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One Year After Coup, Global Arms Embargo Urgently Needed

United Nations Security Council member countries should abandon their timid approach to the Myanmar military’s mounting atrocities and replace mealymouthed statements with tough action. A year ago, on February 1, 2021, Myanmar’s military ousted the…
Anti-coup protesters run from teargas deployed by the police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.
News

Russian Authorities Should Immediately Ensure Zarema Mussaeva’s Release

As all eyes are focused on growing tensions between the Kremlin and NATO, Chechen authorities seem emboldened to be unrestrained in their use of lawless tactics in their war with dissent. Yesterday, Chechen police broke into the apartment of 52-…
Zarema Mussaeva
News

Social Media Platforms Should Not Yield to Pressure

The final days of 2021 were marked by a particularly vicious escalation of Russia’s crackdown on independent reporting and activism. Amid a flurry of new “foreign agent” designations, arrests of political activists, and appalling court rulings…
An iPhone screen shows the Telegram account of OVD-Info
News

Russia, China Lead Efforts to Put Monitoring, Investigations on Chopping Block

United Nations member countries currently haggling over the organization’s 2022 budget should stand firm against Russia and China-led efforts to slash funding for UN human rights work. Every December, diplomats on the UN General Assembly’s fiscal…
UN General Assembly Hall
News

Sagaing Massacre Latest in Military’s Escalating Terror Campaign

In a year where atrocities by Myanmar’s military have been commonplace, credible reports of a massacre of 11 people, including 5 children, who were bound, shot, and then burned, have sparked revulsion and outrage. Photos and video circulated online…
A person walks by a destroyed village
News

Justice, Solidarity Crucial to Confront Abuses Past and Present

On December 10, 2019, Abubacarr Tambadou, then Gambia’s justice minister, posed a question to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. “Why is the world standing by and allowing such horrors again in our lifetime?” It was the first…
Anti-coup protesters run from teargas deployed by the police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.
News

Satellite Imagery, Thermal Anomalies Data Show Numerous Burnings

Since October 29, numerous fires have severely damaged Thantlang, a remote town in Myanmar’s northwestern Chin State. The evidence from space is undeniable: residential homes, places of worship, commercial buildings, and more have been reduced to ash…
A screenshot of accumulated fire detections
News

Russia Should End Discrimination Against Women in Custody Cases and Beyond

This week, the European Court on Human Rights ruled that Luisa Tapayeva, a Chechen woman, should be reunited with her four daughters who were taken from her after their father died. Under local customs, children are “owned” by the father and his…
A picture from an animation by Justice Initiative Project on the custom of taking children away from mothers in Chechnya and Ingushetia.
News

Prosecutor's Office Seeks to Liquidate Memorial

Russian authorities have moved to shut down Memorial, one of Russia’s oldest and most prominent rights organization, an outrageous assault on the jugular of Russia’s civil society. Memorial, which defends human rights, works to commemorate victims…
On the night before the infamous “foreign agents” law came into force back in 2012, unknown individuals sprayed graffiti reading, “Foreign Agent! ♥ USA” on the buildings hosting the offices of three prominent NGOs in Moscow, including Memorial. 
News
New satellite data analyzed by Human Rights Watch corroborates images and videos streaming out of Myanmar’s Chin State showing towns once again on fire. Human Rights Watch reviewed thermal anomaly data collected by an environmental satellite sensor…
202111asia_myanmar_thantlang_fire
News

Stronger International Pressure Needed to End Abuses

“They placed a plastic bag over my head to suffocate me. They did this three times…. They held mock executions.… They pointed a rifle at me and pulled the trigger repeatedly.” This is how a detainee in Myanmar, recently released after arrest for…
Aerial image of uniformed police officers detaining a protester
News

Drop All Charges Against Edem Semedlyaev

Yesterday, Russian authorities arbitrarily arrested lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, while he was advising clients at a police station, who themselves had been arbitrarily arrested. Today court released Semedlyaev pending review of the charges. Semedlyaev…
Edem Semdlyaev, Simferopol, Crimea 2021
News

Yegorov Protested Moscow’s Trash Pouring into His Community

Yesterday, a court in the city of Kolomna, Russia sentenced Viacheslav Yegorov to 15 months in prison for repeatedly taking part in peaceful protests in 2018 against the “import” of trash from Moscow. It is ironic that this sentence came less than a…
Vyacheslav Yegorov at Kolomna court, 2021
News

Apple and Google Should Account for Limiting Access to Election Information

Apple and Google capitulated to Russian authorities last week when they removed access to the Navalny Smart Voting app on the eve of the weekend’s parliamentary election. The move helped undermine Russian voters’ ability to access information about…
Police officer wearing face mask stands on duty at the polling station on July 1, 2020 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
News

Burmese Artists Send Message to France, Global Community to Address Rights

The Myanmar military’s February 1 coup sparked the largest and most widespread protests in the country's recent history, showing people’s determination not to be dragged back into a dark past of military dictatorship. The military responded with…
Installation of the exhibition Fighting Fear #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar Place du Palais Royal in Paris
News

Demonstrate that Undocumented Migrants Won’t Be Arrested

Recent statements by Malaysia’s new health minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, that everyone in the country is eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine regardless of documentation status, are a welcome nod toward more equitable access to vaccines. But unless the…
A health worker gestures to the next vaccine recipient at Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on May 31, 2021.
News

Crimean Tatar Leader Arrested on Bogus Criminal Charges

In today’s Crimea, to be a member of the Crimean Tatar community is to be a target for the authorities. In the early hours of September 4, Russia’s security services raided the house of Nariman Dzhelyal, a deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatar…
Nariman Dzhelyal in Crimea in 2019. 
News

Hollow Investigation Means State Evades Accountability

Today, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on the case of Natalia Estemirova, star Chechen human rights defender murdered in July 2009. It found that Russia had violated their obligations to protect her right to life by "fail[ing] to investigate…
Natalia Estemoriva in Chechnya, 2007.
News

Kidnapping, Interrogation Exposes Brutal Intent

The Russian LGBT Network has reported that in May 2021, Chechen-speaking men abducted Ibragim Selimkhanov in Moscow and forcibly returned him to Chechnya’s capital Grozny, where authorities interrogated him about gay people in the region. This is the…
Campaigners protest for LGBT rights in Chechnya outside the Russian embassy in London, Britain on June 2, 2017.
News

Idrak Mirzalizade Banned from Russia Over a Joke

In an outrageous move, the Russian Interior Ministry announced today it has banned a stand-up comedian, Idrak Mirzalizade, from Russia for life, over a joke he told which Russian authorities consider insulting to ethnic Russians. Mirzalizade,…
Idrak Mirzalizade Comedian Performing Stand-up