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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

French Authorities Should Immediately Investigate; Stop Arms Sales

A media investigation has alleged that classified documents show that a secret French military intelligence operation may have supported the Egyptian Air Force in targeting civilians under the guise of fighting terrorism. The documents appear to…
Two men in suits shake hands and pose for a photo
News

Authorities Arbitrarily Target Media and Critics

I first met Lotfi Hajji some 15 years ago, after Tunisian authorities under President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali had refused a request by Al Jazeera, the Qatar-funded pan-Arab television station, to accredit the Tunisian journalist as their local…
Al Jazeera correspondent Lotfi Hajji reporting from Tunis after Tunisian authorities evicted the pan-Arab television network from its offices, November 5, 2021. 
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

Donors Shouldn’t Engage in Whitewashing Horrendous Rights Record

The United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Egypt office issued a press release last week lavishing praise on President al-Sisi’s government’s supposed “good governance and accountability.” This is a very different Egypt from the one Human Rights…
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on September 14, 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

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
News

Jailed Journalist’s Health Deteriorates After Alleged Torture in Custody

The health of a Ukrainian journalist in custody in Simferopol on the Crimean peninsula is reported to be deteriorating, following alleged torture by Russian security services. Vladyslav Yesypenko, a freelance journalist who covered environmental…
A man holds a placard that says "Journalism is Not a Crime" and "#FreeYesypenko"
News

Junta Packs Jails with Opponents as Virus Thrives

Myanmar’s Covid-19 crisis is spiraling out of control, as the coronavirus spreads among the most marginalized populations, including those in the country’s prisons. The escalation of politically motivated arrests since the February 1 military coup…
People stand outside the gates of a prison
News

Further Independent Voices Silenced

With Russia’s September 19 parliamentary elections fast approaching, every day begins with new reports of arbitrary arrests, interrogations, and other attacks on critical voices. Today there were three new victims of the Kremlin’s war against free…
A smart phone user reads MBKh Media news site, one of three news outlets whose websites were blocked on August 4, 2021.
News

Crowded Camp Conditions, Lack of Permanent Shelters

Heavy rains over the past week have displaced more than 21,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The resulting flooding and mudslides have destroyed about 6,418 shelters. With months of monsoon season still ahead, the refugees face heightened risks…
Rohingya refugees repair a shelter damaged following heavy rains at the refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh on July 28, 2021.