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People with Disabilities Find Strength Despite Discrimination

“I think I wouldn’t have achieved so much in my life without my disability,” said Doaa Qashlan, a university graduate and disability rights activist living in Gaza. Doaa, who was born with a physical disability and uses a wheelchair or an electric…
Doaa Qashlan speaks to Human Rights Watch during an interview in Gaza, November 18, 2020.
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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.
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End to Institutional Living, Implement Right to Live in the Community

(Brussels) – Serbia’s government should collect and make public the data on Covid-19 infections and deaths inside institutions for people with disabilities, six organizations for people with disabilities and human rights groups said today in a letter…
A room in the Sremčica Home for children and adults with disabilities where 292 persons, including 49 children, with disabilities live. Up to 10 people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
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Lack of Information Could Exacerbate Spread of Infection, Deaths

(Moscow) – Russian authorities should publicly release detailed information about the spread of Covid-19 in state institutions for older people and people with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today. Releasing this information would allow state…
A resident in a nursing home in the village of Sosnovskoye in Omsk region, opens a bag with sweets during a visit of volunteers as part of the "Old Age for Joy" charity project.
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Man Who Answered Children’s Questions on YouTube Threatened

(Moscow) – Russian authorities should drop a criminal case over a YouTube video of children talking to a gay man and ensure the man’s safety amid threats and attempted physical attacks, Human Rights Watch said today. Maksim…
Maksim Pankratov, 21 y/o, interviewed by children on “Real Talk” © personal archive / Maksim Pankratov
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Reports of Forced Entry, Death Threats

(Moscow) – Russian authorities should urgently and effectively investigate the break-in at the home of an LGBT rights activist and the death threats he and his colleagues have received, Human Rights Watch said today. …
Igor Kochetkov speaking at the European Parliament about persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya.
News

Authorities Fail to Address Threats Against Rights Defender

Russian authorities should investigate allegations of a new wave of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persecution in Chechnya and take steps to protect rights defenders and journalists who expose abuses there, Human…
Igor Kochetkov speaking at the European Parliament about persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya.
News

Discriminatory Measure Targets Students, Mental Health Professionals

(New York) – Russia’s “gay propaganda” law is having a negative impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 2013 law exacerbated the hostility LGBT people in…
Russian blogger, Zhenya Svetski, stands with a sign reading “I am not ‘gay propaganda’” in Moscow, December 2018.
News

Two Volunteers Injured

(Moscow) – A prominent Russian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) support group had to cancel an annual Inclusive Family conference in Moscow after homophobic threats and an attack with pepper spray, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Yulia Malygina and Anna Golubeva, directors of Resource LGBTQIA Moscow.
News

Videos, Report Highlight Issues of Identity, Activism

(Beirut, April 16, 2018) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists from Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa are defying state-sponsored repression and social stigma, Human Rights Watch and the…
No Longer Alone
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

The Stories From People With Disabilities Who Have Endured Humanitarian crises

Simplice – Central African Republic The frustration burned in Simplice Lenguy’s eyes as he spoke about the situation faced by people with disabilities since conflict erupted in the Central African Republic. In…
Ali, a 22-year-old Afghan asylum seeker with a disability, living in Moria camp, on the beach in Lesbos, Greece. He told Human Rights Watch he can’t access showers in the camp and sometimes tries to wash himself in the sea.
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Victims of Punitive Round-Ups Still in Danger

(New York) – Police in Chechnya rounded up, beat, and humiliated dozens of gay or bisexual men in an apparent effort to purge them from Chechen society, Human Rights Watch confirmed in a new report today. Russian federal authorities…
A victim of the purge telling his story in a safe house in central Russia in April 2017.
News

Fear of Retaliation for Article Exposing Anti-Gay Abuse Campaign

(Moscow) – Chechen officials and clerics are threatening the newspaper that first exposed the campaign of police abuse against men in Chechnya perceived to be gay, Human Rights Watch said today. Russian authorities should unequivocally condemn the threats…
The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, on December 13, 2011.
News
The day Julija was born should have been a day of celebration for Jasmina and Ivica Čuković, a Serbian couple, who had tried for years to have a baby. But the events following their daughter’s birth in a public hospital in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, left…
Julija Čuković, who spent ten months of her life in an institution, at home in Kragujevac with her parents, where she enjoys to play with her younger sister, also in the photo. © 2016 Zoran Stamenković
News

Government Should Invest in Community-Based Services

(Belgrade) – Hundreds of Serbian children with disabilities face neglect and isolation in institutions that may lead to stunted intellectual, emotional, and physical development, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Serbian government…
A room in the ward for the “most severely disabled” in Veternik home for children and adults with disabilities. Children are placed in the same rooms as adults and up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
News

Repeal the Discriminatory Anti-LGBT Law

(Moscow) – A Russian court on January 18, 2016, found a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights activist guilty of violating the country’s notorious “gay propaganda” law and issued a stiff fine. Russian prosecutors should support an appeal,…
2016-2-russia-sergei-alekseenko
News

Government Demonizes Critical Voices

(Moscow) – The Russian government’s crackdown on public debate and independent groups took a more sinister turn in 2015, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. The authorities used existing and new laws to harass dozens of independent…
News

Proposes Fines, Jail Time for “Coming Out”

(Moscow) – A draft law pending in Russia’s parliament would penalize people who engage in public displays that would suggest that their sexual orientation is gay, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament should reject the draft as wholly incompatible…
News

Ensure Quality Education for All

(Moscow) – Children with disabilities in Russia face serious obstacles to accessing quality education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Russian government should build on progress to date to make sure that children with disabilities…
A boy sits in his room at a state boarding school
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