International Rights Groups on Russia

Human Rights Watch: Moscow Police Fail to Effectively Investigate Brutal Attack on LGBT Activists

posted by Rights in Russia   [ updated ]

Moscow Police Fail to Effectively Investigate Brutal Attack on LGBT Activists

Two Weeks Later No Sign of Criminal Case Opened
On the evening of November 11, four burly young men wearing hoods brutally attacked two lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights activists – Zoya Matisova, 42, and Nadezhda Aronchik, 23. Both were taking part in an inclusive family conference in Moscow. Matisova, a psychologist and board member of the Russian LGBT Network, told me that the assailants approached them not far from the conference venue as she and Aronchik on their way to the metro. The men first asked if they had anything to do with the conference and without waiting for an answer, sprayed something in Matisova’s eyes and punched Aronchik in the face, shouting homophobic slurs. Then they fled. “My eyes were burning and the pain was just hellish,” Matisova said. [...]
Source: Dispatches: Human Rights Watch [23 November 2017]

Human Rights Watch: Russia: ‘Year of Ecology’ a Sham

posted 21 Nov 2017, 10:17 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Nov 2017, 10:19 ]

5 Years of ‘Foreign Agents’ Law Devastates Environmental Groups
Russia' “foreign agents” law, which entered into force on this date five years ago, has been used to end or curtail a broad range of important work to protect Russia’s natural environment, Human Rights Watch said today. Interviews with directors of current or defunct environmental organizations across Russia reveal that at least 14 environmental nongovernmental organizations have stopped work rather than continue to operate while labelled a “foreign agent.” Authorities have used the law to eliminate or restrain groups advocating against state-sanctioned development projects, expressing concerns about proposed government policies, and petitioning authorities for the release of imprisoned environmental activists. “Although 2017 is the ‘Year of Ecology’ in Russia, there’s been no letup in government efforts to suppress environmental movements,” said Richard Pearshouse, associate environment director at Human Rights Watch. “The Justice Ministry has used the ‘foreign agents’ registry to silence some of the country’s most effective, rigorous, and committed environmental groups.” [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [21 November 2017]

Amnesty International: Russia - Kremlin tightens stranglehold on foreign media with more repressive legislation

posted 15 Nov 2017, 11:58 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Nov 2017, 10:21 ]

The Russian authorities will tighten their stranglehold on press freedom in the country today by introducing a bill that designates foreign-funded news organizations as “foreign agents” and imposes onerous obligations to declare full details of their funding, finances and staffing, said Amnesty International. The move is likely to effect the Russian services of major international media outlets such as the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.  All political parties represented in the State Duma, the Russian Parliament’s lower chamber, have expressed their support of the bill and are expected to pass it unanimously as early as Wednesday. “This legislation strikes a serious blow to what was already a fairly desperate situation for press freedom in Russia. Over the last couple of years, the Kremlin has been tirelessly building a media echo chamber that shuts out critical voices, both inside Russia and from abroad,” said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International. [...]
Source: Amnesty International [15 November 2017]

Human Rights Watch: Crimea - Persecution of Crimean Tatars Intensifies

posted 15 Nov 2017, 11:55 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 15 Nov 2017, 11:55 ]

Arbitrary Detentions; Separatism, Terrorism Charges
Law enforcement officials during a search in Bakhchysarai, Crimea on January 26, 2017 @ 2017 Anton Naumlyik RFE/RL(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 ethnic minority indigenous to the Crimean Peninsula. Many openly oppose Russia’s occupation, which began in 2014. “Russian authorities in Crimea have relentlessly persecuted Crimean Tatars for their vocal opposition to Russia’s occupation since it began in 2014,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “They have portrayed politically active Crimean Tatars as extremists and terrorists, forced many into exile, and ensured that those who choose to stay never feel safe to speak their mind.” [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [14 November 2017]

Human Rights Watch: Russia/Syria - Deadly Airstrikes on Trapped Civilians

posted 31 Oct 2017, 13:31 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Nov 2017, 10:20 ]

(Beirut) – The Russian-Syrian joint military operation has carried out unlawful airstrikes in recent weeks that have killed civilians trapped in northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The ongoing attacks and the lack of escape routes highlight the dangers facing civilians in the area and undermine any notion that Idlib can be considered safe for civilians. Russian and Syrian aircraft started the attacks on Idlib province and surrounding areas on September 19, 2017. A Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson stated that it was responding to a large-scale offensive in the area by Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which includes fighters from the group Jabhat Fath al-Sham, formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda. However, evidence Human Rights Watch collected indicates that some of the attacks struck markets and populated residential areas, including camps for the displaced. The attacks used cluster munitions and explosive weapons with wide-area effect in populated areas. [...]
Source: Human Rights Watch [31 October 2017]

Amnesty International: Russia - Released Crimean Tatar leaders should be free to return home and speak out

posted 27 Oct 2017, 12:29 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 27 Oct 2017, 12:30 ]

As Crimean Tatar leaders Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz arrived in Kyiv this afternoon, after being freed from a Russian prison in the occupied Crimea on Wednesday, the Director of Amnesty International Ukraine Oksana Pokalchuk said: “Prisoners of conscience Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz’s release from prison this week was a positive step, but they now face the further injustice of having been expelled from their homeland. They must be allowed to return to Crimea and freely express their views without fear of being prosecuted. [...]
Source: Amnesty International [27 October 2017]

Amnesty International: Newspaper Threatened for Reports on Abductions

posted 18 Apr 2017, 09:14 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Apr 2017, 09:15 ]


Committee to Protect Journalists: Russian journalist flees Moscow following threats

posted 17 Apr 2017, 14:24 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 17 Apr 2017, 14:25 ]

'Russian journalist flees Moscow following threats,' Committee to Protect Journalists, 17 April 2017

Committee to Protect Journalists: Chechen official and preachers threaten Novaya Gazeta journalists

posted 17 Apr 2017, 14:22 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 17 Apr 2017, 14:23 ]

'Chechen official and preachers threaten Novaya Gazeta journalists,' Committee to Protect Journalists, 14 April 2017

Human Rights Watch: Chechen Officials and Clerics Threaten Journalists

posted 17 Apr 2017, 14:17 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 17 Apr 2017, 14:19 ]

'Russia: Chechen Officials and Clerics Threaten Journalists. Fear of Retaliation for Article Exposing Anti-Gay Abuse Campaign,' Human Rights Watch, 17 April 2017

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