Search Results

Sort by
News

Russia’s government cannot wipe out historic memory and people’s aspirations for fundamental freedoms and the rule of law

Last week, Russian authorities made clear their intentions to shut down Memorial, the country’s most authoritative human rights organization, and one of its oldest. Memorial defends human rights, works to commemorate victims of Soviet…
201810europe_russia_commemoration_3
News
Thursday night, thugs invaded the offices of Memorial, a leading Russian rights group, and although police eventually arrived, instead of helping them, they harassed the activists and refused to let them leave the building until late in the night. Here’s…
Intruders disrupting film screening at Memorial and yelling “get out of here” and “fascists. Moscow, October 14, 2021.
News

While most eyes were on Geneva, the Duma intensified its crackdown on dissent.

At his post-summit news conference on Wednesday President Putin defended Russia’s repressive laws that punish dissent.  With most eyes on Geneva, the Duma made one of those laws a lot harsher. It amended the criminal code to open the…
Anastasia Shevchenko and Mikhail Iosilevich. Both have been prosecuted under Russia’s law on “undesirable” foreign organizations. 
News
April was a terrible month for freedom of expression in Russia. In early April, the authorities struck at Roman Anin, editor-in-chief of iStories (Important Stories), a new outlet specializing in investigative journalism. The Russian Federal…
Editors of the student magazine DOXA Natalya Tyshkevich, left, and Alla Gutnikova wait at the Basmanny District Court, in Moscow, Russia.
News
Last summer, Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny narrowly survived an assassination attempt, widely believed to have been organized by Russia's security services, through a Novichok nerve-agent poisoning. Now, without concerted action,…
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is pictured in the Moscow City Court in Moscow, Russia, February 2, 2021.
News
The Kremlin undoubtedly hopes that by packing Alexei Navalny off to prison, it will keep him out of sight, out of mind. Yet Navalny’s many social-media-savvy followers make that unlikely. A growing movement of people discontented with corruption,…
Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny takes part in a march in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, Russia, February 29, 2020.
News
In late February of this year, Russia’s criminal investigative agency announced that it had referred to a court an investigation into criminal negligence by two police officers that happened on January 14, 2020 in the Siberian city of…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
News

Borrell Should Raise Navalny’s Arrest, Crackdown on Dissent and Independent Groups

It’s an understatement to say that Josep Borrell’s first visit to Russia in his capacity as the European Union’s foreign affairs chief is a major event. The EU’s relations with Russia hit a new low in January following the politically motivated…
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, next to now-High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell after a meeting at the foreign ministry in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, November 6, 2018. 
News

Foreign Minister Should Raise Issue of Attacks on Civil Society

Foreign Minister Ann Linde’s trip to Moscow this week, the first one during Sweden’s chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), comes as Russia is in the midst of a severe human rights crisis. Last month’s arrest…
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, meets with Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde in Moscow, February 2, 2021.
News

A Story of Two Lawyers Highlights a Bigger Problem with Russia’s Justice System

Attacks, detention and prosecution of lawyers - including while performing their professional duties - is not unusual in Russia, but what happened ahead of the January 23 protests  takes this harassment to a new level. I spoke with two lawyers…
Mikhail Benyash and Mansur Gilmanov
News

Russian Lawmakers Target Greenpeace

A healthy environment has become a major topic for public debate globally, particularly in the context of climate change, and Russia is no exception. The authorities clearly understand that. In November the state-owned public opinion polling center…
Members of the Russian branch of the environmental group Greenpeace display a protest banner in downtown Moscow on Thursday, May 20, 2010.
News
The Russian military marked the fifth anniversary of its intervention in the armed conflict in Syria on September 30. The consequences have been devastating for many Syrian civilians, with hundreds of thousands killed and millions more forced to flee…
Woman and child in rubble in Idlib
News

Environmental rights groups in the country are facing severe harassment by the authorities.

Shortly before 6 a.m. on Nov. 18, a large group of heavily armed masked men buzzed the door of a house in Krasnodar in southwestern Russia.  The house serves as an informal office for Environmental Watch for Northern Caucasus (EWNC), a…
News

Soviet Dissident, Physicist Was Early Inspiration for Human Rights Watch

Yuri Orlov, renowned human rights activist and distinguished physicist, died on September 27, at the age of 96. He was a major inspiration for us when we founded Helsinki Watch, which eventually grew to be Human Rights Watch. Orlov was the founder of…
The Russian flag flies on a courthouse building in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 15 2020.
News
The European Court of Human Rights found on 19 September that Finland violated its positive duty to protect the right to life of nine students and a teacher in a mass shooting at their vocational institute. It is only the second time that the court…
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
News
The Supreme Court in Karelia on Wednesday overturned and vastly increased the sentence in the child sexual abuse case against Yuri Dmitriyev, a researcher and rights advocate who exposed mass graves of political prisoners executed during the Stalin…
Historian Yuri Dmitriev, who was on trial on charges of involving his adopted daughter in child pornography, of illegally possessing components of a firearm, and of depravity involving a minor, speaks with people after a hearing outside a court building in Petrozavodsk, Russia. April 5, 2018.