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Mosque in Azerbaijan Loses 8-Year Religious Freedom Case

–The Becket Fund For Immediate Release Media Contact: Emily Hardman, ehardman@becketfund.org, 202.349.7224 WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, 8 February 2013, the European Court of Human Rights announced its rejection of the Juma Mosque Congregation’s appeal against the government of Azerbaijan. The ruling came more than eight years after the mosque first sought relief from the Court when the mosque’s building […]

Human Rights Watch Annual Report on Russia: ‘worst year for human rights in Russia in recent memory’

The Moscow Times– A leading rights group lashed out at President Vladimir Putin on Thursday by saying he had “unleashed the worst political crackdown” in the country’s post-Soviet history after returning to the Kremlin last year. Human Rights Watch’s annual report, released Thursday, says the string of restrictive laws enacted since last summer, as well as the […]

Former Ukrainian Security Official Sentenced to Life in Prison for Journalist’s Death

(The New York Times) MOSCOW — A Ukrainian court sentenced a former security official to life in prison on Tuesday for the death of Georgy Gongadze, a journalist whose mysterious death in 2000 provoked an international outcry and helped set off protests against the president at the time, Leonid D. Kuchma. The former security official, Gen. Olexey Pukach, […]

Op-ed: A Cold Shoulder from the West for Russian Opposition

NY Times– By OLEG KASHIN LAST week, Alexander Dolmatov, an activist in a political party opposed to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin,committed suicide at a detention center in the Netherlands. He had fled Russia last June, hoping to be granted political asylum. When his application was denied, he took his life — the only way to […]

Ukrainian Officials Threaten Owner of Jewish International TV Channel

JTA – Vadim Rabinovich, the owner of the Jewish international TV channel JN1, charged that Ukrainian officials are trying to take over the station and have threatened him. The Kyiv Post weekly on Jan. 21 quoted a statement by the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress – an organization headed by Rabinovich – as reading, “A senior official […]

January 13, 1948: A Dark Day in Soviet Jewish History

JTA– By Adam Soclof In 1948, prominent Yiddish theater actor and director Solomon Mikhoels died in what was later revealed to have been a political assassination ordered by Joseph Stalin’s security police chief Lavrenti Beria. (The death murder was believed by many, including his daughters, to have been carried out in the form of a staged car accident). A similar account […]

Opposition Leader in Azerbaijan Ambushed During Pre-election Campaign

Amnesty International– A thorough, independent investigation is needed into what appears to have been an orchestrated attack on Azerbaijani opposition presidential candidate Isa Gambar on the campaign trail, Amnesty International said. According to Gambar’s Musavat Party, he was on his way to campaign in the southern coastal city of Lenkoran on Sunday when 10 vehicles […]

Belarusian Opposition Activist Attacked in Minsk

According to RFE/ RL, Belarusian opposition activist Yulia Stsyapanava was attacked by two people on January 14th. The assault occurred just after midnight. Stsyapanava stated that they knocked her down, forced her face into the snow, causing lacerations, and chopped off her hair. According to her Facebook account, the attackers shouted vulgarities and yelled at her for […]

Thousands in Moscow Protest New “anti-Magnitsky” Law that Bans Americans from Adopting Russian Children

On Sunday, January 13th, thousands in Moscow protested Russia’s passing of the “anti-Magnitsky” law, which bans Americans from adopting Russian orphans. This social protest, referred to as the “March Against Jerks,” included both hardened political activists, as well as first-time protesters. Many feel that it crosses a moral line to target children to make a […]

Bar Mitzvah Celebrated 70 Years Later in Ukrainian Town

From Israel National News– By David Lev For the first time since before World War II, the small Jewish community in the Ukrainian town of Netishin held prayer services – and celebrated the Bar-Mitzvah of the grandson of the community’s last rabbi, 70 years after it had been scheduled to take place. The religious revival […]