human rights

Kazakhstan: Businessman a Hostage in Astana-Ablyazov Feud?

Without warning one evening in November, agents from Kazakhstan’s security services mobbed...

Kazakhstan: Nazarbayev Vows New Breakthrough in US Ties

The visit of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Washington has generated a...

Azerbaijani Journalist Abducted in Georgia Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

Azerbaijani investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli, who went missing in Tbilisi in May...

US Planned Big Boost in Military Aid to Tajikistan

The United States planned a large increase in special forces training programs...

Georgia: Pankisi Counter-Terror Raid Sparks Controversy

A counter-terrorism raid by Georgian security forces has sparked accusations of excessive...

Uzbekistan: President Calls for Clipping Security Services' Wings

The president of Uzbekistan called in a wide-ranging and consequential four-hour speech...

Kyrgyzstan Takes Authoritarian Turn With Renewed Assault on Media

Officers with Kyrgyzstan’s anticorruption agency moved to shut down an opposition-owned television...

Azerbaijan: Elaborate Smear Campaign Targets Prominent Activist

A scandal has erupted in Azerbaijani legal and activist circles after the...

Azerbaijan Threatened With Expulsion from Council of Europe

The Council of Europe has launched unprecedented legal action against Azerbaijan over...

Kyrgyzstan Orders Deportation of AFP Central Asia Correspondent

Authorities in Kyrgyzstan have ordered the deportation of the Central Asia correspondent...

Post-Soviet Governments Weaponize Transparency: Report

Authoritatian governments have cleverly used the liberal norm of transparency in order...

Uzbekistan: Gay Couple Arrested for Engaging in Illegal Relations

Two gay men have been arrested in Uzbekistan and face charges of...

European Court Rules in Favor of Georgia’s Former Prime Minister

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has...

Azerbaijan: Detentions End but Pressure on LGBT Community Continues

In mid-October, the mother of Nura, a transgender woman from a conservative...

Armenia: Watered-Down Domestic Violence Law “Insulting to Women”

Armenia’s government has presented its final draft of controversial legal reforms aimed...

Armenia Signs Landmark Agreement with EU

Armenia has signed a cooperation agreement with the European Union, committing to...

Georgia: US Works to Counter Russian Narratives

Using means like television programs, fact-checking websites, and book clubs, the United...

Uzbekistan: Devout Muslims Targeted in Sweeps

A rights group in Uzbekistan has reported that police have over the...

Turkmenistan: Fear and Loathing in Ashgabat

When the opportunity arose to travel to Turkmenistan and cover the 5th Asian...

Azerbaijan Moves to Drastically Cut Number of Lawyers

The Azerbaijani parliament has approved amendments to the country’s civil code that...

Azerbaijan's Switch on Turan: PR or Pressure?

Azerbaijan has dropped charges of tax evasion and abuse of power against...

Georgia: Athletes, Politicians Back Soccer Player’s Support for LGBT Rights

Georgian soccer player Guram Kashia faces an outcry at home over his...

Uzbekistan: A Breeding Ground for Terrorism?

A mass killing in New York perpetrated by a citizen of Uzbekistan...

Uzbekistan: Without Forced Labor, Who’ll Pick the Cotton?

Uzbekistan’s government has traditionally characterized cotton-picking as hashar, a term for voluntary...

Central Asia and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Look at the Balance Sheet at the Centennial

Although it happened thousands of miles away, and did not reflect any...

Putin at Valdai: A Deep Dive Into Long-Standing Grievances

Organizers take pride in the Valdai Discussion Club’s generally forward-looking approach. Yet...

South Ossetia Joins Russia in Ban on Jehovah's Witnesses

Breakaway South Ossetia is jumping on board with a Russian crackdown against...

Catalan Violence Tarnishes European Values in Post-Soviet View

The use of heavy-handed tactics by police to disrupt the Catalan referendum...

Uzbekistan: Media Conference Overshadowed by Jailing of Reporter

A conference on media freedoms that took place this week in Uzbekistan...

Tajikistan: LGBT Registry Sparks Outrage

Authorities in Tajikistan have reportedly compiled a registry of hundreds of people...

Uzbekistan Releases Another Activist, But Is Optimism Misplaced?

Authorities in Uzbekistan have released a third jailed human rights activist in...

Azerbaijan: EBRD Gives Go Ahead for Azeri Pipeline Funding Despite “Laundromat” Allegations

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development’s board on October 18 approved...

Armenia: EU Officials Making Tactical Retreat in Values War

Armenia’s government has introduced long-awaited legislation to ban domestic violence, an issue...

Azerbaijan: Suffocation of NGOs Raises Questions About Donor Strategy

The Azerbaijani government has forced the local chapter of the global corruption...

Catalan Cause Finds Support in Abkhazia

Abkhazia is more than 2,400 miles from Barcelona, but last weekend’s Catalan...

Azerbaijan’s Last Free Newswire Fears Closure by December

Azerbaijan is continuing its investigation into the finances of the country’s last-standing...

Armenia: Activists Cry Censorship as Government Shuts Down Stalinism Exhibit

The Armenian government has shut down a museum exhibition devoted to the...

Uzbekistan: The Tashkent Spring Experiences a Frost

Speaking at the UN General Assembly in mid-September, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev...

Officials: Azerbaijan Releases Detainees from LGBT Crackdown

Azerbaijan’s authorities have released all of the gay and transgender people detained...

The Kremlin’s Internet Master Bears Down

A previously obscure Russian oversight body has been turned into the government’s...

Abkhazia: Memory of War Still Looms Large

Abkhazians will commemorate Victory Day on September 30, marking the day in...

Uzbekistan: Cotton Slave Labor Out, Human Rights Ombudsman In?

Just as the annual cotton-picking season entered its most intense phase in...

Police Arrest Dozens of Gay Azerbaijanis After Reported Raids

Police have detained dozens of gay and transsexual people in Azerbaijan following...

Georgia: Case of Abducted Azeri Journalist Stays in Spotlight, as Investigation Lags

Before this summer, if Leyla Mustafayeva walked into a coffee shop in...

Georgia: Media Initiative Focuses on Debunking Fake News Reports

Tamuna Kintsurashvili and her team huddle over Apple Macbooks in a nondescript...

Putin’s Surprise Myanmar Challenge from Chechnya

Ramzan Kadyrov has called himself a foot soldier in Putin’s army, but...

Tajikistan: Authorities Skip Warsaw Meeting, Tighten Screws on Opposition Activists

The mood was subdued during a panel devoted to Tajikistan at this...

Tajikistan: Government a No-Show at OSCE Conference

Tajikistan has declined to despatch an official delegation to attend this year’s...

Uzbekistan Reducing Cotton Fields But Forced Labor Remains

Uzbekistan is cutting back on its cotton cultivation to make way for...

Azerbaijan Threatens to Cut Off Military Cooperation With US and NATO

Azerbaijan has threatened to cut off its military cooperation with the West...

With Russia-NATO Meeting, is Baku the New Caucasian Geneva?

NATO's military chief and his Russian counterpart met in Baku, the first...

Azerbaijan Sues French Journalists, In France, For Defamation

Two French reporters appeared in a Parisian court on September 5 to...

Uzbekistan: HRW Speaks of Hope for Human Rights

A delegation with New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch has, during...

Kyrgyzstan: Fear of Myanmar Fury Disrupts Football

Kyrgyzstan has cited the possibility of public unrest over unfolding developments in...

Russia & Turkey: The Arms Deal that Signals the Age of Pragmatism

If any single arms deal can capture the shifting nature of Russian...

Azerbaijan’s Last Independent Media Company to Suspend Operations

The director of Azerbaijan's Turan Information Agency was arrested and ordered detained...

Kazakhstan: Authorities Scrap Rainbow Wall Over Suspicions of LGBT Propaganda

Officials in the western Kazakhstan city of Aktobe thought it might be...

Georgia Thwarts EU Engagement with Abkhazia

Two years ago, the European Union commissioned a senior diplomat to write...

Patriot Games: Turkish Sprinter's Gold Occasions Pride, Controversy, in Azerbaijan

After winning the 200 meters spring at this month's World Athletics Championships,...

Tajikistan’s Government Lays Down Rules on What Not to Wear

On the afternoon of August 3, police officers and other officials descended...

Russia: Content Analysis Serves as a Tool of Biased Courts

Magomednabi Magomedov, a Salafist imam, received a five-year prison term from a...

Uncitizen Saakashvili: Life in Legal Limbo

Caught in a surreal bubble of statelessness, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili...

Kazakhstan: Jailed Businessman’s Wife Makes Torture Claims

The wife of a businessman arrested in Kazakhstan on suspicion of heading...

St. Petersburg Blast Suspects Claim Torture in Russian Jail

Russia’s security services are running secret detention centers, in which they hold...

Uzbekistan Abuzz With Chatter About Gulnara Revelations

Ever since prosecutors in Uzbekistan confirmed last week that the late president’s...

Uzbekistan: Once-Prosecuted Photographer Gets Tashkent Exhibition

In 2009, prosecutors in Uzbekistan filed a criminal case against renowned photographer...

Central Asia’s Catechism of Cliché: From the Great Game to Silk Road

When people ponder the history of Central Asia, they tend to have...

Kazakhstan: Space for Civil Society Shrinking?

First, there was a media report hinting at shadowy links between foreign-funded...

Armenia: A Year On, Police Station Attack Still Divides Society

Armenians marked the one-year anniversary of an armed takeover of a Yerevan...

Punitive Psychiatry Reemerges in Post-Soviet States

Last summer, Crimean Tatar political activist Ilmi Umerov was receiving treatment for...

HRW and BBC Returning to Uzbekistan?

In possibly its boldest gesture toward openness in years, Uzbekistan has announced...

Georgia: Still Waiting for Results from Azerbaijani Journalist Kidnapping Investigation

Just over a month since the kidnapping of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli...

Azerbaijan: A Reset with the EU?

Azerbaijan is pursuing a new agreement with the European Union focused on...

Expert Opinions, Episode 2: What’s the Matter with Chechnya?

A podcast from the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, hosted by Masha...

Russian-Speaking LGBT Community Shows Pride

Vulnerable to persecution in Russia and other states in Eurasia, Russian-speaking members...

European Rebuke a "Severe Blow" to Georgia; Less So to Azerbaijan

The European Parliament issued an unusual rebuke to Georgia, along with a...

Armenia: Nation-Army Plan Raises Concerns About Society’s Militarization

A new program is promoting the closer integration of Armenia’s military and...

Time to Reset US Policy in the South Caucasus

Geopolitical conditions in the South Caucasus have experienced a substantial shift in...

Not All that Glitters in Kazakhstan Is Gold

By Mihra Rittmann, Central Asia Researcher at Human Rights Watch   Kazakhstan’s...

Georgia: Government Offering Subsidies to Foreign Filmmakers

Officials in Georgia hope to turn the country into a global hub...

Russian Librarian Found Guilty For Keeping Ukrainian Books

As Russia’s war with Ukraine stretches into a third year, the Kremlin...

Georgia Fears Reputation for Hospitality at Risk over Azerbaijani Journalist's Kidnapping

Many Georgians perceive the recent kidnapping of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli from Tbilisi as...

Azerbaijan: Tbilisi Arrest Highlights Crackdowns on Remote Opposition

On February 18, 2017, just ten minutes after Netherlands-based Azerbaijani activist Orduhan...

Uzbekistan: President Appeals to Muslims "Gone Astray"

The custom in Uzbekistan has for many years been to speak about...

Georgia: Dissident Snatching Dents Georgia’s Image

Georgia’s international standing has long benefited from being sandwiched between authoritarian countries,...

Georgia: Tbilisi Protests Azerbaijani Journalist’s Kidnapping

As the trial of abducted Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli opened in Baku,...

Tajikistan: Authorities File Charges Against Jailed Lawyer's Relatives

Authorities in Tajikistan have piled the pressure on jailed lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov...

Georgia: Reluctant Host for Azerbaijani Dissidents?

For years, Georgia has been a safe harbor for dissidents seeking to...

Uzbekistan: Celebrated Rights Lawyer Dies, Aged 69

After many years of being denied permission to leave Uzbekistan, human rights...

Yerevan Hands Over to Russia Soldier Convicted of Murdering Six Armenians

A Russian soldier convicted of murdering six members of an Armenian family...

Backlash Grows Against Ukraine’s Attempts to Block Russian Social Media

The Ukrainian government has descended to the Kremlin’s level with its decision...

Kazakhstan: Union Leader Gets 2-Year Jail Sentence

A labour union leader in Kazakhstan who helped mobilize oil workers into...

Repression is the Mother of Invention: Civil Society Groups Embrace Technological Innovation

Activists and innovators are joining forces to improve watchdog capabilities in Eurasia....

Russia’s Double Standard on Dealing with “Fake” News

Russia’s efforts to flood the media landscape in both the United States...

As Islamic Games Open, Azerbaijan Wrestles With Muslim Identity

With an opening ceremony rich in pageantry, Azerbaijan welcomed athletes and tourists...

Kyrgyzstan: President Calls on Prosecutor to Withdraw RFE/RL Lawsuit

In a partial change of heart, Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev has advised...

China: One Belt, One Road, Lots of Obligations

It’s not often that the leaders of democracies like Switzerland and Spain...

Uzbekistan: Top UN Human Rights Official on Landmark Visit

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, arrived...

Georgia Serves as Proving Ground for Experiment to Eradicate Hepatitis C

Thousands of Georgians have been cured of hepatitis C as a result...