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Flagrant Political, Homophobic Censorship Violates Human Rights Obligations

This week, Russia's Justice Ministry filed a lawsuit seeking to “liquidate” Sphere Foundation, the legal entity under which the Russian LGBT Network operates, arguing the group’s activities run contrary to “traditional values.” The network works to…
Igor Kochetkov speaking at the European Parliament about persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya.
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

VkusVill Pulls Ad Featuring Lesbian Customers

Last week, VkusVill, a prominent Russian food market chain, ran an online advertisement entitled “Family Happiness Recipe” that featured, among others, a family that included several lesbian women. In Russia, where discrimination against lesbian, gay…
A VkusVill’s market in central Moscow, Russia on July 7th, 2021.
News

Discrimination Harms Parents and Children

In a victory for a transgender parent’s right to maintain contact with her children, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on July 6 that Russia’s denial of her visitation violated her rights to family life and freedom from discrimination. The…
Activists participate in the St Petersburg LGBT Pride march on August 12, 2017.
News

Gender Recognition Would Help Address Rights Violations

“I have never had official employment,” Aisha (not her real name), a Malaysian trans woman who does sex work, told Human Rights Watch and Justice for Sisters in 2019. “I tried. I applied for a job selling perfume, but the employer said they would only…
Transgender people in Malaysia face discrimination and abuses by government officials and agents, including public sector medical staff, teachers and local government officials. © 2014 Javad Tizmaghz Photography by Human Rights Watch
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

Discriminatory Federal, State Laws and Policies Remain in Place

Malaysia’s Federal Court on February 25 ruled that a state law banning consensual same-sex conduct was unconstitutional. While the ruling leaves intact a federal statute criminalizing same-sex relations, it does bring relief to those who have faced…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
News

Lawmakers Should Repeal, Not Reinforce, Discriminatory Laws

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government should renounce a cabinet minister’s proposal to increase criminal penalties against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Human Rights Watch said today. The attempt to strengthen criminal…
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

Critic’s Punishment and Disappearance is Met with Moscow’s Silence

A video circulating on Russian social media shows a young man apparently being forced to penetrate himself with a glass bottle: a forced punishment for allegedly helping to “spread lies” about Chechen authorities. It once again highlights the Chechen…
Graphic circulating on Russian social media in support of  the Telegram channel "1ADAT". 
News

Eliminating Legal Recognition for Transgender People Undermines Rights

Update: In October 2020, Russia’s Government Commission on Legislative Activities, the body responsible for reviewing draft legislation, rejected the draft law “aimed at strengthening the institution of the family,” on the grounds that the changes…
The Russian flag flies on a courthouse building in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 15 2020.
News

A Transgender Woman’s Court Victory Highlights the Russian Regulation’s Absurdity

A transgender woman in St. Petersburg, Russia has won a final court battle with a former employer who fired her in 2017 after she changed her legal gender. The woman, known throughout the ordeal by her pseudonym “Anna,” had worked for a decade at a…
The Russian flag flies on a courthouse building in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 15 2020.
News
1. These written submissions are made by Human Rights Watch pursuant to article 36 § 2 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the European Convention on Human Rights, ECHR) following the leave granted by the…
News

Authorities Should End Violations of Freedom of Expression and Assembly

Police in Moscow detained 40 people last weekend for holding peaceful protests in solidarity with a young woman who is facing up to six years in prison for running a feminist blog. On June 9, authorities in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in Russia’s far east…
Yulia Tsvetkova
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.
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