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Proposed legislation on workers’ strikes could limit Freedom of Peaceful Assembly in Costa Rica

On 3rd September 2019, several Costa Rican unions marched in San José to protest a draft bill (No. 21.049) proposing new regulations for strikes. Proponents of the regulation argue that current practices generate an insecure economic environment. But, as previously reported on the Monitor, opponents believe this new law to be overly authoritarian, limiting the right to peaceful assembly.

In a separate development, on 21st September 2019, senior citizen Norman del Valle was forcibly removed from the San Ramón Regional Museum after expressing critical views about Cuba’s regime during an event at the museum. Read more

Proposed legislation on workers’ strikes could limit Freedom of Peaceful Assembly in Costa Rica

Constitutional amendment sparks concern about democratic institutions in the Dominican Republic

A proposed constitutional amendment that would allow President Danilo Medina to run for a third term sparked protests in the Dominican Republic in June and July 2019. One protest ended with a number of people injured, including a Congressman. On 23rd July 2019, President Danilo Medina announced that he would not go forward with the constitutional reform.

On 18th September 2019, a demonstration in the province of El Seibo ended in violence and police repression, leaving twelve people injured.

In a positive development, on 30th July 2019, the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court (TC) declared unconstitutional article 284 of the new electoral regime legislation Act 15-19 (Electoral System Organic Law) which established sentences of 3 to 10 years for those sharing false or denigrating campaigns, or defamatory propaganda, against candidates. Read more

Constitutional amendment sparks concern about democratic institutions in the Dominican Republic

Kiribati opposition organises anti-China protest march

In September 2019, the opposition in Kiribati organised an anti-China protest march in the capital Tarawa. The protest was in response to the decision by the Kiribati government to cut ties with Taiwan and switch its recognition to Beijing Read more

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Kiribati opposition organises anti-China protest march

Two environmental defenders killed in one week in Guatemala

On 7th September 2019, environmental and community activist Diana Isabel Hernández was shot and killed by unidentified persons while participating in a religious procession in her community. Only days later, on 14th September 2019, land and human rights defender Paulina Cruz Ruíz was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen.

In the same period, a protest by members of the Xinka indigenous community ended in violence and 16 arrests in Jutiapa. Finally, Guatemala's Journalists Association has expressed concern about changes to the Public Prosecution Unit in charge of crimes against reporters. The Association also published a report on Freedom of Expression during Guatemala's 2019 elections. This update covers the period between 05/08/2019 to 20/10/2019. Read more

Two environmental defenders killed in one week in Guatemala

Protesters face brutal violations as widespread protests escalate, internet shut down

Protests which began in July 2018, have continued to escalate throughout the year, as police use lethal force to disperse protesters, at least 100 reported dead, thousands injured. internet shut down as protests continue, journalists continue to face threats to their lives, arbitrary arrests and detention, regional broadcaster suspended. Read more

Protesters face brutal violations as widespread protests escalate, internet shut down

Restrictive bills still being pushed by Nepali lawmakers as protests around Xi’s visit stifled

In recent months, the Nepal government has continued push several pieces of draft legislation that threaten to undermine the right to freedom of expression, including the Media Council Bill and the Information Technology Bill. Journalists continue to face attacks and threats for their reporting while protests against China have been suppressed. Read more

Restrictive bills still being pushed by Nepali lawmakers as protests around Xi’s visit stifled

HRD Osama Al-Najjar released but many others remain in detention past their release dates

Human rights defender Osama Al-Najjar, along with two other prisoners of conscience - Badr Al-Bahri and Othman Ibrahim Al-Shehhi, released from Al-Razeen prison, HRD Ahmed Mansoor remains in prison where he is held in conditions which violate international standards Read more

HRD Osama Al-Najjar released but many others remain in detention past their release dates

Kuwait fails to implement UPR recommendations, HRDs defending Bedoon rights systematically targeted

Kuwait did not implement any of the 13 recommendations in relation to civic space since its last Universal Periodic Review in 2015, Bedoon activists and protesters were arrested, detained and charged for holding demonstrations, The government continues to use the Cyber Crimes Law to arrest journalists and online critics of the authorities. Read more

Kuwait fails to implement UPR recommendations, HRDs defending Bedoon rights systematically targeted

Flawed prosecution around killing of Mongolian pro-democracy activist

Two individuals convicted for the 1998 assassination of a pro-democracy activist and former parliamentarian were tortured while in custody to confess. In April-May 2019, the UNSpecial Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders visited Mongolia and received reports about cases of discrimination, intimidation, harassment, stigmatisation and accusations against human rights defenders Read more

Flawed prosecution around killing of Mongolian pro-democracy activist

Several arrested during protests

On 24th July 2019, a protest erupted at Serrekunda Market following the death of a vendor, Ousman Darboe, following what was perceived by protesters as due to police brutality. According to media reports, more than a thousand people gathered, with banners saying 'No to police brutality'. The protest turned violent, with protesters reportedly throwing stones at the deployed Police Intervention Unit (PIU), who responded with tear gas to disperse the protesters. The house belonging to the head of the police Anti-Crime Unit was reportedly burned down by angry protesters. A total of 37 people were arrested, including rapper Killa Ace, and were charged on 8 counts, including arson, rioting and unlawful assembly. Read more

Several arrested during protests