There were further restrictions to the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. Harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders and independent NGOs continued. Cultural rights were reduced, including through reprisals and self-censorship. Religious minorities continued to face harassment and persecution. The right to a fair trial was frequently violated. Torture and other ill-treatment persisted; the work of independent monitoring bodies for places of detention was further eroded. Serious human rights violations continued in the North Caucasus. Russia used its veto to block UN Security Council resolutions on Syria. Migrants and refugees were denied protection of their rights. Some forms of domestic violence were decriminalized. LGBTI people continued to face discrimination and violence; gay men in Chechnya were targeted through a co-ordinated campaign of abduction, torture and killings by the Chechen authorities.
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