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Mass Arbitrary Detentions, Police Brutality, Criminal Prosecutions

(Moscow) – On January 23, 2021, police detained more than 3,700 people across Russia at nationwide protests against the arrest of political opposition figure Alexey Navalny and against state corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. It was the…
Police officers clash with people during a protest against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow.
News

Unlawful Lethal Force, Families Threatened, Cover-Ups

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities have failed to hold security forces accountable for excessive and unlawful use of lethal force in confronting large-scale protests that began on November 15, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Members of the…
Iranian protesters gather around a burning car during a demonstration against an increase in gasoline prices in the capital Tehran, on November 16, 2019.
News

Arrests, Prison, Harassment for Peaceful Religious Practice

(Moscow) – Law enforcement authorities across Russia have dramatically escalated the nationwide persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the past 12 months, Human Rights Watch said today. One year after President Vladimir Putin said that…
Special Rapid Response Unit raid a Jehovah’s Witness home in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast.
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Raids, Arbitrary Arrests, Torture of Activists

(Berlin) – Russian authorities have brought unfounded terrorism charges against 24 Crimean Tatars, 20 of whom were arrested during heavily armed raids on their homes in the spring of this year, Human Rights Watch said today. Security…
Crimean Tatar activists protest politically motivated arrests of terrorism charges in Moscow’s Red Square on July 10, 2019.
News

Government Intimidation, Concerts Cancelled

(Moscow) – Russian authorities have been interfering with performances of rappers and other musicians popular with younger audiences, forcing them to cancel concerts in acts of censorship that violate freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said…
Russian musician Nastya Kreslina, member of electronic duo called IC3PEAK performs during a concert in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
News

Religious Persecution, Other Abuses

(Moscow) – Law enforcement authorities across Russia have carried out a sweeping campaign against Jehovah’s Witnesses in recent months, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have carried out dozens of home searches,…
Since 2007, dozens of pieces of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature have been banned and placed on the federal registry of banned extremist materials. Picture here, stacks of booklets distributed by a local leader of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in the
News

Mass Arrests at Protest; Death in Custody

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities arrested over 300 members of the minority Dervish Muslim community in late February 2018 after police forcibly tried to break up a protest. The events in February stemmed from what appears to be an intensified…
Police Forces at the scene of the clashes, Tehran, Iran February 19, 2018. © 2018 Majzooban-e-Noor
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Russians Targeted for Links to Foreign ‘Undesirable’ Groups

(Berlin) – The Russian government has intensified enforcement of the country’s repressive legislation on foreign “undesirable” organizations to intimidate Russian nationals and groups, Human Rights Watch said today. Officials are penalizing Russian…
Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 2010.
News

Arbitrary Detentions; Separatism, Terrorism Charges

(Berlin) – Russian authorities in Crimea have intensified persecution of Crimean Tatars, under various pretexts and with the apparent goal of completely silencing dissent on the peninsula, Human Rights Watch said today. Crimean Tatars are a Muslim…
Law enforcement officials during a search in Bakhchysarai, Crimea on January 26, 2017
News

Navalny Campaigners Attacked Ahead of Presidential Poll

(Berlin) – Russian police have systematically interfered with the presidential campaign of Russia’s leading political opposition figure Alexei Navalny, Human Rights Watch said today. Police across Russia have raided Navalny’s campaign offices,…
burnt door St. Petersburg Navalny
News

Mass Detentions, Beatings, Flawed Hearings

(Moscow) – Russian police arbitrarily detained hundreds of people during peaceful protests on June 12, 2017, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch interviewed more than a dozen people detained during the protests…
Riot police detain a man during an anti-corruption protest organised by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, on Tverskaya Street in central Moscow, Russia, June 12, 2017.
News

Protesters, Parents Face Intimidation, Charges

(Moscow) – The authorities in numerous cities across Russia have harassed and intimidated schoolchildren and university students who participated in anti-corruption demonstrations on March 26, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Protesters assembled around Pushkinskaya Square in Moscow on March 26, 2017.
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Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…