 40 people last weekend for holding peaceful protests in solidarity with a young woman who is facing up to six years in prison for running a feminist blog. On June 9, authorities in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in Russia’s far east…
Yulia Tsvetkova
News

Fully Repeal Professions Ban on Women

A transgender woman in St. Petersburg, Russia has won a final court battle with a former employer who fired her in 2017 after she changed her legal gender. The woman, known as “Anna,” had worked for a decade as a quality control checker at a…
The Russian flag flies on a courthouse building in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 15 2020.
News

Arms Sales to Rights-Abusing Countries Fuel Atrocities Against Civilians

Last week, the French government published its latest report on arms exports, documenting sales and transfers throughout 2019. After Qatar, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt received the greatest amounts, accounting for €1.4 billion and €1.0…
French-made Leclerc tanks of the Saudi-led coalition are deployed on the outskirts of the Yemeni port city of Aden during a military operation, August 3, 2015.
News

LGBT People Lack Equal Protection Under the Law

Last week, the vice-speaker of Russia’s lower chamber of the parliament, Piotr Tolstoi demanded that the country’s constitution explicitly state marriage is a “union between a man and a woman.” “This will create a barrier to…
 Edalov (lower) and his partner Evgeny Efimov at a picnic in June 2019, days before he was killed.
News

Other Dangerous Crowd Control Weapons Remain in Use

This week, France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that French police would stop using the controversial GLI-F4 tear gas grenade. This move is long overdue, but doesn’t address serious concerns about other weapons…
Protester picks up a tear gas grenade during a police charge on December 8, 2019 on the Champs Elysees, Paris.
News

Authorities Should Drop Charges, Release Activist, Repeal Propaganda Law

Russian feminist and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activist Yulia Tsvetkova, already under house arrest for two months on bogus charges of pornography distribution, faces new charges of allegedly violating Russia’s “gay…
Illustration reading, "Family is where love is. Support LGBT+ families.”
News

Government Engages in Lawfare against Civic Activism

A Russian feminist and LGBT activist is under house arrest for allegedly distributing pornography. It’s yet another example of Russia using unfounded accusations and vague laws to intimidate certain activists. Yulia Tsvetkova…
Yulia Tsvetkova, talking about her youth theater project “Pink and Blue”.
News

Authorities Equate Speaking to Children about Sexual Orientation with Sexual Assault

This week, investigative authorities in Moscow opened a criminal investigation into alleged sexual assault of children in connection with a video in which Russian kids ask a gay man questions about his life. The video series…
Maksim Pankratov, 21 y/o, interviewed by children on “Real Talk” © personal archive / Maksim Pankratov
News

New Law Would Let Lesbian Couples, Single Women Get In Vitro Fertilization

Update: On June 29, 2021, the French Parliament adopted the new bioethics law with 326 votes for and 115 against. The first article of the bill allows lesbian couples and single women access to medically assisted procreation. All women in…
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn gives a speech to introduce the debate on a bill that would give single women and lesbian couples access to in-vitro fertilization, at the National Assembly, in Paris
News

Court Warps Child Rights Arguments to Defend ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law

A Saint Petersburg court ruled last week that two lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social media groups violated Russia’s notorious “gay propaganda” law and ordered the sites shuttered. The groups – “Russian LGBT…
LGBT rights activists carry the rainbow flag during a May Day rally in St. Petersburg, Russia.
News

Authorities View Gay Parents as Unfit by Definition

А same-sex Russian couple with two kids, aged 12 and 14, fled the country this summer after being targeted by authorities citing Russia’s notorious “gay propaganda” law. Their story is a particularly disturbing example of the state…
A same-sex couple holds hands