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After 30 Years, ‘De-Registered’ Along with Other Foreign Groups

(Berlin) – Russia’s Justice Ministry on April 8, 2022 canceled the registration of Human Rights Watch, along with Amnesty International and 13 other offices of foreign nongovernmental organizations and foundations, Human Rights Watch said today.…
The headquarters of Russia's Ministry of Justice in Moscow, December 4, 2017.
News

Baseless Verdict Adds 9 Years to Alexei Navalny’s Prison Sentence

(Berlin) – The conviction of the imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on new trumped-up charges on March 22, 2022, reflects the Russian government’s intensified crackdown on dissent and free expression since the start of Russia’s large-…
Alexei Navalny, a jailed opposition leader, during a court session in Pokrov, Vladimir region, Russia, March 22, 2022.
News

Thousands Arrested on March 6; Protesters Abused in Detention

Update: On March 13, police detained, at times brutally, more than 850 people allegedly for participation in peaceful anti-war protests. On March 15, the mayor of Moscow, where the majority of people were detained, lifted all major…
Police officers detain a protester in Manezhnaya Square, Moscow, Russia on March 6, 2022.
News

Authorities Threaten Independent Media over War Reporting

An update of this report through March 3, 2022 is available here. (Berlin) – Russian authorities have threatened to fine or block 10 Russian independent media outlets if they do not delete publications about the war in Ukraine, Human Rights Watch…
Journalists work in the news room of the independent Dozhd (Rain) television channel in Moscow, Russia.
News

Dissenting Voices and Activists Forced into Exile

(Moscow) – Russian authorities unleashed a full-fledged witch hunt on civic groups, independent media and journalists, political opposition and other critics in the run-up to the parliamentary election in September 2021, Human Rights Watch said today…
Police detain protesters at a rally against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in St. Petersburg, January 31, 2021.
News

Blocking, Oppressive Laws, Pressure on Tech Companies

(Moscow) – Russian authorities redoubled their efforts in 2021 to repress internet freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today. The government blocked popular censorship circumvention tools, experimented with novel censorship technologies, expanded…
A young man wearing a face mask checks his mobile phone at the State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg, May 26, 2020.
News

Report Corroborates Human Rights Watch Findings

(Abuja) – A judicial panel has found that army and police officers shot, injured, and killed unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria during nationwide protests against police brutality in 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. This…
Demonstrators protesting against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, on October 15, 2020.
News

End Crackdown on Independent Voices

(Berlin) – Russian authorities have taken punitive action against three local human rights defenders and their organizations in recent days, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities imposed arbitrary, draconian bureaucratic penalties against the…
The Russian flag flies on a courthouse building in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 15 2020.
News

Privacy, Political Targeting Concerns; Lack of Regulation, Data Protection, Oversight

(Moscow) – Russian authorities continue expanding their use of facial recognition technology across the country, with no regulation, oversight, or data protection and against the backdrop of misidentification reports, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A surveillance camera operates in Red square near the Kremlin in Moscow.
News

“Foreign Agents” Law Leads to Criminal Penalty

Correction: This text has been corrected to reflect the location of the 2019 police raid. (Moscow) – A court in Sochi, Russia, has convicted a prominent human rights defender on criminal charges related to the country’s “foreign agents” law,…
Semyon Simonov
News

Rescind Bills; Repeal Abusive ‘Undesirables’ Law; Reform Extremism Laws

(Moscow) – A group of Russian lawmakers introduced three bills on May 4, 2021 that would add new dangerous tools to the already significant arsenal of legislative weapons for the country’s crackdown on dissenting voices, Human Rights Watch said today…
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin addresses the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s Parliament, in Moscow, Russia. July 22, 2020.
News

Less Police Violence, But Intimidation, Advanced Roundups

(Moscow) – Russian police detained more than 1,600 people countrywide who were taking part in protests on April 21, 2021, against the treatment of the jailed and critically ill opposition figure Alexey Navalny, Human Rights Watch said today. Police…
A woman argues with a police officer during a protest in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Ulan-Ude, Russia, April 21, 2021.
News

End Unfounded Persecution, Lawsuit Against Kremlin’s Critics

Update 6/9/2021: On June 9, the Moscow City Court ruled in favor of a request by the prosecutor’s office to classify all three groups - the Anti-Corruption Foundation, the Foundation for Protection of Citizens Rights, and Navalny’s headquarters…
Police officers outside the Moscow City Court building. February 02, 2021. Russia, Moscow.
News

Fines, Smear Campaigns, Potential Blocking for Noncompliance

(Moscow) – Russian authorities are escalating pressure on social media companies, forcing them to censor online content deemed illegal by the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Social media platforms have received warnings and face fines and…
A man wearing a face mask to protect against Covid-19 uses his smartphone among Moscow City skyscrapers in Moscow, Russia, January 11, 2021.
News

Detention, Intimidation Violate Rights and Abuse Covid-19 Measures

(Moscow) – Russian authorities are harassing, intimidating, and detaining activists and students ahead of protests planned for January 23, 2021 in solidarity with the detained opposition leader Alexey Navalny, Human Rights Watch said today. Russian…
Police officers detaining Alexei Navalny's supporter at Vnukovo airport, Moscow, on January 17, 2021. © 2021 Emin Dzhafarov/Kommersant/Sipa via AP Images
News

Rescind New Bill; Repeal Abusive ‘Foreign Agents’ Laws

Update (November 30, 2020): This news release was corrected to reflect additional grounds on which a person or organization can be designated a “foreign agent.” (Moscow) –  A new bill introduced in Russia’s parliament on November 18, 2020…
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin addresses the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s Parliament, in Moscow, Russia. July 22, 2020.
News

Rescind New Bill; Repeal Abusive ‘Foreign Agents’ Law

(Moscow) – A bill introduced in Russia’s parliament on November 10, 2020 would further restrict the ability to function of independent groups that are already suffocating under the restrictive “foreign agents” law and other legislation, Human Rights…
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin addresses the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s Parliament, in Moscow, Russia. July 22, 2020.
News

Prosecutor Demands Data on Student Protesters, Contact with Foreigners

(Moscow) – Prosecutors have ordered a university in Moscow to submit detailed information on students and faculty who participated in mass protests and had contacts with foreign groups, Human Rights Watch said today. The order is part of an inspection…
Tens of thousands of people rallied in central Moscow Russia, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, for the third consecutive weekend to protest the exclusion of opposition and independent candidates from the Russian capital's city council ballot.
News

Authorities Seek to End Three-Month Protests in Khabarovsk

(Moscow) – Police in Khabarovsk, in Russia’s Far East, on October 10, 2020 beat peaceful protesters and arbitrarily detained over 20 people, Human Rights Watch said today. Alexander Prikhodko, born in 1977, who was among those arrested, is under…
Participants in a rally in Khabarovsk, in Russia's Far East, Saturday, to support the former region's governor Sergei Furgal on Oct. 10, 2020. Police detained several dozen protesters in the first crackdown since such rallies started three months ago.
News

Authorities Use Abusive Law to Penalize Critics

Update: On September 29, Moscow prosecutor office indicted Yuliya Galyamina on charges of repeated violation of the legislation on mass gatherings. (Moscow) – Russian authorities are prosecuting a Moscow municipal assembly member and…
Yuliya Galyamina holding placard “Down with the Tsar”, July 2020, Moscow 
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