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What are the risks of lead poisoning? Who is most at risk? Why is Human Rights Watch concerned about lead contamination at the Mavrovouni migrant camp, on Lesbos? What were the results of the testing? Is the testing that the government…
The area on the hill from where authorities are removing soil
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How Ten Years of Advocacy and Incremental Changes Add Up

In Greece, a recent high-profile court ruling and policy change mark momentous human rights victories for migrants and children. On October 7, an Athens court ruled that the country’s far-right xenophobic political party, Golden Dawn, whose members…
A woman sits with her children in Victoria Square in Athens, Greece, awaiting transfer after being evicted from their place of residence, July 20, 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.
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How has the situation on Lesbos changed since your last visit? When I was here in 2016, I couldn’t imagine things being worse. We saw a lawless situation in Moria refugee camp. There were around 6,000 people in the camp,…
Migrants who arrived yesterday to Greece from Turkey eat bread as they try to warm themselves at the village of Skala Sikaminias, on the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, March 6, 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.
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Thousands of asylum seekers are trapped in crowded and filthy processing centers on the Greek islands, with many spending the winter in lightweight tents or even sleeping outside on the ground. Greece contends it has to keep the…
201710eca_greece_hotspots
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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
  Q&A: Why the EU-Turkey Migration Deal is No Blueprint On March 18, 2016, the European Union signed an agreement with Turkey to stem migration and refugee flows to Greece. In 2015, over 850,000 people reached Greek islands by boat…
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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…
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Questions and Answers

The European Union (EU) is facing unprecedented numbers of refugees and migrants arriving by boat. In 2014, 220,000 people arrived, almost double the combined total of 121,000 from 2011 through 2013. During just the first six…
Un buque de la Armada irlandesa Le Eithne, participa en una operación de rescate como parte del operativo Frontex Tritón, el 6 de junio de 2015
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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

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…
News
  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…