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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

Another Women’s Rights Group Could Be Labeled a “Foreign Agent”

In Russia, working to prevent and combat domestic violence can be considered a “political activity.” And that means risking state harassment and intimidation. The authorities are now targeting Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that…
The staff of Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that provides assistance to domestic violence survivors.  
News

Public Abuse of Dead Woman’s Mother Will Deter Others Seeking Help

Two weeks ago, Madina Umaeva, 23, died in Russia’s Chechen Republic under suspicious circumstances. She had previously complained to family members about her husband repeatedly beating her. On the day she died, neighbors heard screams from her house…
The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, on December 13, 2011.
News

Government Response to European Court Defies Belief – and the Facts

According to Russian authorities, men in Russia are more likely to suffer from discrimination in domestic violence cases – an outrageous claim that flies in the face of the facts. The dubious statement is part of Russia’s…
A A protest performance staged by women’s rights activists in Saint Petersburg after Russia’s adoption of domestic violence legislation, January 2017.
News

Amid Ongoing Bombings, More Protection Needed for Education

In areas of Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Syria’s capital Damascus held by anti-government armed groups, schools have closed for fear that Syrian and Russian warplanes will bomb them. Instead, local residents have opened informal schools…
Children walk through the rubble of the Tamayuz (“Excellence”) kindergarten in the town of Hamouriyeh after it was hit by a Syrian-Russian airstrike on November 8, 2017. © 2017 Private
News

One Year Since Legislative Changes Weakened Protections

A jealous husband from a small town near Moscow took his 25-year-old wife and mother of their two small boys, Margarita Gracheva, to the woods, put a knife to her throat, and threatened to kill her. The woman called the police, but when a police…
A A protest performance staged by women’s rights activists in Saint Petersburg after Russia’s adoption of domestic violence legislation, January 2017.
News
On September 4, Belarus police officials stopped a 22-year-old Russian woman of Chechen origin waiting for a flight at Minsk airport. They forced Luisa to go with them to a small room where her father was waiting to take her back to the…
The national coat of arms is seen at the terminal of Minsk International Airport near the village of Sloboda, Belarus May 19, 2016.
News

Police and Cossacks Harass Local Activists

Add another category to the long list of people deemed a security threat to the Russian state: feminists. Early this morning, a group of men broke into a tiny cottage near Dzhubga, a village in Russia’s southern Black Sea region of Krasnodar.…
Activists hoping to attend a gathering on feminism, instead harassed and brought to the Dzhubga police station in Krasnodar region, Russia.
News

Recent Attacks on Saraqeb Caught on Video

Videos and photographs taken last weekend in the city of Saraqeb, in northwestern Syria, show the unmistakably bright trails produced by incendiary weapons. The ZAB incendiary submunitions used in the attacks are delivered by RBK-500 bombs and contain…
Screenshot of a video taken in April 2017 in Saraqeb, northwestern Syria, showing the bright trails produced by incendiary weapons.
News

New Domestic Violence Law in Russia Hurts Victims

Only after a year of abuse, when Marina fell out a second-storey window as her husband tried to strangle her, did she go to police in Russia. Even then – wheelchair-bound, with metal plates holding her smashed feet together – Marina said she had to beg…
Russian activist protesting decriminalization of domestic violence in front of Russia’s state parliament building.
News

Despite Promises, Syrian Officials Withhold Permits

Convoys filled with lifesaving aid stand idle on the Syria-Turkish border. The Syrian government has failed to issue permits to the United Nations to access and distribute aid to opposition-held Aleppo. The UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland also blamed…
Commercial Turkish trucks wait to cross to Syria near the Cilvegozu border gate, located opposite the Syrian commercial crossing point Bab al-Hawa in Reyhanli, Hatay province, Turkey, September 16, 2016.
News

Muslim Leader Says FGM Necessary to Curb Girls’ Sexuality

Sexually depraved behavior among girls is rampant, if you listen to a Muslim authority of Russia’s North Caucasus, Ismail Berdiev. The good news is that, according to him, there is a simple fix: just subject them all to female genital mutilation (FGM) and…
Two girls play ball in a mountain village of Dagestan in Russia's North Caucasus region, August 20, 2007.
News

New Law Can Help End Epidemic of Violence Against Women

In September last year, Marem Aliyeva vanished from her home in Ingushetia, in Russia’s North Caucasus. Over the years Marem, 35, had filed multiple complaints to the police, detailing how her husband beat her. But the police would not budge. “We don’t…
Marem Aliyeva
News

Video Footage Shows Incendiary Weapons Mounted on Russian Attack Aircraft

Several major media outlets are reporting that Russia’s state-run television has broadcasted footage appearing to show Russian aircraft at its airbase in Syria equipped with “cluster bombs.” The clip was deleted from YouTube after analysts published the…
Footage showing what Human Rights Watch arms experts have identified as RBK-500 ZAB-2.5SM incendiary bombs mounted on a Russian attack aircraft at a Russian air base in Syria, June 18, 2016.
News
The Russian media has been teeming with reports this month about a middle-aged Chechen police chief’s plan to marry a girl from a small village in the region. Nazhud Guchigov, who is known as a close associate of the republic’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, is…
News
Last week Russian state media gave big play to allegations that Ukrainian forces had used white phosphorus as an incendiary weapon in eastern Ukraine. In the midst of it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged an investigation into the use of…
News
“Mr. Brahimi, we are already building peace in Syria,” the woman said, although Lakhdar Brahimi, essentially the chief negotiator of Syria’s peace process, had already walked away. “We can help you if you let us.” It would be hard to imagine a more…
News
It is the end of the school day, teenage students gather in the playground before heading home. An aircraft buzzes overhead. A second later, chaos – at least 10 are dead and dozens wounded. Video images of the young victims – the dead, dying and severely…