Human Rights

What to Do With Diversity in a Society

One very dark December morning in the early 1990s I found myself shuffling my boot-clad feet, trying to keep warm as I waited on an ice-covered rail platform 150-odd miles northeast of Moscow. As a Russian colleague and I began to conclude the train would never arrive, he quietly explained that we were standing atop hundreds of bodies. The prison trains leaving Moscow during the 1930s arrived in these very same switching yards and, as they were divided up to head to different labor camps, those who hadn’t survived were simply tossed into a pit by the tracks.

Moscow Seeks to Pull the Plug on Cultural Liberalization

Moscow was rattled this week by the arrest of Kirill Serebrennikov, an internationally renowned Russian theater and film director. Russia’s Investigative Committee, a semi-autonomous body that reports directly to the president of Russia, has charged Serebrennikov with embezzling 68 million rubles (more than $1.1 million) allocated for an art project.

Regulating Faiths: Make Your Preaching Legal

Just ten years ago it would have been hard to imagine that the crackdown on civic activism in Russia would target religious communities, not just NGOs. And yet it is happening. The Russian state persecutes Baptists, Pentecostals, and Adventists and closes down Orthodox parishes that are not part of the Moscow Patriarchate. For the first time since the Soviet Union collapsed, preachers are now being fined for proclaiming God’s word outside church buildings. And a recent Supreme Court decision has opened the door to liquidating Jehovah’s Witnesses communities in Russia.

Africa Program Director Monde Muyangwa Moderates Congressional Briefing on Human Rights and Security Concerns in English Speaking Cameroon

On Monday, July 24, 2017, Wilson Center Africa Program Director Dr. Monde Muyangwa moderated a Congressional Briefing on Human Rights and Security Concerns in English Speaking Cameroon organized and hosted by Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Vice-Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and endorsed by the Cameroon American Council.

One-Month Anniversary of the Murder of Mexican Journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas

One month ago today, world-renowned Mexican journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas was ambushed by unidentified assailants while leaving his office in his hometown of Culiacán, Sinaloa. According to press reports, he was pulled from his car, shot a dozen times in the middle of the day on a crowded street, and left lifeless in the middle of the road. His signature Panama hat lay bloodied beside him.

Crimen, corrupción y pérdida del monopolio de la violencia en Honduras

Durante el periodo que abarca los días del 21 al 30 de mayo de 2017, viajé con mi colega Eric Olson, director asociado del Programa Latinoamericano del Centro Woodrow Wilson, a las ciudades de San Pedro Sula, Choloma, El Progreso y La Ceiba para documentar la situación de violencia e inseguridad en estas regiones; analizar la operación de las maras y pandillas, así como sus vínculos con otros grupos delincuenciales—incluyendo delincuencia común y delincuencia organizada transnacional; y evaluar los avances en materia de reducción de la violencia por parte de las autoridades, así c