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Gaps in Services Create Risks for Institutionalization, Violate Rights

(Moscow) – The Russian government is not providing adequate resources for home-based services for older people, denying some of them the ability to live independent and dignified lives, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite legislative reform to…
A pensioner carries logs in the courtyard of her wooden house where she opened a private museum of the old quarter.
News

Mass Arbitrary Detentions, Police Brutality, Criminal Prosecutions

(Moscow) – On January 23, 2021, police detained more than 3,700 people across Russia at nationwide protests against the arrest of political opposition figure Alexey Navalny and against state corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. It was the…
Police officers clash with people during a protest against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow.
News

Authorities Regulate Infrastructure, Block Content

Note: This article features explainers. Click on the highlighted terms to see a short explainer. (Moscow) – Russia has significantly expanded laws and regulations tightening control over internet infrastructure, online content, and the privacy of…
Demonstrators, with a poster on the right reading "internet is our only chance," attend the Free Internet rally in response to a bill making its way through parliament calling for all internet traffic to be routed through servers in Russia— making VPNs (virtual private networks) ineffective, in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 10, 2019.
News

Frontline Staff Raise Safety Concerns During Covid-19 Pandemic

(Moscow) – Health workers in Russia face threats and retaliation from employers and law enforcement for speaking out about unsafe working conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. Unsafe conditions include a lack of…
A medical specialist wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a break at the City Clinical Hospital Number 15 which delivers treatment to COVID-19 patients in Moscow, Russia May 25, 2020.
News

With Risk of Spreading Covid-19, Government Should Find Alternatives

Update: On April 18, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree regulating the legal status of foreigners during the lockdown in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decree extends through June 15 the validity of migration…
A detained migrant from a former Soviet republic waits in a holding cell at a police station in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
News

Pensioners Unable to Travel from Separatist-held Areas Need Reforms

(Kyiv) – Pensioners with limited mobility due to illness, disability, or advancing age who live in nongovernment-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine face overwhelming difficulty accessing their pensions or do not get them at all, Human Rights…
People stand near an ATM, located near the contact line between Russia-backed armed groups and Ukrainian troops in Mayorsk, Ukraine.
News

Arrests, Prison, Harassment for Peaceful Religious Practice

(Moscow) – Law enforcement authorities across Russia have dramatically escalated the nationwide persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the past 12 months, Human Rights Watch said today. One year after President Vladimir Putin said that…
Special Rapid Response Unit raid a Jehovah’s Witness home in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast.
News

Russia Flouting Human Rights Obligations Five Years into Occupation

(Kyiv) – Russian authorities are conscripting males in occupied Crimea to serve in the Russian armed forces, Human Rights Watch said today. International humanitarian law explicitly forbids Russia from compelling Crimean residents to…
Russian Marine Corps conscripts stand in formation as they take the oath in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol.
News

Raids, Arbitrary Arrests, Torture of Activists

(Berlin) – Russian authorities have brought unfounded terrorism charges against 24 Crimean Tatars, 20 of whom were arrested during heavily armed raids on their homes in the spring of this year, Human Rights Watch said today. Security…
Crimean Tatar activists protest politically motivated arrests of terrorism charges in Moscow’s Red Square on July 10, 2019.
News

International Norms Ignored as Civilians Suffer

(Beirut) – The Russian-Syrian joint military operation has used internationally banned and other indiscriminate weapons in unlawful attacks on civilians in northwest Syria in recent weeks, Human Rights Watch said today. According to the…
A man inspects the destruction left by overnight air strikes targeting residential areas at Kafr Nabl in the rebel-held Idlib Province, Syria, May 20 2019.
News

Police Detain, Torture Men in Grozny

(Moscow) – Police in Chechnya have carried out a new round of unlawful detentions, beatings, and humiliation of men they presume to be gay or bisexual, Human Rights Watch said today. The new abuses come against a backdrop of…
Illustration based on a detainee's testimony about abuse inflicted on him in detention in the Grozny Internal Affairs Department compound, in Chechnya because of his presumed sexual orientation.
News

Government Intimidation, Concerts Cancelled

(Moscow) – Russian authorities have been interfering with performances of rappers and other musicians popular with younger audiences, forcing them to cancel concerts in acts of censorship that violate freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said…
Russian musician Nastya Kreslina, member of electronic duo called IC3PEAK performs during a concert in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
News

End Institutionalization, Support Independent Living

(Moscow) – Russian orphanages where children with disabilities grow up often transfer them to closed state institutions for adults when they reach 18 without their consent, Human Rights Watch said today. Those who do move into the community often…
A young man does yard work on the grounds of a closed state institution for adults with disabilities.
News

Religious Persecution, Other Abuses

(Moscow) – Law enforcement authorities across Russia have carried out a sweeping campaign against Jehovah’s Witnesses in recent months, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have carried out dozens of home searches,…
Since 2007, dozens of pieces of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature have been banned and placed on the federal registry of banned extremist materials. Picture here, stacks of booklets distributed by a local leader of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in the
News

Rushed Proceedings, Lack of Due Process, Disproportionate Sentences

  (Beirut) – Iraq’s judiciary should change its approach to dealing with detained foreign women and children who are accused of affiliation with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said…
Russian women, sentenced to life in prison on grounds of joining ISIS, sit with children in a hallway of Baghdad's Central Criminal Court, April 29, 2018. © 2018 Ammar Karim/AFP/Getty Images
News
    When a colleague from Memorial, a leading Russian rights group, called me early in the afternoon of January 9, I cheerfully sang, “Happy New Year!” It was the first working day after Russia’s generous winter holidays, and the day…
Oyub Titiev stands in front of a portrait of his murdered colleague, Natalia Estemirova, in Memorial's Grozny office, Grozny, Chechnya, Russia.
News

Allow Urgent Aid into Besieged Eastern Ghouta and End Indiscriminate Attacks

(Beirut) – Syrian government and Russian forces have escalated their airstrikes on Eastern Ghouta, a suburb approximately 15 kilometers from the center of Syria’s capital Damascus, killing dozens of civilians in apparently unlawful…
Children in the rubble of damaged buildings in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria.
News

Investigate Suspects’ Abuse Claims, End Effort to Disbar Lawyer

UPDATE: On December 14, 2017, at around 7 a.m., police detained Akhral Azimov, the father of two St. Petersburg bombing suspects Akram and Abor Azimov, and took him to the Kuntsevsky district police station in Moscow. The reason for his…
Mourners place flowers at the Tekhnologichesky Institut subway station in St. Petersburg to commemorate victims of the April 3, 2017 suicide bombing on a subway train.
News

Russians Targeted for Links to Foreign ‘Undesirable’ Groups

(Berlin) – The Russian government has intensified enforcement of the country’s repressive legislation on foreign “undesirable” organizations to intimidate Russian nationals and groups, Human Rights Watch said today. Officials are penalizing Russian…
Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 2010.
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