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Torture, missing evidence and procedural violations: how to make a terrorism case against 21 Russian Muslims

Another trial against Russian “Islamists” results in harsh convictions – this time, 21 of them.

How Turkmenistan spies on its citizens at home and abroad

A mix of traditional techniques and new technologies allows the Turkmen regime to follow its citizens’ every move.

A torture scandal makes Russia pay attention

Graphic footage of a prisoner being tortured has gripped the Russian public. But the lawyer who helped expose this torture needs state protection.

“I wanted to wail, to scream at them: ‘What in the world are you doing to my daughter? Are you human or not?’”

An interview with the mother of Anna Pavlikova, an 18-year-old facing extremism charges in Russia.

Research the revenge: what we’re getting wrong about Russia Today

Data-mining and analysis will not reveal what makes Russian propaganda tick.

 

With attacks on independent media, the "thaw" in Belarus is over

The last few years have been viewed as a relative liberalisation in Belarusian public life. It seems this is coming to an end. RU

How to return one billion dollars stolen from the people of Uzbekistan

The saga of Gulnara Karimova’s ill-gotten and ill-fated assets – frozen in a number of mostly European jurisdictions – may soon come to an end.

“We can’t let up”: theatre producer Anna Palenchuk on hunger-striking director Oleg Sentsov

Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov is on hunger strike in a prison in Russia’s Far North, but he’s still working on projects. RU

Kyrgyzstan’s north-south road to corruption

A new investigation reveals another side of Chinese infrastructure projects in Central Asia: elite corruption.

How conservative is the Russian regime?

Russia's intensifying neoliberal policies and the accompanying conservative rhetoric are clear evidence of the prolonged crisis facing the Putin regime. RU

#FreeFatima: how the Tajik regime treats the children of political exiles as hostages

Preventing the children of opposition exiles from leaving Tajikistan is one of the cruellest forms of repression.  

How citizens battling a controversial gold mining project are testing Armenia’s new democracy

Can Armenia’s Velvet Revolution deliver change for communities struggling for their health, livelihoods and futures? ArmenianRU

How Kazakhstan’s anti-extremism blacklist forces activists, bloggers and opposition politicians into the shadows

In Kazakhstan, persecution of citizens convicted for extremism does not end with a court judgement or sentence. Being blacklisted also threatens an indefinite suspension of your financial rights. RU

Why Russian prison officers can torture with impunity

Russian courts continue to protect prison service officers accused of torturing and murdering inmates. RU

Hidden motivations: a brutal attack on a Russian Orthodox Church in Chechnya leaves questions unanswered

Allegations of a cover-up and improper qualification of an organised assault on an Orthodox Church in May this year have left space for conspiracy and intrigue.

Russia’s rising retirement age: six real stories

The Russian government’s move to raise the retirement age is encountering a lot of public discontent. Here, six Russian citizens tell us why they're against the reform. 

Tree cutting and pollution in Bishkek: to the last breath?

While the leaders of Kyrgyzstan’s capital insist on removing the city’s greenery, local groups are trying to stop it.

Can Russia’s opposition come together to fight the Kremlin’s pension reform?

While popular opinion is dead against the Russian government’s continued neoliberal line in social policy, opposition groups are competing for influence and electorate. RU

Ukraine’s little known memory war

How Russian propaganda whipped up allegations of anti-Semitism in Ukraine during the country's 2014 protests — and why that makes it more difficult to talk about anti-Semitism in Ukraine today. 

Abducted and illegally detained: the story of Pavlo Hryb, another Ukrainian prisoner of the Kremlin

After being abducted in Belarus, this Ukrainian citizen is facing terrorism charges in Russia.

How prisoners in Ukraine’s occupied territories live, work and survive

Prisoners in the so-called “People’s Republics” in Donetsk and Luhansk are facing terrible living and working conditions – and being kept beyond their sentence. RU

Don’t forget Ukraine’s rural Donbas

War has taken its toll on rural areas under Ukrainian government control in Luhansk region. There’s little sign of relief or policy.

Temporarily displaced pensions: how pensioners in Ukraine’s occupied territories survive against all odds

The Ukrainian state still lacks a mechanism for paying pensions to citizens who live in occupied terroritories. RU

Oleh Sentsov, Olexander Kolchenko and the meaning of solidarity

As filmmaker Oleh Sentsov enters Day 71 of his hunger strike to release all Ukrainian political prisoners, it’s worth thinking about how to expand the field of solidarity.

Injustice for all: how Azerbaijan’s bar association was reduced to tatters

A strong and independent legal community is the most significant obstacle to the arbitrariness of authoritarian rule.

Georgia’s growing cultural divide: a sign of far-right populism?

One year on since Georgia’s far right publicly announced themselves, how has their agenda developed?

The struggle for freedom of speech in Tajikistan: Khayrullo Mirsaidov and the question of international responsibility

The conviction of a well-known journalist once again raises the question of the international community’s attitude to repressive regimes – and how foreign aid and human rights have been decoupled.

Khayrullo Mirsaidov: the journalist from Tajikistan who received 12 years in prison for his honesty and courage

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 22.38.10.pngThe west cannot preach democracy and free media in Tajikistan while leaving the locals who implement these principles to fend for themselves. RU

 

How social media users in Kyrgyzstan are turned into “extremists”

In Kyrgyzstan, social media users are persecuted for sharing their opinions online. It’s easy to find “incitement to hatred” where there is none. RU

In Russia, a spoonful of propaganda helps the pension reform go down

This is how the Kremlin enacts an unpopular economic reform: deny responsibility, declare its inevitability and, yes, distract the public with a popular sporting event.


How the Russian authorities fabricated criminal charges against Crimean farmer Volodymyr Balukh

The prosecution of Volodymyr Balukh, who has been on hunger strike since 19 March, has been a show trial for those who are not prepared to accept the new reality of Russian-occupied Crimea. RU

Soft power under Mirziyoyev: Change and continuity in Uzbekistan’s foreign policy

Much has been made of the new Uzbek leader's openness, but Shavkat Mirziyoyev's rule is rooted in the path set by his predecessor. 

Modernising authoritarianism in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s so-called “spring” is more about upgrading this Central Asian state than providing political freedoms.

This week, the EU should press Ukraine on fundamental rights

As European and Ukrainian leaders gather in Brussels, it's time to highlight the need for further protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Ukraine. 

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