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Svetlana Sidorkina: “Defending the innocent is the most difficult thing of all”

Svetlana Sidorkina, one of Russia’s leading human rights lawyers, talks about how hard the Russian justice system can be to beat. RU

Azerbaijan’s authoritarianism goes digital

2018 is an election year in Azerbaijan. The authorities may have the streets on lockdown, but the fight against dissent in cyberspace is just beginning.

Afgan Mukhtarli: behind bars, but not forgotten

Last year, this fearless journalist was abducted from the streets of Tbilisi and wound up in an Azerbaijani jail cell. We need more like him.

 

“We refused everything France wanted to give us”: Oksana Shalygina’s first post-prison interview

This time last year, performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky and Oksana Shalygina fled Russia under threat of prosecution. Now they’re facing arson charges in Paris. RU

“I got called in by the KGB. They said there were no LGBT people in Transnistria”

In Transnistria, an unrecognised territory between Moldova and Ukraine, documentary photography is becoming one of the most effective tools for talking about taboo and controversial subjects. RU

Who killed Iryna Nozdrovska?

The murder of a prominent female lawyer in Ukraine questions the progress of reform and revolution.

Igor Yasin: “If there’s no freedom of assembly for LGBT, there’s none for anyone else”

Russian activist Igor Yasin on attitudes towards LGBT in Russia’s regions, why the opposition has a homophobia problem, and how to assert your rights — and still be heard. RU

A birthday in the Urals

Oleksandr Kolchenko, a Crimean anarchist, is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in Russia. There’s much to learn from his activism. 

The Chechen watcher

Hundreds of desperate Chechen refugees are still stranded on the Belarusian border, waiting to enter the EU. Many locals are sceptical of the newcomers — but some have stood up to help. RU, Polski

Russia’s “foreign agents” law is bankrupting campaigners and activists

Ruinous fines levied against Russian NGO heads are destroying the civil sector and pushing campaigners to the brink of survival. RU

“Ukraine’s veterans don’t need sympathy, they need dignity”

Ukraine needs a public conversation about its veterans.

Pyotr Ryabov: “Prison is the ideal model for the state”

Russian anarchist writer Pyotr Ryabov was recently imprisoned and deported from Belarus. I asked him about freedom of assembly, the power of the hunger strike and why history lectures are a threat to authoritarian rule. RU

Syrian refugees in Russia have to fight for their rights

Syrian citizens are fleeing from their war-torn homeland, and some of them have chosen Russia as their country of asylum. But life for them here is also a struggle. RU

"Тюрьма — это идеальное строение государства"

oDR поговорил с Петром Рябовым — российским историком античности, проведшим неделю в белорусской тюрьме. Петр рассказал нам о работе в заключении, o голодовке и о том, почему исторические лекции — это угроза авторитаризму. English

Плохой мир: почему миротворцам и правозащитникам трудно договориться о судьбе Донбасса

13654189_1762518223963655_138236124276395719_n.jpgПока украинские политики и международные организации отказываются открыто признать конфликт с Россией полноценной войной, на востоке страны продолжают гибнуть люди. English

Peace-building versus human rights in Ukraine’s Donbas

13654189_1762518223963655_138236124276395719_n.jpgDiplomatic games are being played in and around Ukraine. But officially recognising a Russian invasion is the only way toward peace. RU

 

Victim of Chechnya’s anti-LGBT purge seeks justice

But will the Russian authorities deliver on their pledges to Investigate?

How to hide evidence of torture inside Russia’s prison system

In Russia, law enforcement quickly puts pressure on prisoners who come forward about torture inside the prison system. RU

Afgan Mukhtarli: after the abduction

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 10.jpgMy husband was kidnapped on the streets of Tbilisi and ended up in an Azerbaijani jail cell. Four months on, I’ve got no answers — only more questions.

 

Как закон об "иностранных агентах" разоряет активистов

Разорительные штрафы по отношению к руководителям НКО, разрушают гражданский сектор и ставят активистов на грань выживания. English

Inside Ingushetia’s anti-extremism centre: torture, extortion, murder

Russia’s anti-extremism centres are notorious for their brutal torture. Here are the stories of its victims in Ingushetia, where for the first time, some of the organisation’s operatives face trial for their crimes.

Charting Russia’s most dangerous cities for LGBT people

Here are the towns where it’s dangerous to be gay in Russia. A culture of silence and a law “against propaganda” are keeping them that way. Русский

Walking free in Azerbaijan

It’s easy to celebrate when Azerbaijan’s political prisoners are released. But ensnared by public stigma and personal trauma, what are the chances that they ever find a place for themselves in society?

Putting Russia’s homophobic violence on the map

From what little data we have, it’s clear that homophobic violence in Russia is on the rise. Russia’s LGBT people are victims of ignorance and intolerance — yet the state won’t lift a finger. Russian

In Russia, 26 March continues

Two weeks after Russia’s anti-corruption protests, activists and participants are still being tried, arrested and intimidated across the country. Русский

Anti-LGBT violence in Chechnya: when filing “official complaints” isn’t an option

The Chechen authorities are conducting a vicious operation against men suspected of being gay. The Kremlin should not only condemn these actions, but the culture of impunity that accompanies them. 

Don't call him Dima: Russia’s anti-corruption protesters face repression

Last Sunday's protests and a nationwide truckers' strike have led to detentions and trials across Russia. Read about them here. Русский

Russia’s prison service is keeping its abuses under lock and key

Despite signs of early change, the cover-up of torture inside Russia’s prison service demands reform. Русский

Meet the women at the centre of Ukraine’s resurgent HIV epidemic

Living with HIV in Ukraine is fraught with stigma and discrimination. It’s even harder if you’re a woman.

In Georgia, labour exploitation still pays

In striving for a “business-friendly environment”, the Georgian government is further eroding labour rights. Workers have taken to the streets in response.

Kicking habits, kicking back

In Russia, a punitive Soviet approach to drug users is still in place. But a new generation of activists is ready to challenge it. Русский

Making them pay for Maidan

You can't understand the Kremlin's agenda without examining the situation of political prisoners — and Ukrainian citizens feature heavily in this list. Русский

The victims of Russia’s ultra-conservatism are the Russian people themselves

Russia has decriminalised domestic violence: one step towards “traditional values” means two steps back from international human rights standards

 

The new casualties of Russia’s war on terror

The death of a man imprisoned for allegedly encouraging others to fight for Islamic State has cast light on murky killings dismissed as part of Russia's “war on terror”. RU

A letter from an inmate of the Southern Gas Corridor

Ilgar_Mammadov.jpgInternational investment in fossil fuel extraction is making me and other Azerbaijani political prisoners hostages to the Aliyev regime.

 

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