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Broad Law Threatens Freedom of Expression, Association

(New York) – The Singapore government should withdraw a proposed law that significantly undermines the rights of activists, academics, journalists, and others to freedom of expression, association, and participation in public affairs and to…
Reporters record a speech by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as it is streamed on Facebook live during vote counting in the general election in Singapore, July 11, 2020.
News
Today, eleven undersigned organizations called on the Government of Singapore to withdraw the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill (‘FICA’). FICA’s provisions contravene international legal and human rights principles – including the rights to…
News

Detention of Editor-in-Chief Highlights the Attacks on Journalism

Today, a court in Moscow sentenced Sergei Smirnov, editor-in-chief of the independent “Mediazona” news outlet, to 25 days in detention for “repeated violation” of the public assemblies’ rules. His offense? Retweeting a humorous tweet about Smirnov’…
The Editor-in-Chief of Mediazona, Sergey Smirnov, in front of Pskov Regional Court, after the trial of Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva, Pskov, Russia, July 6 2020.
News

Irina Slavina’s Death Follows Police Raid on Her Apartment

Journalist and publisher Irina Slavina (Murakhtayeva) died after setting herself on fire on October 2, a day after a police raid on her apartment and following years of harassment by Russian authorities and others. Slavina ran Koza Press, an…
Irina Slavina poses in Nizhniy Novgorod, March 2019, in a photo posted to social media.
News

Authorities Abuse Criminal Justice to Silence Independent Media

Today, a Russian court sentenced journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva to a fine of 500,000 rubles (approx. USD$ 7000) on bogus terrorism charges. The conviction of the journalist, who works for the Echo of Moscow and Radio Free Europe, is another…
Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva (left) attends the trial in the Second Western District Military Court.
News

Authorities Should End Sham Prosecutions and Allow Free Debate

Today, the trial against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva is set to start in Pskov, Russia, on groundless charges of publicly supporting terrorism. Authorities have indicted her for “public incitement to terrorist activity, public justification or…
Светлана Прокопьева выступает на презентации книги в Москве.
News

Drop Charges; Free Detainees

Update: On May 29, police in Moscow arbitrarily detained 30 more people, including journalists, district council representatives and activists who were conducting single person pickets in protest of the arrest of Ilya Azar and the detention of his…
Echo of Moscow journalist, Tatiana Feleghengauer, detained by police on May 28, 2020.
News

Amendment Would Extend Restrictions to Individuals, Including Bloggers

Update: On December 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law, which expands the status of “foreign agents” to private persons. Update: On November 25, the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament endorsed the law, which…
An interior view of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, in Moscow, Russia, January 20, 2017.
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(Berlin, July 12, 2019) – 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…
News

Russia Needs More, not Less, Independent Reporting

This week brought the bombshell announcement that Ivan Safronov and Maxim Ivanov, two veteran reporters for Kommersant, were pressured into resigning, spurring the paper’s entire politics desk to quit in protest. The business newspaper…
A general view shows the Spasskaya Tower and the Kremlin wall in central Moscow, Russia, May 5, 2016.
News

Misuse of Counter-Terrorism Laws Against Media

Update: Due to Covid-19 pandemic, a court has suspended Prokopyeva’s trial for undetermined period of time. Update: The hearing in Svetlana Prokopyeva’s case is scheduled for April 20. The casefile contains 12 volumes and the…
Svetlana Prokopyeva, Pskov.
News

Government Misuses Criminal Law to Prevent Criticism

(Bangkok) – Singapore authorities should drop criminal defamation charges against Terry Xu, editor of the online news site The Online Citizen, for publishing a letter alleging government corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. Xu is scheduled to…
A general view of the Parliament House in Singapore June 2, 2016.
News

The New Times at Risk of Closing

(Moscow) – A Russian court has issued a stifling fine to The New Times, an independent Russian magazine, for supposed failure to report foreign funding, putting it at risk of closure, Human Rights Watch said today. The New Times is known…
Evgeniya Albats, editor-in-chief of The New Times, profile picture.
News

Authorities Say Posting is ‘Incitement to Terrorism’

In the early hours of May 18, a team of police and security officials raided the apartment of Viktor Korb, a journalist from Omsk. One of the agents shoved a search warrant in Korb’s face and the team conducted a 10-hour search, turning…
Russian journalist Viktor Korb.
News

Chancellor Visiting Amid New Levels of Repression

(Berlin) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 18, 2018 in Sochi is a crucial opportunity to press for the release of a wrongfully detained Russian human rights defender and to raise other key…
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017
News

FIFA Should Stand Up for Rights One Month Before Kickoff

(Berlin) – The FIFA World Cup starting on June 14, 2018, will take place during the worst human rights crisis in Russia since the Soviet era, Human Rights Watch said today. FIFA should use its leverage with the Russian authorities to address labor…
The Russian and Brazilian football teams play a pre-World Cup international friendly match at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia on March 23, 2018. The FIFA World Cup final will be played at this stadium on July 15 2018. (c) 2018 Ashley Kowalski