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Expression

Although citizens benefit from strong free speech protections under Bulgarian law, declining respect for media freedom, amidst a shrinking pool of ownership and the interference of individuals with substantial economic and political influence, has raised concerns. Worryingly, physical attacks on journalists and interference with the operations of private media are on the rise. Read more


Peaceful Assembly

Between 2013 and 2015, Bulgarians took to the streets on numerous occasions to exercise their right to peaceful assembly. At times, protests lasted for up to 100 days and involved tens of thousands of participants. Read more


Association

People in Bulgaria are free to form, register and operate civil society organisations without interference in order to promote a range of causes, including promoting human rights and combatting corruption. The European refugee crisis has brought into sharp focus the value of civil society organisations, some of which have closely monitored the situation and provided front-line humanitarian relief to refugees in Bulgaria. Read more


Bulgaria-Overview

Bulgarian civil society has become more active and visible in recent years, with mass mobilisation against corruption and collusion between business and the state bringing thousands onto the streets. This increasing activism was reflected in a recent survey, which showed a relatively active citizenry, and strong interest in increasing opportunities for citizen engagement and direct democracy. Read more


Expression

During Bhutan’s recent transition to democratic rule, in 2006 the government passed a media law aimed at liberalising the media landscape and allowing more pluralism in the sector. However, due to the country’s small private sector, most media outlets depend almost entirely on government advertising for survival; a situation which restricts their editorial independence, encourages self-censorship and impairs people’s ability to access a range of viewpoints through the media. Read more


Peaceful Assembly

Protests are uncommon in Bhutan. While the freedom of peaceful assembly is constitutionally guaranteed, the Bhutanese are not allowed to organise a protest without government approval, substantially restricting the scope of planned demonstrations and rendering spontaneous demonstrations illegal. Read more


Association

Although people in Bhutan can form associations to advance their interests, the right to freedom of association enshrined in the constitution has so far not translated into a vibrant, pluralistic civil society and active civic engagement. Freedom of association is guaranteed, but only for groups which are “not harmful to the peace and unity of the country.” Read more


Bhutan-Overview

Despite significant improvements in respect of basic civic freedoms since the political transition to democratic rule began, Bhutan still has work to do before its people can fully enjoy a free and open society in which civic space, and particularly the right to free expression, are respected in practice. A number of laws are designed to provide for citizen participation in a democratic society, however in reality implementation remains limited. Read more


Expression

People in Belize are free to express ideas, criticise the government and benefit from a generally free media. Belize has ranked highly (29th and 30th) on the World Press Freedom Index in 2014 and 2015. Defamation law is sometimes used against journalists. Read more


Peaceful Assembly

Protests and demonstrations, albeit mostly small-scale, are relatively common in Belize. They address a wide range of issues and often take place in the capital, Belmopan. Article 13 of the constitution extends the right to assemble to ‘persons’, meaning that foreigners also have the right to gather peacefully in public in Belize. Read more