Russian rights at the crossroads

Anna Sevortian and Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch present a new week-long series on openDemocracy Russia

Tanya Lokshina
21 August 2012

Human Rights Watch has had an office in Russia for 20 years, almost as long as the contemporary Russian state has been in place. It’s certainly been a rollercoaster experience. In our early years, we were encouraged by the gains of fledgling Russian democracy; later on we documented the gradual setbacks and authoritarianism of the Putin era.

Today, once again, we see Russia at a crossroads, and with similar choices to the ones it faced twenty years ago.

In our series this week, we will present leading voices from Russian civil society and their visions of the most pressing human rights challenges in Russia. In general terms, they reflect the top priorities in the ongoing work of Human Rights Watch in Russia: the renewed crackdown on civil society, human rights violations in the turbulent North Caucasus, issues with implementation of judgments handed down by the European Court of Human Rights, LGBT rights, and the situation with palliative care.

We hope you enjoy the articles and look forward to receiving your feedback. For more information on Human Rights Watch work on Russia, visit: http://www.hrw.org/europecentral-asia/russia

Anna Sevortian
Tanya Lokshina
Moscow, August 2012


For Human Rights Watch work on Russia, please, see:


“You Dress According to Their Rules”

Enforcement of an Islamic Dress Code for Women in Chechnya, 2011

"Who Will Tell Me What Happened to My Son?"

Russia’s Implementation of European Court of Human Rights Judgments on Chechnya, 2009

"What Your Children Do Will Touch Upon You"

Punitive House-Burning in Chechnya, 2009


Russia: Harassment of Critics

Intimidation of Activists, Media as Election Nears, 2012

Russia: Expert Testimony on the Situation for Human Rights Defenders

Given before PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, 2012

Russia: Making Justice Count in Chechnya

Implementation of European Court of Human Rights Rulings against Russia, 2011

New Releases

Russia: Criminal Libel Law a Blow to Free Expression

Halt Unraveling of Human Rights Gains, 2012

Russia: Remembering Natalia Estemirova, and Why Her Courage Lives On, 2012

Russia: Bring Natalia Estemirova’s Murderers to Justice

Instead of Identifying Killers, Authorities Threatening Rights Activists, 2012

Russia: Reject Proposed Changes to Rules on Foreign-Funded NGOs

United Russia Move Would Brand Rights Groups ‘Foreign Agents,’ Extend Government Control, 2012

Russia: As Olympics Launch, Sochi Abuses Loom

Protect Workers, Ensure Fair Compensation and Free Speech in 2014 Olympics Prep, 2012

Russia: Five Journalists Detained

Response to Journalists’ Picket Shows Severity of New Demonstrations Law, 2012

Russia: Protect Human Rights Lawyer

‘Look Over Your Shoulder,’ Police in Caucasus Region Tell Attorney for Memorial, 2012

Russia: Reject Restrictions on Peaceful Assembly

Duma to Consider Big Fines for Public Gatherings, 2012

Russia: Protect Human Rights Defenders in Chechnya

Chechen Leader Threatened ‘Mobile Group’ in TV Broadcast

Russia: EU Should Raise LGBT Issues at Summit

‘Homosexual Propaganda’ Ban Could Become National Law, 2012

Russia: Investigate Police Use of Force Against Peaceful Protesters

March Turns Chaotic; Arbitrary Arrests, 2012

Russia: Is wearing a pink triangle a crime?

St. Petersburg's new anti-gay law is reminiscent of fascism, 2012

Russia: A Move to Investigate Police Abuses

New Unit Needs Independence, Robust Mandate, Resources, 2012

And Much More at HRW’s Russia page: http://www.hrw.org/europecentral-asia/russia

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