Search Results

Sort by
News

Court Upholds ‘Terrorism’ Convictions While Hundreds Remain in Prison

Last week, Russia’s Supreme Court upheld the terrorism-related convictions of 19 men who are all serving prison sentences ranging from 10 to 24 years because of their alleged affiliation with Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT), an Islamic organization banned in…
Supreme court appeal hearing held via videoconference, September 2020.
News

Dennis Christensen Waits in Prison; Many Other Worshippers Await Prosecution

Everything seemed to be in place for Dennis Christensen to leave a Russian prison in early July. On June 23, a judge paroled him, after he served half of a 6-year sentence, while also ordering him to pay a 400,00 ruble (US$5,714) fine. Mr. Christensen…
Dennis Christensen (behind the windows) talks with his interpreter at the Zheleznodorzhy District Court in Oryol, January 28, 2019
News
On May 29, Russian state media reported that the authorities are considering introducing an app that migrant workers would have to download when they enter the country, once the borders re-open after the COVID-19 lockdown. Little is known about the…
Shadows of people detained by Russian police, suspected of violating immigration rules during an action seen on containers at a street market in Moscow, Russia, August 7, 2013. © AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
News

With Risk of Spreading Covid-19, Government Should Find Alternatives

Update: On April 18, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree regulating the legal status of foreigners during the lockdown in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decree extends through June 15 the validity of migration…
A detained migrant from a former Soviet republic waits in a holding cell at a police station in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
News

COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
News

Allegations of Torture, Unfair Trials, Misuse of Terrorism Law

(Berlin) – Russian military courts handed down guilty verdicts on February 5 and 10, 2020 in three separate, deeply flawed terrorism cases in which the defendants alleged incommunicado detention, torture, and other ill-treatment to…
Pictured (L) members of a left-wing group Set (Network) in court in Penza, Russia on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, when the court convicted seven members on terrorism charges, sentencing them to prison terms ranging from six to 18 years. (R) Eduard Nizamov.
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.
News

Camp Raid the Latest in Deepening Crackdown on Members

Last week, police near Norilsk, in northern Russia, raided a campsite where more than 50 Jehovah’s Witness followers had gathered to pray. It was the latest example of an escalating crackdown on Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are targeted…
A woman holds a bible during a service
News

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

Prosecution Part of Nationwide Crackdown on Religious Group

(Moscow) – A Russian court on February 6, 2019 convicted Dennis Christensen, a Jehovah’s Witness adherent and Danish citizen, on extremism charges for practicing his faith, Human Rights Watch said today. The court sentenced Christensen…
Dennis Christensen after the hearing at the Zheleznodorzhy District Court in Oryol, January 28, 2019
News

Dire Conditions for Thousands Fleeing Fighting

(Beirut) – Jordanian and Israeli authorities should allow Syrians fleeing fighting in Daraa governorate to claim asylum and protect them, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 16, 2018, the Syrian-Russian military alliance opened an…
An Internally displaced girl from Daraa province carries a stuffed toy and holds the hand of child near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in Quneitra, Syria June 29, 2018. © 2018 Reuters/Alaa Al-Faqir
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

Unjust Prosecution Part of Broader Persecution of Religious Group

(Moscow) – Russian authorities should drop the charges against a Jehovah’s Witness adherent for practicing his faith and release him immediately, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 3, 2018, a criminal court in Orel…
Dennis Christensen
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

Russia Slow to Recognize ‘Hate’ as Motive for Targeting Victims of Crime

‘Lilly,’ a transgender woman from Uzbekistan, traveled to northern Russia in 2015, in search of work, hoping to earn money for her transition. In December 2016, three men attacked her on the street, forced her into a car, and…
Anti-gay rights activists stand on a rainbow flag during a protest by gay rights activists demonstrating against a proposed new law termed by the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament, as "against advocating the rejection of traditional family values"
Report
Summary Russia will host the next FIFA World Cup, from June 14 to July 15, 2018, just over four years after hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Mega-sporting events are a source of national pride for the Russian government, and it invests…
News

Withdraw Lawsuit, Protect Religious Freedom

(Moscow) – Russia’s Supreme Court ruled on April 20, 2017 that the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization should be closed down and no longer allowed to operate legally in Russia, Human Rights Watch said today. The ruling, which affects more than 100,000…
Yaroslav Sivulsky, member of the Managerial center of the JW, gives interview after the court hearing in the Supreme Court on April 7, 2017, Moscow.