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Two years ago, prominent Azerbaijani journalist and IWPR contributor Afgan Mukhtarli vanished from the centre of Tbilisi.  That evening he had met a friend in a cafe, picked up some bread on the way back and called his wife Leyla Mustafayeva, also a…
Afgan Mukhtarli
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Georgia’s newly adopted law on labour safety is lacking statutes on workers’ rights due a narrow definition of safety — working hours, overtime payment, and required breaks are still not sufficiently regulated. Due to such weak edicts, worker fatalities…
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A new treaty to deepen the link between environmental protection and human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean has the potential to reduce the conflicts that lead to the murders of so many environmental defenders in the region. 
 
 The…
Bernardo, a man in his 30s, was born in a quilombo (Afro-Brazilian) community of around 60, men, women, and children in Minas Gerais State, southeast Brazil. Bernardo told Human Rights Watch that he feels powerless against aerial spraying of pesticides. “
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Vilnius’ beautiful old town is alive with flags and symbols of the European Union ahead of the ‘Eastern Partnership’ summit starting Thursday, but the real drama has been played out far from the Lithuanian capital. For weeks international media attention…
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Twenty years ago, in July 1991, I was poised to start a job researching human rights violations in the Soviet Union. A month later, the failed coup to unseat Communist Party leader Mikhail Gorbachev precipitated rapid political changes that would lead to…
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They like playing dominoes in Abkhazia. As dusk falls, young men unpack their pieces on the promenade by the Black Sea in Sukhumi, the picturesque capital of this breakaway territory bidding for independence from Georgia. Yet like playing ping pong in…
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Human rights need to be high on President Sarkozy’s agenda for his lightning-trip through the South Caucasus. Stakes are high in this strategically key but chronically unstable region. France has important economic interests there. Like the rest of Europe…
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After almost 19 years since the first exchange of fire in August 1992, the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict remains as far from political resolution as ever. Although internationally recognised as a part of Georgia, in the years since the end of the conflict in…
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  Georgia war: auditing the damage By Tanya Lokshina, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Moscow office On January 23, Human Rights Watch published a 200-page report, Up in Flames: Humanitarian Law Violations in the Conflict Over South Ossetia…
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View photos from South Ossetia
 
 In the first week of September, a cherry tree was blossoming in the ruins of Thalmann Street. Cherry trees never flower in autumn except after a war. This street in the old Jewish quarter of Tskhinvali, long…
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The houses of Georgian villagers in South Ossetia are still burning, their aged inhabitants suffering. The Russian army and emergency services should mobilise to protect them, says Tanya Lokshina in a vivid report. We are on our way to Avnevi, a big…
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With the fighting over, Tanya Lokshina hitches lifts between checkpoints around South Ossetia's wrecked capital Tskhinvali chronicling the grieving and burying, looting and burning, the unexploded bombs, disenchanted militias and Russian troops struggling…
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Like so many modern conflicts, the hallmark of the latest war in Georgia is that civilians have borne the brunt of the fighting. At the outset of this war, the Georgian military used indiscriminate and disproportionate force resulting in civilian deaths…
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Elections in the former Soviet Union are stolen all the time, but governments get away with it by stifling democratic institutions. Western leaders need to support struggling civil societies in the region, before there is nothing left to support. The…
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The dramatic but peaceful transfer of power in Georgia on Sunday must be rattling repressive leaders all across the region. The danger now is that governments in Central Asia and the Caucasus may step up political…
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The dramatic but peaceful transfer of power in Georgia on Sunday must be rattling repressive leaders all across the region. The danger now is that governments in Central Asia and the Caucasus may step up political repression to head off a similar scenario…