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Raids, Detentions, Prosecution of Anti-War Activists, Independent Journalists

(Berlin) – Russian authorities have cracked down on journalists, human rights defenders, and activists in an effort to silence any criticism of the war in Ukraine, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have arbitrarily detained, judicially…
Russian demonstrators attend a protest against the war in Ukraine, in Lenin Square, Novosibirsk on March 2, 2022.
News

‘Discrediting’ Armed Forces, Calling to End the War, Backing Sanctions Become Crimes

Update (March 23, 2022): In the three days after the law’s adoption on March 4, Russian authorities opened at least 60 cases on the administrative offense of “discrediting Russian armed forces,” the vast majority against peaceful anti-war protesters.…
A flag flies on a Russian State Duma building in Moscow, Russia. February 2022.
News

Mass Arbitrary Detentions, Police Brutality, Criminal Prosecutions

(Moscow) – On January 23, 2021, police detained more than 3,700 people across Russia at nationwide protests against the arrest of political opposition figure Alexey Navalny and against state corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. It was the…
Police officers clash with people during a protest against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow.
News

Arrests, Prison, Harassment for Peaceful Religious Practice

(Moscow) – Law enforcement authorities across Russia have dramatically escalated the nationwide persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the past 12 months, Human Rights Watch said today. One year after President Vladimir Putin said that…
Special Rapid Response Unit raid a Jehovah’s Witness home in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast.
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Raids, Arbitrary Arrests, Torture of Activists

(Berlin) – Russian authorities have brought unfounded terrorism charges against 24 Crimean Tatars, 20 of whom were arrested during heavily armed raids on their homes in the spring of this year, Human Rights Watch said today. Security…
Crimean Tatar activists protest politically motivated arrests of terrorism charges in Moscow’s Red Square on July 10, 2019.
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Government Intimidation, Concerts Cancelled

(Moscow) – Russian authorities have been interfering with performances of rappers and other musicians popular with younger audiences, forcing them to cancel concerts in acts of censorship that violate freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said…
Russian musician Nastya Kreslina, member of electronic duo called IC3PEAK performs during a concert in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
News

Religious Persecution, Other Abuses

(Moscow) – Law enforcement authorities across Russia have carried out a sweeping campaign against Jehovah’s Witnesses in recent months, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have carried out dozens of home searches,…
Since 2007, dozens of pieces of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature have been banned and placed on the federal registry of banned extremist materials. Picture here, stacks of booklets distributed by a local leader of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in the
News

Russians Targeted for Links to Foreign ‘Undesirable’ Groups

(Berlin) – The Russian government has intensified enforcement of the country’s repressive legislation on foreign “undesirable” organizations to intimidate Russian nationals and groups, Human Rights Watch said today. Officials are penalizing Russian…
Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 2010.
News

Arbitrary Detentions; Separatism, Terrorism Charges

(Berlin) – Russian authorities in Crimea have intensified persecution of Crimean Tatars, under various pretexts and with the apparent goal of completely silencing dissent on the peninsula, Human Rights Watch said today. Crimean Tatars are a Muslim…
Law enforcement officials during a search in Bakhchysarai, Crimea on January 26, 2017
News

Navalny Campaigners Attacked Ahead of Presidential Poll

(Berlin) – Russian police have systematically interfered with the presidential campaign of Russia’s leading political opposition figure Alexei Navalny, Human Rights Watch said today. Police across Russia have raided Navalny’s campaign offices,…
burnt door St. Petersburg Navalny
News

Mass Detentions, Beatings, Flawed Hearings

(Moscow) – Russian police arbitrarily detained hundreds of people during peaceful protests on June 12, 2017, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch interviewed more than a dozen people detained during the protests…
Riot police detain a man during an anti-corruption protest organised by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, on Tverskaya Street in central Moscow, Russia, June 12, 2017.
News

Protesters, Parents Face Intimidation, Charges

(Moscow) – The authorities in numerous cities across Russia have harassed and intimidated schoolchildren and university students who participated in anti-corruption demonstrations on March 26, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Protesters assembled around Pushkinskaya Square in Moscow on March 26, 2017.
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(Washington, DC) - Under President Bush's November 13th Military Order on military commissions, any foreign national designated by the President as a suspected terrorist or as aiding terrorists could potentially be detained, tried, convicted and even…