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    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.
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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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An Increase in Prosecutions for Social Media Posts is Silencing Russia’s Citizens

When Ekaterina Vologzheninova posted a satirical cartoon criticizing Russia’s involvement in Ukraine on her social media page, she had no idea what was coming next or that she would end up with a criminal record. After all, she only had four…
Ekaterina Vologzheninova
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Protester Yulia Galyamina was hospitalized after a severe blow to the head

When I spoke to Yulia Galyamina, she was in the hospital with a concussion and other injuries received after a riot police officer hit her in the face with a powerful blow. She still felt dizzy and achy, and several of her teeth were wobbly. As she…
Yulia Galyamina and Nikolai Tuzhilin on the ground with riot police officials next to them. Moscow, July 2017
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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
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It was about two o’clock in the afternoon, on a warm December day in 2013, when the sound of gunshots and frantic shouting abruptly woke Ambroise Andet from his midday nap. Startled, the 27-year-old propped himself up where he had been sleeping and looked…
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Despite Russia’s January cold, hundreds of people packed the central square in Voronezh, an eight hour drive south of Moscow, for the planned LGBT rights protest. When Andrey Nasonov arrived, he saw a bus of riot police and several police cars, and…
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Seven year-old Nika brims over with life, dancing and singing her way around the kitchen of her family’s home outside Moscow. All smiles, she pauses to tell a visitor about the ballerinas she saw perform at a recent Christmas show, recites bits of poetry…
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Russia to Host the Paralympics, But Millions With Disabilities Face Discrimination

For many 19 year olds, the world is a place of growing possibilities and increasing independence. Not for Nikolai Titkov.  Thin and pale, he spends nearly all day, every day, in bed. Pushed against a wall in his narrow bedroom, the bed is a jumble of…
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The Role the Judge Believes Feminism Played

by Rachel Denber We stood on the steps inside the Moscow courthouse – the nearby courtroom was jam-packed -- listening as the judge read into a microphone her guilty verdict against three members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot. I felt a weight in…
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More than 50 million viewers of the Kony 2012 viral video now know that Joseph Kony, founder and leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, is a wanted man with the blood of many on his hands. Human Rights Watch has spent years investigating the horrors…