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In Kyrgyzstan, there are people serving time for a crime no longer in the books.

Each week, a young man who sells shoes at a market in southern Kyrgyzstan loses a day of work to travel to the open prison where he is serving a three-year sentence. But the crime for which he was convicted, possession of “extremist” material, no longer…
An airplane trace is seen behind a Kyrgyzstan national flag fluttering in a central square in Bishkek March 11, 2013.
News

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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(Berlin, July 12, 2019) – 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…
News

Kyrgyzstan’s Crackdown on ‘Extremist Material’

Tell me about your new report on Kyrgyzstan’s crackdown on “extremist” material. This report documents the use of a little-known measure in Kyrgyzstan, article 299-2 of the criminal code, which allows authorities to throw people in prison for…
An airplane trace is seen behind a Kyrgyzstan national flag fluttering in a central square in Bishkek March 11, 2013.
Report
  Summary In 2017, “Sukhrob” was convicted of possessing extremist material in Kyrgyzstan after counterterrorism police raided his home and claimed they found a magazine and three other pages of writing from a banned Islamist…
News

Mandatory Prison for Possessing Banned Pamphlets, Videos

(Bishkek) – Kyrgyzstan is convicting hundreds of people for possessing videos, pamphlets, and books that it has banned using a dangerously overbroad definition of extremism, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Offenders…
Counterterrorism police carry out a search in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on October 16, 2015.
News

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
News

Rushed Proceedings, Lack of Due Process, Disproportionate Sentences

  (Beirut) – Iraq’s judiciary should change its approach to dealing with detained foreign women and children who are accused of affiliation with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said…
Russian women, sentenced to life in prison on grounds of joining ISIS, sit with children in a hallway of Baghdad's Central Criminal Court, April 29, 2018. © 2018 Ammar Karim/AFP/Getty Images
News

Investigate Suspects’ Abuse Claims, End Effort to Disbar Lawyer

UPDATE: On December 14, 2017, at around 7 a.m., police detained Akhral Azimov, the father of two St. Petersburg bombing suspects Akram and Abor Azimov, and took him to the Kuntsevsky district police station in Moscow. The reason for his…
Mourners place flowers at the Tekhnologichesky Institut subway station in St. Petersburg to commemorate victims of the April 3, 2017 suicide bombing on a subway train.
News

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
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
Report
Summary The mayor said, “All thieves must be killed.” He said it was an order. −Witness to the execution of Fulgence Rukundo on December 6, 2016 Rwandan security forces summarily executed at least…
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The Russian government’s response to a decade-long insurgency in Dagestan, a southern Russian republic, has been marked by serious human rights violations. Insurgents also have attacked civilians. The abuses are set against a background in…
News
Edward Snowden’s Russian lawyer says his client wants to start learning Russian. Now that the American whistleblower has finally left Sheremetyevo airport for “temporary asylum” in Russia, he might find himselfiz ognya da v polymya – out of the frying pan…