Latest Developments

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
Spanish

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
Spanish

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

Tags: protest
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
Spanish

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

Positive developments for the NGO sector

Inga Aksamitauskaitė, project coordinator at NGO Information and Support Center, spoke with the CIVICUS Monitor to highlight the accomplishments for the NGO sector in 2019. Read more

Positive developments for the NGO sector

Bukele’s government restricts press access to events

On 6 September 2019, a group of journalists, including Gabriel Labrador and Fernando Romero, from El Faro and Factum Magazine respectively, was denied access to an official press conference. On 10 September 2019, El Salvador’s Mesa de Protección a Periodistas (Board for Protection of Journalists) highlighted the restrictions against El Faro and Factum in a statement expressing deep concerns about the situation of freedom of expression in El Saldor. The Board outlined a number of reasons for concern, including restrictions on press, increasing expressions of hate on social media against journalists who criticise the government, and lack of transparency and access to information. Read more

Bukele’s government restricts press access to events

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