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Investigate, Protect Rights Defenders, End Hateful Rhetoric

Update: Poland’s Ministry of the Interior responded to Human Rights Watch’s request for information and comment on our findings in a four-page letter dated April 8, 2021. The letter states that the government adheres to international law guaranteeing…
Protesters hold a banner of Strajk Kobiet (Women's Strike) during a protest in Warsaw on March 8,  International Women's Day, organized by the Women's Strike (Strajk Kobiet) against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and the decision of the Constitutional Court.
News
In late February of this year, Russia’s criminal investigative agency announced that it had referred to a court an investigation into criminal negligence by two police officers that happened on January 14, 2020 in the Siberian city of…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
News

Another Women’s Rights Group Could Be Labeled a “Foreign Agent”

In Russia, working to prevent and combat domestic violence can be considered a “political activity.” And that means risking state harassment and intimidation. The authorities are now targeting Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that…
The staff of Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that provides assistance to domestic violence survivors.  
News

As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
News

Public Abuse of Dead Woman’s Mother Will Deter Others Seeking Help

Two weeks ago, Madina Umaeva, 23, died in Russia’s Chechen Republic under suspicious circumstances. She had previously complained to family members about her husband repeatedly beating her. On the day she died, neighbors heard screams from her house…
The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, on December 13, 2011.
News

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.
News

Government Response to European Court Defies Belief – and the Facts

According to Russian authorities, men in Russia are more likely to suffer from discrimination in domestic violence cases – an outrageous claim that flies in the face of the facts. The dubious statement is part of Russia’s…
A A protest performance staged by women’s rights activists in Saint Petersburg after Russia’s adoption of domestic violence legislation, January 2017.
News

Ruling means justice for victim, first step toward directing policy changes

In a landmark ruling – its first on a domestic violence case in Russia – the European Court of Human Rights found that Russia’s lack of legislation to combat domestic violence, as well as the absence of protection orders, indicated a…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
News
The idea that domestic violence is not a serious criminal offense is hard to grasp. How did this happen? Russia doesn’t have a national domestic violence law. Some acts of domestic violence can be prosecuted under the criminal code as assault,…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
News

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.
Report
  Summary He pushed me, I fell on the floor and he kicked me in the stomach. He said it was his dream to meet a pure girl, and that I was a disappointment, not pure. He started keeping me up every night, forcing me to “tell him the truth”…
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Russian authorities often fail to protect women from domestic violence. Serious gaps in Russia’s laws, the lack of protection orders, and inadequate police and judicial responses leave women who face even severe physical violence with little or no…
News

One Year Since Legislative Changes Weakened Protections

A jealous husband from a small town near Moscow took his 25-year-old wife and mother of their two small boys, Margarita Gracheva, to the woods, put a knife to her throat, and threatened to kill her. The woman called the police, but when a police…
A A protest performance staged by women’s rights activists in Saint Petersburg after Russia’s adoption of domestic violence legislation, January 2017.
News

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.
News

New Domestic Violence Law in Russia Hurts Victims

Only after a year of abuse, when Marina fell out a second-storey window as her husband tried to strangle her, did she go to police in Russia. Even then – wheelchair-bound, with metal plates holding her smashed feet together – Marina said she had to beg…
Russian activist protesting decriminalization of domestic violence in front of Russia’s state parliament building.
News

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.
News

New Law Can Help End Epidemic of Violence Against Women

In September last year, Marem Aliyeva vanished from her home in Ingushetia, in Russia’s North Caucasus. Over the years Marem, 35, had filed multiple complaints to the police, detailing how her husband beat her. But the police would not budge. “We don’t…
Marem Aliyeva