European Court of Human Rights Calls for Domestic Violence Reform in Russia
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Russia has failed to address domestic violence adequately. The court called on Russia to introduce anti-domestic violence measures and ordered the country to pay compensation to four survivors of intimate partner violence. Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia’s existing laws sufficiently combat the problem of domestic violence and declined to comment further on the court case. In 2017, the Russian government significantly weakened protections against domestic violence. As a result, simple assault against a family member carries a punishment of a $68 fine, as long as the assault is not repeated in the same year.
Canada Apologizes for Sexual Violence in Military
The Canadian government issued a formal apology earlier this week concerning the government’s mishandling of sexual assault and misconduct allegations within the Canadian military. The apology comes after a series of sexual misconduct allegations against high-ranking members of the military’s leadership. One senior officer was charged with obstruction of justice while the other senior officer was charged with sexual assault and committing indecent acts. The Canadian military previously adjudicated allegations of sexual misconduct within its own ranks, but the Canadian government transferred this authority to civilian courts in the fall. According to the Canadian military, there have been 581 sexual assaults and 221 cases of sexual harassment in the military since 2015.
Qatar Claims Activist is Safe, but Her Supporters Voice Skepticism
In response to concerns over the well-being of Qatari activist Noof al-Maadeed, the government of Qatar announced that al-Maadeed is safe but requests privacy. Al-Maadeed, who has spoken out against legal discrimination against women in Qatar, had previously sought asylum in the United Kingdom but returned to her home country in October. Al-Maadeed told her social media followers after her arrival in Qatar that she felt unsafe and had received threats from her family. Al-Maadeed has not published anything on social media since October 13, and she has not been seen in public since then. Her supporters have used the trending hashtag #WhereIsNoof on Twitter to bring attention to her case.