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Russia Should End Discrimination Against Women in Custody Cases and Beyond

This week, the European Court on Human Rights ruled that Luisa Tapayeva, a Chechen woman, should be reunited with her four daughters who were taken from her after their father died. Under local customs, children are “owned” by the father and his…
A picture from an animation by Justice Initiative Project on the custom of taking children away from mothers in Chechnya and Ingushetia.
News

Prosecutor's Office Seeks to Liquidate Memorial

Russian authorities have moved to shut down Memorial, one of Russia’s oldest and most prominent rights organization, an outrageous assault on the jugular of Russia’s civil society. Memorial, which defends human rights, works to commemorate victims…
On the night before the infamous “foreign agents” law came into force back in 2012, unknown individuals sprayed graffiti reading, “Foreign Agent! ♥ USA” on the buildings hosting the offices of three prominent NGOs in Moscow, including Memorial. 
News

Drop All Charges Against Edem Semedlyaev

Yesterday, Russian authorities arbitrarily arrested lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, while he was advising clients at a police station, who themselves had been arbitrarily arrested. Today court released Semedlyaev pending review of the charges. Semedlyaev…
Edem Semdlyaev, Simferopol, Crimea 2021
News

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
News

Confirmation of Charges Hearing in Commander Case Starts Today

Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) begins the pretrial hearing in the case of a former commander of the Seleka rebel group, who is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic. The case is an important…
An ICC billboard in Bangui in September 2021, announcing Said’s confirmation of charges hearing.
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

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. 
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

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.
News

Authorities Use "Undesirables" Law against Team 29

On July 18, Team 29, a leading association of Russian human rights lawyers, announced it was shutting down because its members, clients, and supporters faced imminent risk of prosecution. Several days earlier, the state media and communications…
Russian lawyer Ivan Pavlov, center, walks to attend a court session after speaking to the media at Moscow Court, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. 
News

Latest Attack in a Growing Crackdown on Free Expression

Russian authorities have just delivered another blow to independent media in the country. On July 15, the prosecutor general’s office blacklisted Project Media Inc. as an “undesirable foreign organization,” banning it in Russia and making it unlawful…
Roman Badanin, chief editor of Project, October 2016.
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

Putin’s Blessing Sends Grim Signal about Justice in Chechnya

President Putin has told the governor of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, that he should run for another term in the September regional elections. “With your personal participation, immediate and at times direct, Chechnya became one of the safest regions in…
People hold portraits of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov during a rally marking National Unity Day in Grozny, southern Russia, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019.
News

Attacks on Russian Civic Groups, Media, Critics Need EU’s Attention, Action

EU-Russia relations will be on the agenda of the European Council, which defines the European Union’s political priorities, when it meets on 24-25 June. It’s an important time for the EU to call out the Kremlin for human rights violations committed in…
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell at a news conference unveiling a report on proposals for the EU stance on Russia. Brussels, Wednesday, June 16, 2021.
News

Moscow Should Ensure Khalimat Taramova’s Freedom, Safety

For about six months before 22-year-old Khalimat Taramova fled Chechnya on June 4, her family kept the young woman, who identifies as bisexual, under lock and key. They beat and verbally abused her and forced her to undergo so-called conversion…
Khalimat Taramova Freedom
News

Repeal the Abusive Law, Stop Persecution of Activists

Update: On July 21, a court in Krasnodar extended Andrey Pivovarov’s pre-trial detention until October 29. Update: On June 2, a court in Krasnodar ordered the pretrial detention of Pivovarov for two months. Russian…
Former coordinator of the Open Russia civic movement Andrey Pivovarov during after a search in his apartment.