criminal defamation

Human Right Council calls on Brunei to review legislation limiting fundamental freedoms

The UN Human Rights Council reviewed the human rights record of Brunei in May 2019 and raised concerns around restrictive legislation such as the Sedition Act and ​the Local Newspapers Order. In the same month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report on Brunei’s new penal code that contains several provisions that impose criminal punishment for acts that violate the right to freedom of expression. Read more

Human Right Council calls on Brunei to review legislation limiting fundamental freedoms

Bhutan urged to repeal criminal defamation laws during Human Right Council review

In April 2019, Bhutan’s press freedom rankings improved while in May 2019 the country’s human rights record was reviewed by the UN Human Rights Council where there were calls for the government to reviews its defamation laws. In June 2019, parliament made a positive move by voting to decriminalize homosexuality. Read more

Bhutan urged to repeal criminal defamation laws during Human Right Council review

EU signs trade deal with Vietnam despite ongoing suppression of civic freedoms

Despite criticism from civil society, on 30th June 2019, the European Union and Vietnam on signed a free trade deal . In the last few months, civil society has documented arrests and prosecution of individuals for their peaceful expression in Vietnam, the disappearance of activists and long sentences handed down to protesters. Read more

EU signs trade deal with Vietnam despite ongoing suppression of civic freedoms

Civil society concerned about physical attacks and ongoing prosecution of Thai activists

In the last few months, there have been physical attacks against activists and human rights defenders or activists who have disappeared or placed under surveillance. Further, land rights activists from Sai Thong National Park have been prosecuted and jailed while pro-democracy student activists are facing sedition charges. Read more

Civil society concerned about physical attacks and ongoing prosecution of Thai activists

Misuse of ICCPR Act and judicial system to stifle freedom of expression in Sri Lanka

In the last few months, a number of individuals have been arrested and charged under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act of 2007 for the peaceful expression of their views. Further, contempt of courts proceedings have been brought against academic and activist Sarath Wijesuriya and an intelligence office linked in the killing of a journalist has been reinstated. Following the April 2019 attacks social media was blocked temporarily. Read more

Misuse of ICCPR Act and judicial system to stifle freedom of expression in Sri Lanka

18 attacks against freedom of expression documented in a year

A report published by CAInfo stated that from 1st April 2018 until 31st March 2019, 18 cases of threats against freedom of expression were documented. Read more

18 attacks against freedom of expression documented in a year

New crackdown on opposition protests: at least 350 arrested after defying protest ban

Administrative authorities denied, on several occasions, protests by Cameroon's main opposition party Mouvement pour la renaissance du Cameroun (MRC), to demand the immediate release of the party's leader Maurice Kamto and other MRC supporters. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), at least 350 people were arrested when the MRC members and supporters tried to hold protest on 1st June 2019 in several cities in Cameroon, in defiance of the ban that authorities imposed on grounds of 'risk of disturbing public order'. Read more

New crackdown on opposition protests: at least 350 arrested after defying protest ban

Growing protection concerns as journalists in Greece targeted by violent actors

Journalists and media professional have been targeted by protesters and violent non-state actors for their critical reporting. On 14th May 2019, the car of a well-known police reporter for the CNN’s Greek edition, was destroyed in an arson attack. In addition, the head of the Greek National Commission for Human Rights (GNCHR) resigned accusing the government of “authoritarianism in taking and enforcing its decisions” and for demonstrating “indifferent and often degrading positions” towards the Commission. On the positive side, efforts have been made towards decriminalisation of defamation. Read more

Growing protection concerns  as journalists in Greece targeted by violent actors

Tunisia civic space under threat by emergency bill and attempts to undermine transitional justice

A repressive state of emergency draft bill is under discussion in parliament, while the state of emergency has been continuously extended for almost four years during which emergency powers have been abused resulting in human rights violations. The new bill could grant Tunisian authorities sweeping powers to repress civic rights. Additionally, in April, the Ministry of Human Rights and Relations with Civil Society distributed confidentially a proposal to parliament that would effectively ensure impunity for past gross human rights violations, many against peaceful protesters, and grant perpetrators amnesty, an attempt that will undermine victim's rights and civil society mobilisation for justice. Read more

Tunisia civic space under threat by emergency bill and attempts to undermine transitional justice

Indonesian civil society finds human rights violations during deadly post-election protests

Human rights groups have report of violations during the May 2019 violent post-elections protests. There have also been attacks on peaceful protests by West Papuan activists, a conviction for criminal defamation, banning of a film for its LGBT content and the criminalisation of a human rights defender for allegedly criticising the military. Read more

Indonesian civil society finds human rights violations during deadly post-election protests