International Rights Groups on Russia

Amnesty International: Rights Defender Arbitrarily Arrested in Chechnya

posted 12 Jan 2018, 11:38 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Jan 2018, 11:58 ]

11 January 2018

Free Oyub Titiev, Drop All Charges

Police in Chechnya have arbitrarily arrested Oyub Titiev, head of the local office of Memorial, Russia’s leading human rights organization, on bogus drug possession charges, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders, FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and International Partnership for Human Rights said today. Authorities should immediately free Titiev, drop the charges against him, and stop hindering the work of human rights advocates in Chechnya, the international human rights groups said. “Titiev’s arrest is a clear signal that authorities in Chechnya are trying to force Memorial out of Chechnya, which is an affront to everyone there who needs protection from human rights abuses,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Titiev should not be in custody, where we fear his health and safety are at risk.” [Read more]

Source: 'Rights Defender Arbitrarily Arrested in Chechnya,' Amnesty International, 11 January 2018

Amnesty International: Human Rights Defender Detained in Chechnya - Oyub Titiev

posted 12 Jan 2018, 11:36 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Jan 2018, 11:55 ]

10 January 2018

On 9 January, police arbitrarily arrested Chechen human rights defender Oyub Titiev. He was held incommunicado for several hours and remains in detention falsely accused of drug possession. If tried and convicted he could face up to 10 years in prison. He is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally. [Read more]


Tanya Lokshina: Human Rights Defender Arrested in Chechnya [Human Rights Watch]

posted 10 Jan 2018, 11:00 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 10 Jan 2018, 11:04 ]

9 January 2018

By Tanya Lokshina, Russia Programme Director, Human Rights Watch

Another Attempt to Fraudulently Frame a Critic on Drugs Charges

This morning, Chechen authorities arrested activist Oyub Titiev, who works as the Chechnya office director at a leading Russian rights group, Memorial Human Rights Center. Titiev, born 1957, took over for Memorial in Chechnya after the kidnapping and murder of his colleague, Natalia Estemirova in 2009. In recent years, he received many threats aimed at making him quit human rights work. Now, his life and safety are in jeopardy. Seven hours after his arrest, Chechnya’s interior ministry confirmed they took him into custody, allegedly on suspicion of a drug-related crime. At about 10:30 a.m. a witness saw five to six police officials stop and search Titiev’s car by the Khumyk river bridge, not far from the town of Kurchaloi. The officials then took Titiev to the Kurchaloi district police department. When a lawyer from Memorial arrived at the police department that afternoon, an officer refused to let him in, claiming Titiev wasn’t on the premises. Another police officer, however, admitted off the record that they had Titiev in custody. At about 5 p.m., Chechnya’s deputy interior minister informed Russia’s federal ombudsperson, in response to her inquiry, that Kurchaoi police had detained Titiev. Around that time, Titiev’s lawyer was admitted to the station, and local police told him his client was being charged with unlawful drug possession. [Read more]

Front Line Defenders: Oyub Titiev facing criminal investigation

posted 10 Jan 2018, 10:45 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 10 Jan 2018, 10:48 ]

9 January 2018

On 9 January 2018, Oyub Titiev was taken from his car by people in road police uniform and brought at Kurchaloy regional police station. Later same day, he was accused of drugs’ possession and criminal investigation was opened against him. On 9 January, 2018 at approximatively 10:30AM, Titiev’s car was stopped by five road police officers on the road to Kurchaloy, Chechnya, and the defender was taken from his car. For five hours his whereabouts were unknown. His lawyer went to the Kurchaloy police station and was initially told that Oyub Titiev was not among the detainees. Several hours later, the head of Kurchaloy police station confirmed that the defender was detained there. Six hours after the detention of Titiev, his lawyer was admitted to the police station and was able to meet with Titiev. He was informed that during the search of Titiev’s car, police found a black plastic bag containing 180 grams of marijuana and the criminal investigation against Titiev was opened for “Illegal Making, Acquisition, Storage, Transportation, Sending, or Sale of Narcotic Drugs or Psychotropic Substances” under Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. [Read more]

Source: Oyub Titiev facing criminal investigation, Front Line Defenders, 9 January 2018

Front Line Defenders: Brutal Attack on Environmental Campaigner

posted 8 Jan 2018, 12:48 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 8 Jan 2018, 12:49 ]

29 December 2017

On 28 December 2017, three unidentified, masked men violently attacked environmental rights defenders, Andrei Rudomakha, Aleksandr Savelyev and Victor Chirikov, along with a correspondent for the online news source, “Free Media,” near the house of an activist Pavel Suganeev in Krasnodar. Andrei Rudomakha is the director of Environmental Watch on North Caucasus (EWNC), which focuses on environmental rights and campaigns for the preservation of wild life in the region. The organization has conducted investigations into rights violations caused by illegal land grabbing by local officials. Aleksandr Savelyev also works for the organization and Victor Chirikov volunteers for EWNC. On 28 December 2017, Andrei Rudomakha, Aleksandr Savelyev, Victor Chirikov and a correspondent for the online news source, “Free Media,” traveled to the Black Sea coast to investigate allegations concerning the illegal construction of a luxury mansion. The defenders attempted to film the construction work but were stopped by security officers guarding the facility who demanded that the defenders present their passports. [Read more]

Source: "Brutal Attack on Environmental Campaigner," Front Line Defenders, 29 December 2017

Amnesty International: Former Soviet states entrenching homophobia and demoralizing LGBTI rights activists

posted 25 Dec 2017, 13:05 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 25 Dec 2017, 13:12 ]

22 December 2017

Discrimination, homophobia and Russia’s crusade against “non-traditional sexual relationships” have helped fuel a worrying rise in hostility towards LGBTI human rights groups in parts of the former Soviet Union said Amnesty International, in a new report today.

Less equal: LGBTI human rights defenders in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan’ explores the increasingly discriminatory environment that LGBTI rights groups in four former Soviet states have faced in recent years, including within the human rights community itself. In all four countries attitudes have hardened against LGBTI people, in part as a consequence of the repressive rhetoric and practices emanating from Moscow. [Read more]

Source: 'Former Soviet states entrenching homophobia and demoralizing LGBTI rights activists,' Amnesty International, 22 December 2017

Amnesty International: Russian Federation - Mother Loses Custody Over Kids for Son's Long Hair: Lyubov Litsegevich and her 7 Children

posted 25 Dec 2017, 13:02 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 25 Dec 2017, 13:04 ]

21 December 2017

Local authorities, in the Bogradskiy District, Russia, have removed seven children from their adoptive mother after she allowed one of her four year-old sons’ hair to grow long. The authorities interpreted this as her fostering the “wrong” gender identity in him, an absurd accusation arising in the context of state-sponsored homophobia, transphobia and gender stereotyping in Russia. [Read more]


Human Rights Watch: Syria/Russia - Airstrikes, Siege Killing Civilians

posted 25 Dec 2017, 12:55 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 25 Dec 2017, 12:59 ]

22 December 2017

Allow Urgent Aid into Besieged Eastern Ghouta and End Indiscriminate Attacks

(Beirut) – Syrian government and Russian forces have escalated their airstrikes on Eastern Ghouta, a suburb approximately 15 kilometers from the center of Syria’s capital Damascus, killing dozens of civilians in apparently unlawful attacks, Human Rights Watch said today. Syrian forces have tightened their siege of the enclave, held by anti-government armed groups, severely restricting humanitarian aid in violation of the laws of war and preventing civilians from leaving the area.

The UN Security Council, which on December 19, 2017, renewed its mandate for cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to millions of desperate Syrian civilians, should demand that the Syrian government immediately end unlawful restrictions on aid to Eastern Ghouta or face targeted sanctions against those responsible. [Read more]

Source: 'Syria/Russia: Airstrikes, Siege Killing Civilians,' Human Rights Watch, 22 December 2017

Yulia Gorbunova: "Will Russia Block Twitter?" [Human Rights Watch]

posted 19 Dec 2017, 11:47 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Dec 2017, 11:58 ]

15 December 2017

By Yulia Gorbunova, researcher at Human Rights Watch

Source: Human Rights Watch

Authorities Threaten to Block Twitter, YouTube Over Open Russia Accounts

This week, Russia’s state media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, issued a warning to Twitter, giving it 24 hours to remove allegedly unlawful content – the Twitter account of opposition group Open Russia, led by Russian former oil tycoon and ardent Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Should Twitter disobey, the notice warns, it may be blocked in Russia. YouTube received an almost identical warning , also threatening them with a Russia-wide ban. [Read more]

Crimea: More than 70 Crimean Tatar activists put on trial simultaneously in brazen crackdown [Amnesty International]

posted 19 Dec 2017, 11:40 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Dec 2017, 11:44 ]

18 December 2017

Reacting to the simultaneous trials today of more than 70 Crimean Tatar activists charged after they each staged peaceful, individual demonstrations across multiple locations in the Russia-occupied Crimean peninsula, Oksana Pokalchuk, Amnesty International Ukraine’s Executive Director, said:

“The occupying Russian authorities push ever further the limits of their remorseless reprisals against the Crimean Tatar minority, this time by pursuing scores of peaceful Crimean Tatar activists en masse.

“So-called ‘single person picketing’ does not require prior authorization by the authorities and so this protest – though carefully choreographed across many locations - was entirely legal. The Russian authorities are simply sweeping up anyone who participated in order to punish them for daring to speak out.

“The persecution of Crimean Tatars is not new. Russian authorities have already forcibly exiled or jailed Crimean Tatar leaders, banned their representative body, Mejlis, and stifled the Crimean Tatar-language media. With this latest move they are aiming to shut down individuals’ expressions of dissent and deprive them of the right to voice their dissatisfaction.” [Read more]

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