Latest Developments

Defamation laws being used to silence criticism in Samoa

In August 2019, the publishers of the daily newspaper the Samoa Observer were found guilty of defamation by the Supreme Court. In June 2019, the Samoa District Court said it had jurisdiction to hear a defamation complaint a prominent Samoan anti-government blogger Read more

Defamation laws being used to silence criticism in Samoa

Demonstrations in Egypt: arrests, social media blockage as a response

As previously covered by the CIVICUS Monitor, whereas the new NGO law is an additional concern for civic space in the country, the protests that have been taking place since 20th September 2019 raise further concerns regarding the human rights situation in Egypt, with arrests and use of excessive force documented against protesters. Read more

Demonstrations in Egypt: arrests, social media blockage as a response

Singapore authorities threaten editor with libel and smear critical online news sites

The Singapore government has continued to take action to target the media, activists and others for criticising the government. An independent news website The Online Citizen (TOC) is being forced to take down a critical article, online news sites have been smeared as ‘advancing foreign interests’ while a human rights lawyer is being targeted for his anti-death penalty advocacy. Read more

Singapore authorities threaten editor with libel and smear critical online news sites

Protests against economic austerity met with repression in Ecuador

On 16th April 2019, hundreds of Ecuadorians marched in Quito against the withdrawal of Julian Assange’s asylum status and the austerity measures imposed by the government of President Lenín Moreno. According to reports, as the demonstration neared the presidential palace, they were met with police repression. Police used tear gas, clubs and horses, leaving several people injured.

On 11th April 2019, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by police at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he had been granted asylum since 2012. On 13th April 2019, Ola Bini, a Swedish privacy and internet security developer and activist, was arrested at Quito’s international airport as he was about to board a flight to Japan. He was detained for over two months without trial and without clear charge. Read more

Protests against economic austerity met with repression in Ecuador
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Civil society meeting in Bolivia calls for an enabling environment for human rights defenders

On 30th and 31st July 2019, Bolivia’s Unión Nacional de Instituciones para el Trabajo de Acción Social (National Union of Institutions for Social Action Work - Unitas) convened a National Meeting of Rights Defenders. The event sought to outline strategies for collective action in tackling rights restrictions as well as the risks faced by human rights defenders. This report also covers the detention of anti-government demonstrator and a violent protest by bus drivers, as well as reports of intimidation and harassment of two journalists. Read more

Civil society meeting in Bolivia calls for an enabling environment for human rights defenders

UN expert concerned about hate speech by South Korean politicians against LGBTI people

In August 2019, Victor-Madrigal Borloz, the UN’s independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, raised concerns about hate speech in South Korea, particularly about Korean politicians and religious leaders who have made openly discriminatory remarks against LGBTI people Read more

Tags: LGBTI | protest
UN expert concerned about hate speech by South Korean politicians against LGBTI people

Families protest conviction of youth involved in July 2018 protest

family members of protesters who were arrested and detained in July 2018 took to the streets to protest the arrests and detentions, Azerbaijani journalist Sevinj Vagifgizi for ‘filming election fraud’, Supreme Court upheld reportedly baseless charges of tax evasion against journalist Khadija Ismayilova, while journalist is released from prison Read more

Families protest conviction of youth involved in July 2018 protest

Political opponents and human rights activists still being targeted in Cambodia

The CIVICUS Monitor has continued to document judicial harassment and attacks against political opponents since May 2019. Peaceful gatherings around the anniversary of the killing of human rights defender Kem Ley were disrupted with restrictions and arrests while journalists continue to be criminalised for doing their work. Read more

Political opponents and human rights activists still being targeted in Cambodia

Mass protests in Colombia demand response to persistent violence against social leaders

The spiral of violence against HRDs in Colombia has continued. In June 2019, human rights organisation Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) stated that it had received 70 reports of murdered social leaders or members of vulnerable ethnic communities in 2019. At the end of June, WOLA declined to publish the number of cases recorded due to the huge variation in the figures published by different organisations. On 26th July 2019, thousands of demonstrators gathered across Colombia to protest the alarming violence against social leaders in the country, and to demand government action in protecting community leaders, human rights and environmental defenders. Marches took place in over 50 Colombian cities. Read more

Mass protests in Colombia demand response to persistent violence against social leaders
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Bangladesh authorities suppressing critics and restricting freedoms in refugee camps

In recent months lawyers and writers have faced criminal defamation charges for their critical comments, four journalists are facing trumped up charges for exposing police negligence and a news website has been blocked. Further, the authorities are attempting to restrict the civic freedoms of Rohingya refugees in the camps in Cox Bazar and have banned some NGOs from working there. Read more

Bangladesh authorities suppressing critics and restricting freedoms in refugee camps