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Yegorov Protested Moscow’s Trash Pouring into His Community

Yesterday, a court in the city of Kolomna, Russia sentenced Viacheslav Yegorov to 15 months in prison for repeatedly taking part in peaceful protests in 2018 against the “import” of trash from Moscow. It is ironic that this sentence came less than a…
Vyacheslav Yegorov at Kolomna court, 2021
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“Grow up!”, Boris Johnson told world leaders in his address to the United Nations. The British Prime Minister warned that all countries must commit to major changes ahead of the global climate summit in the UK, at the beginning of next month. If we…
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 22, 2021.
News

Proposed Pushbacks Show Disregard for Life and Safety at Sea

The UK government’s reported plan to “turn around” boats of migrants and refugees in the English Channel is irresponsible, dangerous, and unlawful. But talking about “turn-arounds” almost makes these tactics sound gentle. Pushbacks at sea would…
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, by Border Force officers on September 5, 2021.
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Government Should Include Pregnant People in Heat Action and Climate Adaptation Plans

As the UK bakes in record-setting temperatures, its meteorological service issued its first-ever extreme heat warning this week. Public Health England extended its own heat health alert through July 23, as soaring day- and night-time temperatures…
A woman walks under a parasol to shelter from the sun in Birmingham, U.K., on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The U.K.'s Met Office has issued its first-ever Extreme Heat weather warning, stating that continuing high temperatures will lead to public health impacts.
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Costly, Abusive Approach Fails to Address System’s Flaws

The United Kingdom government’s new borders bill is expected to include the option of detaining asylum seekers offshore, according to multiple news reports. The emerging details of the policy shift suggest an approach that would not only likely cause…
A group of people on the deck of HMC Seeker as they wait to be brought ashore by the UK Border Force in Kent. September 22, 2020.
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Concrete Plans Needed to Address Climate Crisis, Protect Rights

(London) – G7 member countries should take immediate and concrete action to end fossil fuel subsidies, Human Rights Watch said in a question-and-answer document released today. Ending these subsidies is key to countries meeting their human rights…
A Uniper coal-fired power plant and a BP refinery steam beside a wind generator in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on Jan. 16, 2020. © 2020 Martin Meissner/AP Photo
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France Complicit as Magomed Gadaev at Risk of Torture in Chechnya

Magomed Gadaev, 37, an asylum seeker from Chechnya and key witness in a high-profile torture case against Chechnya’s leadership, was abducted by Chechen security officials on April 11, two days after his deportation from France to Russia. France…
Magomed Gadaev pictured in Paris, France.
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Russian Lawmakers Target Greenpeace

A healthy environment has become a major topic for public debate globally, particularly in the context of climate change, and Russia is no exception. The authorities clearly understand that. In November the state-owned public opinion polling center…
Members of the Russian branch of the environmental group Greenpeace display a protest banner in downtown Moscow on Thursday, May 20, 2010.
News

Environmental rights groups in the country are facing severe harassment by the authorities.

Shortly before 6 a.m. on Nov. 18, a large group of heavily armed masked men buzzed the door of a house in Krasnodar in southwestern Russia.  The house serves as an informal office for Environmental Watch for Northern Caucasus (EWNC), a…
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After Pledging Reforms, UK Development Bank Should Implement Them

A United Kingdom development bank, CDC Group, has taken another step toward addressing human rights abuses at oil palm plantations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In May, the bank committed to reforming its complaints mechanism and adopting a…
201911ENV_DRC_reportphotos
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COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
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December Brought a Spate of Arrests, Fines

As 2019 draws to a close, Russian authorities have spent the holiday season harassing environmental defenders taking part in protests across the country. On December 16, police dispersed a protest camp near the city of Kazan…
Rashid Alimov’s protest in St. Petersburg against nuclear waste import, December 17, 2019.
News

Government Should Repeal Abusive ‘Foreign Agents’ Law

(Moscow) – A prominent Russian environmentalist has fled the country as criminal cases were opened against her in connection to Russia’s law on “foreign agents”, Human Rights Watch said today. Alexandra Koroleva, 65, head of Ekozaschita! (…
Alexandra Koroleva, Zelenogradsk, Kaliningrad region, Russia.
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Swiss Council of States to Decide on Binding Human Rights Protection in Supply Chains

In the coming weeks, Switzerland’s Council of States has a big decision to take: should Swiss companies be required to introduce human rights and environmental safeguards for their global actions? This month, prompted by pressure from a…
A boy and a girl work in a small gold mine in Amansie West district, Ghana.
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Dire Conditions for Thousands Fleeing Fighting

(Beirut) – Jordanian and Israeli authorities should allow Syrians fleeing fighting in Daraa governorate to claim asylum and protect them, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 16, 2018, the Syrian-Russian military alliance opened an…
An Internally displaced girl from Daraa province carries a stuffed toy and holds the hand of child near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in Quneitra, Syria June 29, 2018. © 2018 Reuters/Alaa Al-Faqir
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Russian Supreme Court Says There is No War in Syria, Nothing to Flee From

Despite eight years of civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands and ravaged Syria, Russia’s Supreme Court incredulously declared that Zakria Timbut has nothing to fear in returning to his homeland. Fearing for his life…
A woman walks with a child amid rubble at Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood in Aleppo, Syria July 16, 2017.
News

5 Years of ‘Foreign Agents’ Law Devastates Environmental Groups

(Moscow) – Russia’s “foreign agents” law, which entered into force on this date five years ago, has been used to end or curtail a broad range of important work to protect Russia’s natural environment, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Satellite imagery that showing active wildfires (outlined in red) and smoke near the shoreline of Lake Baikal in southern Russia, July 27, 2017. The Russian environmental group Baikal Environmental Wave was deemed a "foreign agent" organization because it