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President Évariste Ndayishimiye Has Yet to Deliver Change

One year after Évariste Ndayishimiye was inaugurated as Burundi’s new president, following the sudden death of his long-term predecessor, many of the ex-general’s promises to hold people to account for violence and killings and to improve the country…
Burundi's President Evariste Ndayishimiye, right, attends the inauguration of the new Kisumu port with an oil loading jetty at Lake Victoria in Kisumu, Kenya, on May 31, 2021.
News

What Chance for Democracy After President Pierre Nkurunziza’s Death?

The sudden death on June 8 of Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza creates an opportunity for the small Central African country to break with its past. Nkurunziza had governed Burundi for 15 years and seemed determined to continue ruling from behind the…
A portrait of Burundi's late president Pierre Nkurunziza sits in the front seat of the military vehicle carrying his coffin at his state funeral in Gitega, Burundi, June 26, 2020.
News
Andrei Soldatov, interviewed by Human Rights Watch in April, is an investigative journalist, nonfiction writer and a top expert on Russia’s security services. His book “The Red Web,” co-authored with Irina Borogan, tells the story of the Russian internet…
Andrei Soldatov in Moscow
News

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.
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

Detained and Questioned Trying to Interview Construction Workers in Volgograd

While investigating the exploitation of workers in Russia building stadiums for the 2018 World Cup, Human Rights Watch consultant Semyon Simonov was detained by Russian police and unidentified security forces. They held him for three…
Construction workers on the St. Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia that will host 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup matches. October 3, 2016.
News
Recent statements by leaders and governments in the United States, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan indicate an interest in creating so-called safe zones in Syria. While no detailed plans for creating and managing such…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.
News

Exiled Human Rights Defender Pierre Claver Mbonimpa Speaks Out

For the past year and a half, the Burundian government has brutally crushed any form of dissent. Since the crisis  triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a controversial third term  began, hundreds of people have been killed and…
Pierre Claver Mbonimpa.
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As Burundi descends further into violence, killings, abductions, torture and arbitrary arrests have become a daily occurrence. The crisis erupted in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a controversial third term in office.…
Burundian police hold suspects after discovering an alleged ammunition cache near Bujumbura, December 9, 2015.
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The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on October 13, 2015 requested authorization from the court’s judges to open an investigation into crimes committed during the August 2008 conflict in Georgia…
News

Questions and Answers

Introduction On December 4, Russians will go to the polls to elect a new Duma, the lower house of parliament, and in March 2012 they will elect a new president. President Dmitri Medvedev’s announcement in September 2011 that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin…
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The Trial of Umar Israilov’s Killers and its Relevance for Today’s Chechnya

Q.  Who is Umar Israilov? A. Umar Israilov was involved in the Chechen insurgency in the early 2000s. The indictment in the case of his suspected killers says that he was seized in Chechnya in 2003, held in secret detention at the home base of Ramzan…
News
What is this report about? The UN mapping report has been prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and describes the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the Democratic…
News

Questions and Answers About the Murder of Natalia Estemirova

Q. Why was Natalia Estemirova murdered? A. We believe that Estemirova's killing was a brazen attempt to silence those telling the truth about human rights violations in Chechnya. She was the link between victims and the rest of the world. She connected…
News
  1. When does the law on occupation apply to the Russian presence in Georgia?  2. Does applying occupation law to Russia affect the status of the territory that Russia occupies?  3. Is Russia an occupying force in buffer zones and in places where it…
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  1. What's going on in South Ossetia?  2. What's the background to the latest round of fighting?  3. Is this an internal or international armed conflict? What law governs it?  4. What is a lawful target under international humanitarian law?  5. What…
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At the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to a question posed by Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch:    Kenneth Roth: You talked about the danger of a unipolar world in which one…
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Questions and Answers

  What are "diplomatic assurances" against torture? Why is the use of diplomatic assurances growing? Why do governments seek these assurances? Do diplomatic assurances work? Have people who were sent back with diplomatic assurances actually been…