bureaucratic restriction

Contested elections in Bolivia stir mass protests with violent clashes

Mass protests erupted after the results of Bolivia’s national elections were announced, indicating a first round win for current president Evo Morales. Thousands of people took to the streets contesting the election result and claiming that the process was marred by fraud. Protests and violent confrontations were reported in several cities, with violent episodes of groups of anti- and pro-government protesters clashing.

Several civil society organisations have called for a second round of voting with a view to pacifying the country, and urged an investigation into the alleged electoral irregularities. While the Organisation of American States (OAS) completes an audit of the electoral process, the opposition has vowed to continue mobilising. Read more

Contested elections in Bolivia stir mass protests with violent clashes

Solomon Islands government orders probe into civil society for calling on PM to step down

The office of the Prime Minister in Solomon Islands has called for an investigation into a number of civil society groups for calling on the Prime Minister to step down. It has accused the groups of operating illegally and failing to register under the Charitable Trust Act. Read more

Solomon Islands government orders probe into civil society for calling on PM to step down

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

Several arrested during protests

On 24th July 2019, a protest erupted at Serrekunda Market following the death of a vendor, Ousman Darboe, following what was perceived by protesters as due to police brutality. According to media reports, more than a thousand people gathered, with banners saying 'No to police brutality'. The protest turned violent, with protesters reportedly throwing stones at the deployed Police Intervention Unit (PIU), who responded with tear gas to disperse the protesters. The house belonging to the head of the police Anti-Crime Unit was reportedly burned down by angry protesters. A total of 37 people were arrested, including rapper Killa Ace, and were charged on 8 counts, including arson, rioting and unlawful assembly. Read more

Several arrested during protests

Mysterious cancellations of TV programmes stokes concern over media freedom

As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, threats against journalists have emerged as a worrying trend in Serbia. In this update, covering August - September 2019, we report state interference in the work of media outlets has also continued unabated. Read more

Mysterious cancellations of TV programmes stokes concern over media freedom

Serbia's iron grip on media under the spotlight as new information emerges

On 29th August 2019, The Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS) published a hidden report by the Regulatory Authority of Electronic Media (REM). The report had investigated the representation of political actors during the election campaign from 4th March to 21st April 2016 and had mysteriously vanished after the elections. The report points to the uneven representation of electoral actors with a drastic advantage in favour of the ruling party. This is attributed to the privatisation of media which has led to a worrying imbalance in the media market. Read more

Serbia's iron grip on media under the spotlight as new information emerges


National media regulator threatens weekly over publications on alleged corruption

Over the past few months, Congo's national media regulator, Conseil supérieur de la liberté de la communication (Superior Council for Freedom of Communication - CSLC) harassed the weekly Manager Horizon over a series of articles it published, said Reporters without Borders (RSF). Read more

National media regulator threatens weekly over publications on alleged corruption
French

Several media outlets and journalist's accreditation suspended

On 23rd August 2019, Gabon's media regulator, the Haute Authorité de la Communication (HAC, High Authority of Communication) suspended online media outlet Gabon Review for a period of three months for 'having damaged the image of HAC by malicious insinuations'. On 1st August 2019, the HAC suspended the online news outlet Gabon Media Time (GMT) for the duration of one month. The decision to suspend was related to an article published the previous day alleging a two-year old girl was turned away from Gabon's cancer institute due to a shortage of beds, which HAC accused of being 'full of malicious, suspicious and tendentious insinuations' and violating ethics and professional conduct of journalists. Read more

Several media outlets and journalist's accreditation suspended
French

Protests remain lethal in Guinea

On 13th June 2019, one person died and at least 28 people were injured when clashes broke out during a protest in N’Zérékoré, a city in the south of Guinea. The protest was called by the Front national pour la défense de la Constitution (FNDC; National Front for the Protection of the Constitution), a platform of opposition and some members of civil society and trade unions formed in April 2019, to demonstrate against a change of the constitution to allow president Condé a third term beyond 2020. Read more

 Protests remain lethal in Guinea
French