Latest Developments

Protests nationwide in Japan calling for reforms to anti-rape law

In the last few months, protests have been held against the problematic anti-rape laws in Japan and in support of the mass protests in Hong Kong. Women in Japan have also mobilised online against the requirement for women to wear high heels in the workplace.. A UN expert on freedom of expression has submitted a follow up report to the Human Rights Council on the failure of the Japanese government to implement recommendations he made in 2017 to improve freedom of expression including on media independence. Read more

Protests nationwide in Japan calling for reforms to anti-rape law

Arrests, office raids and internet restrictions as Lebanon continue crackdown on media freedom

This update covers the period between January 2019 and May 2019 and highlights incidents of attempts by a military tribunal to imprison a journalist for criticising the security forces on social media; raids by security forces, defamation lawsuit and attacks on media outlets; and continuous restrictions by the authorities of the space for LGBTQ community by blocking online dating app Grindr; while anti-austerity measures peaceful protesters were being dispersed through the use of water cannons. Read more

Arrests, office raids and internet restrictions as Lebanon continue crackdown on media freedom

Civil society concerned about risks to fundamental freedoms in Kashmir as special status revoked

Civil society groups have raised concerns about the threats to fundamental freedoms in Jammu and Kashmir following the revocation of its special status by the central government on 5 August 2019 Read more

Civil society concerned about risks to fundamental freedoms in Kashmir as special status revoked

Egypt parliament approved new draft NGO law - a continuation of state crack down on CSOs

On 15th July 2019 a new repressive NGO law, “The Law on Regulating the Work of Civil Associations”, was approved by the Egyptian parliament and sent to the President for approval. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has 30 days to review and if he ratifies, the legislation will come into effect. Read more

Egypt parliament approved new draft NGO law  - a continuation of state crack down on CSOs

Peaceful protests in Kosovo amid growing ethnic tensions

As previously covered on the CIVICUS Monitor, 2019 has seen civil society mobilise against new laws which could have curtailed freedom of association. In this update, we detail how people in Kosovo have exercised their right to peaceful assembly. In the period between May 16th and July 10th 2019, Kosovo has witnessed a number of protests on a variety of issues. During this period, no protest was unwarrantedly denied or met with excessive force by security forces. Read more

Peaceful protests in Kosovo amid growing ethnic tensions

Ongoing use of defamation laws raises questions of Malaysia’s reform credentials

In recent months, there has been the continue use of defamation laws by the police and courts to arrest, prosecute and uphold sentences. Revisions to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 still falls short of international laws and standards while the police intelligence unit has been linked to the enforced disappearance of two individuals. Read more

Ongoing use of defamation laws raises questions of Malaysia’s reform credentials

Journalist killed, as activists protest against corruption in government

journalist Cherkasy journalist Vadym Komarov attacked and severely injured by unknown attacker, activists protest against increasing corruption scanadals in the defence department, as CSOs caution the new president against crossing red lines. Read more

Journalist killed, as activists protest against corruption in government

Civil society organisations accuse Bolivian government of creating a hostile environment for HRDs

Amnesty International's report on Bolivia exposes an alarming environment for human rights defenders and civil society organisations in the country - where these actors face a variety of threats and accusations by high-level authorities.

In the Los Yungas region, recurrent protests from coca growers have escalated into violence and led to arrests.

While there has been a positive development for freedom of association in Bolivia, with the removal of a law that financially strangled independent media, there have also also been a number of incidents signalling that political interference in journalism is far from over. This update covers the period from 25th of May to 8th of July 2019. Read more

Civil society organisations accuse Bolivian government of creating a hostile environment for HRDs
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In Panama, harassment and sanctions limit journalists' work

Although Panama rose from the 91st position in 2018 to 79th in Reporters Without Borders' 2019 Press Freedom Index, some recurrent situations still engender restrictions to freedom of press in the country. In the period covered by this update, there have been two incidents related to press freedom, including an Electoral Tribunal decision to restrict media access to candidates during election day. There were also three separate protests, one of which resulted in clashes between groups of opposing political views. Read more

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In Panama, harassment and sanctions limit journalists' work

Appeal court overturns halt on charges for Nauru 19 protesters

In June 2019, the new court of appeal threw out the permanent stay of execution on the 2015 charges against a group of protesters. The Australia run refugee detention centres on Nauru remain inaccessible to the media. Read more

Appeal court overturns halt on charges for Nauru 19 protesters