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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

Lee Bo-reum found school almost intolerable. As a young woman, she was outed to her peers as a lesbian, and was ostracized and bullied by her classmates for her sexual orientation. As the mistreatment persisted, she eventually became depressed and…
News

Apple and Google Should Account for Limiting Access to Election Information

Apple and Google capitulated to Russian authorities last week when they removed access to the Navalny Smart Voting app on the eve of the weekend’s parliamentary election. The move helped undermine Russian voters’ ability to access information about…
Police officer wearing face mask stands on duty at the polling station on July 1, 2020 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
News

Proposed Amendments Threaten Media Freedom, Free Expression

(Seoul) - South Korea’s National Assembly should reject proposed amendments to the law on media arbitration that would undermine media freedom and freedom of expression, Article 19, Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet, Open Net Association, and…
210915asia_skorea_nationalassembly
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.
Report
Summary Park Beom-seok, a 22-year-old gay man, suspected that he might be gay when he was eleven or twelve years old. Still, he struggled to find support in his school environment. Classmates in middle school used “gay” as a slur, targeting boys who…
News

Former Students Share Their Stories to Press for Change

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in South Korea are bullied and harassed by both students and teachers in schools. When they seek help and support from teachers or counselors, they are often instead “outed” to other teachers or…
G Lee, an LGBT person in South Korea © 2021 Human Rights Watch
News

Isolation and Lack of Support Put Young People at Risk

(Seoul) – Young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in South Korea experience isolation and mistreatment in schools, Human Rights Watch and the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School said in a…
A schoolgirl stands next to a stream
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. 
Video
(Seoul, September 14, 2021) – Young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in South Korea experience isolation and mistreatment in schools, Human Rights Watch and the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale…
News

Hollow Investigation Means State Evades Accountability

Today, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on the case of Natalia Estemirova, star Chechen human rights defender murdered in July 2009. It found that Russia had violated their obligations to protect her right to life by "fail[ing] to investigate…
Natalia Estemoriva in Chechnya, 2007.
News

Kidnapping, Interrogation Exposes Brutal Intent

The Russian LGBT Network has reported that in May 2021, Chechen-speaking men abducted Ibragim Selimkhanov in Moscow and forcibly returned him to Chechnya’s capital Grozny, where authorities interrogated him about gay people in the region. This is the…
Campaigners protest for LGBT rights in Chechnya outside the Russian embassy in London, Britain on June 2, 2017.
News

Idrak Mirzalizade Banned from Russia Over a Joke

In an outrageous move, the Russian Interior Ministry announced today it has banned a stand-up comedian, Idrak Mirzalizade, from Russia for life, over a joke he told which Russian authorities consider insulting to ethnic Russians. Mirzalizade,…
Idrak Mirzalizade Comedian Performing Stand-up
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

Gaps in Services Create Risks for Institutionalization, Violate Rights

(Moscow) – The Russian government is not providing adequate resources for home-based services for older people, denying some of them the ability to live independent and dignified lives, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite legislative reform to…
A pensioner carries logs in the courtyard of her wooden house where she opened a private museum of the old quarter.
News
Sergei Kovalev, a prominent Soviet dissident and Russia’s first human rights ombudsman, died on August 9, 2021, at the age of 91. A talented biophysicist, Kovalev paid a high price for his strong stand on human rights – seven years in a prison camp…
Sergei Kovalev, Moscow, May 2011.
News

Further Independent Voices Silenced

With Russia’s September 19 parliamentary elections fast approaching, every day begins with new reports of arbitrary arrests, interrogations, and other attacks on critical voices. Today there were three new victims of the Kremlin’s war against free…
A smart phone user reads MBKh Media news site, one of three news outlets whose websites were blocked on August 4, 2021.