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Lack of Accountability, Oversight, Data Protection

(Moscow) – Russian authorities are planning to expand the use of CCTV cameras with facial recognition software, despite weighty concerns about the lack of regulation, oversight, and data protection, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 25,…
Police officers walk past a surveillance camera in central Moscow, Russia January 26, 2020.
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Government’s Flawed ‘Universal Credit’ Algorithm Pushing People into Poverty

(London) – The United Kingdom government’s rigid insistence on automating Universal Credit threatens the rights of people most at risk of poverty, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. A comprehensive redesign of how the government…
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Many Fined Despite Staying Home

(Moscow) – Moscow authorities have wrongly fined hundreds, if not thousands, of people for allegedly breaching self-quarantine based on dubious interpretations of behavior by a “social monitoring” tracking app, Human Rights Watch said today…
A woman in medical gloves holding an iPhone.
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Wider Internet Surveillance

(Moscow) – The Russian government will gain even greater control over freedom of speech and information online when the country’s “sovereign internet” law goes into effect on November 1, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. …
Protest against the RuNet (Russian Internet) isolation in Moscow on March 10, 2019.
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New Law Needed to Retain Meaningful Human Control Over the Use of Force

(Geneva) – Russia, the United States, and a handful of other nations investing in autonomous weapons are preventing efforts to start negotiations on a new treaty to retain meaningful human control over the use of force, Human Rights Watch said…
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Freedom of Information at Grave Risk

(Moscow) – Russian President Vladimir Putin should not sign a bill that would give the government broad capacity to block access to the internet and to censor content offered by Internet Service Providers. Human Rights Watch…
An illustration depicting a small pointer (for a mouse) chained as it scrolls over a Russian website.
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25 Days in Detention for Social Media Post

  (December 10) Lev Ponomarev filed a court petition to attend the funeral on December 11, 2018  for Ludmila Alexeeva, the champion of Russia’s human rights movement and Ponomarev’s close friend and colleague.    …
Russian human rights activist Lev Ponomarev at an All-Russian convention on the protection of human rights.
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Press Visiting Junta Leader to Fulfill Promises on Rights, Democracy

(London) – UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron should press Thailand’s junta leader to respect human rights and ensure a rapid transition to democratic civilian rule, Human Rights Watch said today. Prime Minister Gen…
A Pro-democracy activist holds a fan during protest against junta near Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand February 10, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
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FIFA Should Stand Up for Rights One Month Before Kickoff

(Berlin) – The FIFA World Cup starting on June 14, 2018, will take place during the worst human rights crisis in Russia since the Soviet era, Human Rights Watch said today. FIFA should use its leverage with the Russian authorities to address labor…
The Russian and Brazilian football teams play a pre-World Cup international friendly match at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on March 23, 2018. The FIFA World Cup final will be played at this stadium on July 15 2018. (c) 2018 Ashley Kowalski
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Stop Blocking Telegram Site; Repeal Restrictive Laws

  (Moscow) – Russia’s blocking of the messaging service Telegram is unjustified and has worsened the government’s widespread assault on privacy and freedom of expression online, Human Rights Watch said today. Twenty…
ople release paper planes, symbol of the Telegram messenger, during a rally in protest against court decision to block the messenger.
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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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Repeal Laws Threatening Freedom of Expression Online

  (Moscow) – Two new laws in Russia jeopardize the privacy and security of internet users and aim to further control Russians’ freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today.   The legislation,…
A photo illustration interweaving the Russian flag with the Facebook and Twitter logos taken in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 22, 2015. Russia's media watchdog has warned that Google, Twitter and Facebook could be blocked if they do not comply with
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Repressive Laws and Policies Restrict Online Speech, Stifle Critical Voices

(Moscow) – Russia has introduced significant restrictions to online speech and invasive surveillance of online activity and prosecutes critics under the guise of fighting extremism, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 83-page…
An illustration depicting a small pointer (for a mouse) chained as it scrolls over a Russian website.
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Applicants Seek to Know if GCHQ Spied on Them, Legally or Not

Human Rights Watch and six individuals lodged a challenge with the European Court of Human Rights, demanding that the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal confirm whether or not they were subject to surveillance by GCHQ. The challenge, filed on November 4,…
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Sweeping Pre-Election Crackdown

(Moscow) – A court in Chechnya on September 5, 2016, sentenced a local independent journalist to three years in prison on dubious drug possession charges, Human Rights Watch said today. The journalist, Zhalaudi Geriev, worked for the Caucasian Knot…
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Sweeping Repression Against Critics

(Moscow) – Local authorities are trying to silence even the mildest critics in advance of the September 18, 2016 election for the head, or governor, of Chechnya, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 56-page report, “‘Like…
Men carrying a banner reading “Putin and Kadyrov are Russia’s foundation”. Grozny, Chechnya, January 2016.
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Repeal Rushed Counterterrorism Legislation

(Moscow) – Russia’s new counterterrorism legislation would unjustifiably expand surveillance while undermining human rights and cybersecurity. On July 7, 2016, President Vladimir Putin signed into law two sets of legislative…
State Duma, the lower house of parliament, in session in Moscow, Russia on April 19, 2016.
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Repeal the Discriminatory Anti-LGBT Law

(Moscow) – A Russian court on January 18, 2016, found a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights activist guilty of violating the country’s notorious “gay propaganda” law and issued a stiff fine. Russian prosecutors should support an appeal,…
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Parliament Should Amend It to Prevent Mass Surveillance

(London) – A surveillance bill the United Kingdom government presented to parliament on November 4, 2015, would enshrine the UK’s already overly broad surveillance practices in law and expand the government’s reach even further into peoples’ lives, Human…
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Privacy Violations in Intercepting, Retaining, Sharing Data With NSA

Human Rights Watch and three anonymous individuals filed a complaint today over surveillance by the United Kingdom. The complaint by Human Rights Watch to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) charges its rights had been violated…