Human rights situation in Russian federation
There were further constraints to the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. Harassment and threatening of human rights defenders and independent NGOs continued. Cultural rights were reduced, including through reprisals and self-censorship. Religious minorities continued to face harassment and abuse. The right to a fair trial was repeatedly violated. Torture and other ill-treatment persisted; the work of independent monitoring bodies for places of detention was further eroded. Serious human rights violations proceeded in the North Caucasus. Russia used its veto to block UN Security Council resolutions on Syria. Migrants and refugees were denied the assurance of their rights. Some forms of domestic violence were decriminalized. LGBTI people continued to face discrimination and violence; gay men in Chechnya were targeted through a coordinated battle of abduction, torture and killings by the Chechen officials.
On 10 February, the Constitutional Court ruled that the insignificant fact of holding an unapproved peaceful gathering did not constitute an unlawful offence under Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code, which made the repeated violation of protest rules a crime. On 22 February, activist Ildar Dadin, who had received a prison sentence for his peaceful protest, had his sentence under Article 212.1 reviewed; the Supreme Court ordered his freedom.
In July, provisions were enacted allowing the authorities to deprive of Russian citizenship individuals who had acquired it while expecting to threaten the pillars of Russia’s constitutional order.NGOs criticized the language of the law, which they said was open to arbitrary administration.
Violence against women
In February, a law was passed decriminalizing domestic violence committed by close relatives that caused pain but no injury or loss of ability to work. This indicated an increase in violent events mainly targeting women in several regions.