Russia: Human Rights, Religious Freedom and War Crimes


James M. McFall (Editor)

Series: Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues; Human Rights: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives
BISAC: POL060000; POL035010; POL072000

The Russian Federation has a highly centralized, authoritarian political system dominated by President Vladimir Putin. The bicameral Federal Assembly consists of a directly elected lower house (State Duma) and an appointed upper house (Federation Council), both of which lack independence from the executive. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, Federal Security Service, Investigative Committee, Office of the Prosecutor General, and National Guard are responsible for law enforcement. There were reports that members of Russia’s security forces committed numerous human rights abuses.

The constitution declares the state is secular and guarantees freedom of religion, equal rights irrespective of religious belief, and the right to worship and profess one’s religion. The law states government officials may prohibit the activity of a religious association for violating public order or engaging in “extremist activity.” Religious groups and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) reported authorities continued to investigate, detain, imprison, torture, physically abuse persons, and seize their property because of their religious belief or affiliation or membership in groups designated “extremist,” “terrorist,” or “undesirable,” including Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Tablighi Jamaat, followers of Turkish Muslim theologian Said Nursi, the Church of Scientology, Falun Gong, and multiple evangelical Protestant groups.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Russia 2023 Human Rights Report
United States Department of State

Chapter 2. Russia 2022 International Religious Freedom Report
United States Department of State

Chapter 3. Early Signs of War Crimes and Human Rights Abuses Committed by the Russian Military During the Full-Scale Invasion of Ukraine
Committee on Foreign Affairs


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