April 2021

Alexei Navalny ends 24-day hunger strike

By: Lane Johansen Alexei Navalny announced on April 23rd that he was ending his 24-day hunger strike after he was permitted to see trusted independent doctors.   The jailed Putin critic has been held in Penal Colony 2, one of Russia’s most infamous labor colonies, since early February. Navalny was poisoned by the Russian security service in late August 2020, then…

A briefing on China’s genocide of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang

By: Frances McDonough  Earlier this month, the Newslines Institute for Strategy and Policy concluded in a report that the Chinese government “bears State responsibility for committing genocide against the Uyghurs in breach of the 1948 Genocide Convention.” The report is the first independent legal analysis of China’s mistreatment against the Uyghur population. Extensively citing leaked communications, witness testimonies, and open-source information gathering,…

Russian state police forces arrest 200 political opposition figures

By: Wes Culp While raids against Russian political opposition organizations are not unheard of, the wholesale arrest of 200 opposition figures and municipal deputies at one conference is largely without precedent in the Putin era. The Interior Ministry justified the March 13 arrests at the Izmailovo Hotel on the basis of the supposed affiliation of…

Prime Minister Janez Janša is slowly cracking down on free press in Slovenia

By: Nick Mosher On March 5, the European Parliament convened to address the Slovenian government’s recent attacks on its own media. Journalists have suffered an onslaught of threats and online harassment by government officials and private citizens inspired by the rhetoric of Prime Minister Janez Janša, who has continuously criticized journalists and accused them of…

Baby trafficking persists in Uzbekistan as the country looks to reform

By: Lane Johansen Uzbekistan has long held the reputation as one of the worst human rights abusers in the world. Since his election in 2016, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has sought to change this reputation, enacting numerous reforms to improve the country’s human rights record. Addressing the UN Human Rights Council on February 22, 2021, Mirziyoyev stated that “ensuring fundamental human rights and freedoms shall remain central…

As Kyrgyzstan’s economy struggles, the country falls victim to China’s debt trap diplomacy

By: Eli Bradley As anti-China sentiment continues to foment in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan finds itself in an increasingly difficult position to repay its debts to Beijing. Kyrgyzstan has one of the highest debt levels to China as a percentage of GDP in the world, owing over 25% of its GDP to its powerful neighbor. Kyrgyzstan is suffering from an economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the…

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