(Berlin) – Russian authorities have cracked down on journalists, human rights defenders, and activists in an effort to silence any criticism of the war in Ukraine, Human Rights Watch said today.
The authorities have arbitrarily detained, judicially harassed, raided, and engaged in smear campaigns against critics. Unidentified assailants have physically attacked activists and damaged human rights organizations’ offices. In recent weeks, various high-level officials, including President Vladimir Putin, labeled people critical of the war “national traitors.”
“Having already intensified a crackdown against critics in 2021, the authorities are escalating their witch-hunt even further to punish all anti-war sentiment,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government portrays independent journalists and activists as traitors and treats them as a threat to the state.”
Full Report from Human Rights Watch@ https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/03/24/russia-arrests-harassment-ukraine-war-dissidents