Repression escalated in Russia during 2019 as the government answered rising civic and political activism with bans, repressive laws, and showcase prosecutions, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020. The human rights situation in the North Caucasus remained grim, with drug-related charges used to retaliate against a journalist and a prominent human rights defender. Large-scale protests against the border demarcation between Ingushetia and Chechnya resulted in mass detentions and prosecutions. There was a new wave of persecutions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Chechnya, with complete impunity despite an international outcry. Torture and other ill-treatment in custody remained widespread across Russia, despite government’s promises in 2018 to end it.