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Allegations of Torture, Unfair Trials, Misuse of Terrorism Law

(Berlin) – Russian military courts handed down guilty verdicts on February 5 and 10, 2020 in three separate, deeply flawed terrorism cases in which the defendants alleged incommunicado detention, torture, and other ill-treatment to…
Pictured (L) members of a left-wing group Set (Network) in court in Penza, Russia on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, when the court convicted seven members on terrorism charges, sentencing them to prison terms ranging from six to 18 years. (R) Eduard Nizamov.
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Lacks Specificity, Full Range of Protections Urgently Needed

(Moscow) – A draft law made public on November 29, 2019 fails to address serious gaps in Russia’s response to domestic violence , Human Rights Watch said today. In a December 6 letter to the Federation Council, the upper…
At a Moscow rally in support of domestic violence legislation, a woman holds a banner that reads "We demand a law against domestic violence. We are not killed yet, but we're close", Monday, Nov. 25, 2019.
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Legislative Changes, Stronger Police Action Needed

(Moscow) – Russian authorities often fail to protect women from domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Serious gaps in Russia’s laws, the lack of protection orders, and inadequate police and judicial responses leave…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
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Use September 7 Meeting to Address Arbitrary Detentions, Disappearances, Abductions

(Beirut) – The Astana working group on detentions and abductions in the Syrian conflict should take immediate steps to address the Syrian government’s arbitrary detentions, torture of detainees, and enforced disappearances, 11 human…
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lock hands during a group photo in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. © 2018 Tolga Bozoglu/Pool Photo via AP
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Repressive Laws, Charges Against Critics, Impunity for Abuse

(Moscow) – The Russian government escalated its crackdown on the political opposition and peaceful protesters during 2017, in advance of the 2018 elections, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. The government also took…
Riot police detain a man during an anti-corruption protest on Tverskaya Street in central Moscow, Russia, June 12, 2017.
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Provide Safe Passage from Deir al-Zor

(Beirut) – A group of civilians is stranded in the last remaining pocket under Islamic State (also known as ISIS) control in the city of Deir al-Zor, Human Rights Watch said today. All parties to the conflict, including the Syrian-…
A road sign welcomes people to the town of Deir al-Zor in Syria, September 20, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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Parliament Should Reject Measure That Harms Families

Update: On February 7, 2017, President Putin signed the bill into law. On February 1, 2017, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament adopted the amendments. On January 27, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament adopted the…
Russian activist protesting decriminalization of domestic violence in front of Russia’s state parliament building.
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Ensure Quality Education for All

(Moscow) – Children with disabilities in Russia face serious obstacles to accessing quality education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Russian government should build on progress to date to make sure that children with disabilities…
A boy sits in his room at a state boarding school
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Statement on Meeting in Moscow

(Moscow) – After meeting with Edward Snowden on July 12, 2013, Human Rights Watch reiterated its call for his asylum claims to receive fair treatment. Tanya Lokshina, Russia program director at Human Rights Watch, met with the former United States…
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Dagestan Bombing Repudiates Human Rights

(Moscow) – The fatal bombing that occurred in Makhachkala, the capital of Russia’s southern republic of Dagestan, on May 3, 2012, is an abominable crime for which there is no justification, Human Rights Watch said today. On the evening of May 3, two cars…
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(New York) - Russia should ensure that the bombing at one of Moscow's international airports on the afternoon of January 24, 2011, is investigated in full accordance with international human rights standards and that those responsible are brought to…
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(Moscow) - The attacks on the Moscow metro this morning represent an assault on the fundamental principle of respect for civilian life, and those responsible for this crime need to be found and held accountable, Human Rights Watch said today. Two…
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Stand up for Persecuted Human Rights Activists; Shut Guantanamo

(New York) - The award of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama should encourage him to apply his stated principles to both foreign and domestic human rights policy, Human Rights Watch said today. The Nobel committee awarded the prize…
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Russian Authorities Severely Beat an Ex-Guantanamo Detainee

(New York) - The US Defense Department's claim that a former Guantanamo detainee is a "recidivist" to terrorism appears to be based on a confession obtained by Russian authorities through torture, Human Rights Watch said today.  According to media…
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Chechen Suspect at Risk of Torture, Despite Assurances

(New York, December 16, 2008) - Spain should immediately halt plans to extradite an ethnic Chechen to Russia, where he will be at risk of torture, Human Rights Watch said today. To secure the extradition of the man, Murat Ajmedovich Gasayev, Russian…
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Health Deteriorates During Lengthy Russian Detention

(Moscow, December 2, 2008) - The health of a former Guantanamo detainee has declined alarmingly in a Russian detention facility, and he should be given immediate access to an independent medical examination and appropriate treatment, Human Rights Watch…
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Human Rights Watch Highlights Abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia

The established democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections for political expediency, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2008. By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and…
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Shanghai Cooperation Organization Should Not Undermine Rights in Name of Security

(New York) -- Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization missed a key opportunity to implement the organization’s human rights principles when they met on August 16 at the SCO summit in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Unconfirmed reports by Russian and foreign media indicate that a former Guantanamo Bay inmate, Ruslan Odizhev, was killed in a police raid this morning in Nalchik, capital of the Russian Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Odizhev was on a federal wanted list…
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New Report Shows Why 'Diplomatic Assurances' Don't Work

Former Guantanamo detainees who were sent home to Russia in 2004 experienced torture and other abuse despite Moscow's pledge to the US government that they would be treated humanely, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The Russian…