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Legislative Changes Necessary to Account for Grave Crimes

On November 9 Ukrainian authorities arrested Denis Kulikovsky, a senior-level member of the Russia-backed armed group “DNR”. Between 2015 and 2018, Kulikovsky oversaw the “Izoliatsiia” detention center in Donetsk, where rights groups like Human Rights…
Denis Kulikovsky in Mariupol district court, November 10, 2021.
News

Drop All Charges Against Edem Semedlyaev

Yesterday, Russian authorities arbitrarily arrested lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, while he was advising clients at a police station, who themselves had been arbitrarily arrested. Today court released Semedlyaev pending review of the charges. Semedlyaev…
Edem Semdlyaev, Simferopol, Crimea 2021
News

Fresh Action Needed Six Years After Gui Minhai’s Kidnapping

This week marks the sixth anniversary since Chinese authorities abducted Gui Minhai, a Swedish book publisher, from his home in Thailand in 2015. After enduring a forced confession on state media and a sham trial, Gui was briefly freed in 2017, before…
Protesters stick photos of Gui Minhai, left, and other missing booksellers outside the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong on January 3, 2016.
News

When Flights Resume, Step Up Evacuation Efforts for Citizens, Afghans at Risk

As governments scrambled to evacuate their nationals and Afghans at risk from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover in August, Ukraine made headlines last month with its rescue in Kabul of nearly 100 Ukrainians and Afghans at risk. The…
Ukrainian citizens gathered outside Hamid Karzai International airport in early September 2021 asking Ukraine to evacuate them, Kabul Afghanistan.
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

Jailed Journalist’s Health Deteriorates After Alleged Torture in Custody

The health of a Ukrainian journalist in custody in Simferopol on the Crimean peninsula is reported to be deteriorating, following alleged torture by Russian security services. Vladyslav Yesypenko, a freelance journalist who covered environmental…
A man holds a placard that says "Journalism is Not a Crime" and "#FreeYesypenko"
News

Governments Should Bolster Respect for Landmark Arms Ban

Governments should reinforce the global ban on chemical weapons by suspending the rights and privileges of Syria, a party to the treaty that has violated it with impunity for years.  This week, states that are parties to the Chemical Weapons…
A civil defense member breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017.
News

Potential Escalation in Hostilities Requires Focus on Civilian Protection

International attention to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine had faded in recent years. Recent reports of Russia massing troops near Ukraine’s border have brought it back into focus. Monitors reported a significant uptick in hostilities in…
Український солдат на спостережному посту у бліндажі біля прифронтового міста Красногорівка на сході України.
News

All Countries Should Urgently Repatriate Citizens

On the surface, it seems like a happy ending: a 4-year-old Canadian girl is flown home to Canada on Sunday after living the first half of her life under the Islamic State (ISIS) and the second in a squalid detention camp in northeast Syria. But her…
A 4-year-old Canadian girl after her rescue from a detention camp
News

Limited Community Outreach Blunts Impact of Accountability Efforts

A German court in the town of Koblenz this week will render its first verdict in a historic trial of two former Syrian officials for atrocities during Syria’s decade-long brutal armed conflict. The two accused in the case are an alleged former…
Photos of Syrians who have been detained or disappeared set up by Families for Freedom, as part of a protest in front of the court in Koblenz, July 2, 2020. 
News

Follows Netherlands Government’s Decision to Halt Adoptions

A recent inquiry in the Netherlands into intercountry adoptions uncovered such damning abuses that the government froze all overseas adoptions. Following the Dutch investigation, the Swedish Family Law and Parental Support Authority, the agency…
Vy över Sveriges parlament (riksdag) i Stockholm den 9 april 2006.
News

Russia Should Stop Using Unfounded Terrorism Charges for Purposes of Persecution

On February 17, Russia’s security services and national guard raided the homes of seven Muslim men in Crimea — six of them Crimean Tatars. At four in the morning, armed men banged on the doors and windows of their homes in Sevastopol, Bakhchisaray…
News

Floundering Government Finds New Ways to Confiscate Wealth of Syrian Citizens

On February 2, Syria’s Ministry for Media and Information posted a video in which Colonel Elias al-Bitar, head of the army’s Exemptions and Reserves Branch, informed the country of an amendment that allows authorities to seize the property of “…
A Syrian flag flies in the city of Maarat al-Numan, near Idlib, Syria, February 12, 2020.
News

13 Protesters Detained, Face Fines

Ukrainian activists gather every year on January 19 to commemorate the anniversary of the killing of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova, both gunned down by a radical nationalist in Moscow in 2009. In previous…
Поліція затримує протестуючих на протесті проти безкарності за ультраправе насильство, Київ, Україна, 19 січня 2021 року.
News

Decision Recognizes Abuses in Crimea Are Attributable to Russia

On January 14, the European Court of Human Rights issued a significant decision accepting Ukraine’s complaint alleging that Russia is responsible for multiple human rights violations in Crimea. This decision is very important. While the Court did…
News

A Positive Step, but Thousands Still Held Incommunicado

On November 4, local news outlets reported that the Syrian government had released over 60 individuals from detention facilities in southern Syria and Damascus. While not the first such release, the news is a positive development in an area where…
A checkpoint in the Syrian city of Daraa.
News

Ottawa Should Repatriate 46 Others Held in Northeast Syria

After months of inaction, the Canadian government announced Monday that it had repatriated a 5-year-old orphan, Amira, who was trapped in a camp for Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and family members in northeast Syria. Amira’s overdue rescue should not…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
News

New Government Policy Prevents Syrians from Returning Home

The Syrian government insists that each Syrian national entering Syria must exchange US$100 for Syrian pounds at the official rate. The policy was put in place in July, ostensibly to help the government replete its foreign currency reserves amid an…
Members of the Lebanese General Security Directorate oversee Syrian refugees boarding a bus to take them home to Syria, in the northern Beirut suburb of Burj Hammoud, Lebanon, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. © 2019 AP Photo/Bilal Hussein
News

Another Unjust Verdict Against Crimean Tatars

Last week, a Russian military court sentenced seven Crimean Tatars to prison terms ranging from 13 to 19 years. It is part of a pattern of politically motivated prosecutions that has been happening in Russia-occupied Crimea for the past six years.…
Активисты «Крымской солидарности» во время вынесения приговора 16 сентября 2020 г.
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.