surveillance



UN expert reports of ‘a near-total lack of space for freedom of expression’ in Laos

In March 2019, the UN expert on poverty and human rights visited Laos and found that there was a lack of space for freedom of expression and strict limitations on media and civil society. In the same month, civil society groups called on the EU to be more vocal in its engagement with Laos on human rights issues including on civic space. Further, reports highlight that many are turning to the internet to access information due to ongoing media restrictions and at least two jailed protesters have taken ill. Read more

UN expert reports of ‘a near-total lack of space for freedom of expression’ in Laos


Whistleblower reveals government monitoring journalists and activists due to their work

The government has created a secret database to monitor journalists and activists engaged on issues related to migrants at or near the U.S. border with Mexico, according to a 6th March report from NBC News. Read more

Whistleblower reveals government monitoring journalists and activists due to their work

Ongoing crackdown on foreign media content and increased surveillance at the border

Amid the denuclearisation talks in Vietnam between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in February 2019, the authorities increased restrictions. In recent months the North Korea authorities have cracked down on foreign media content and increased video surveillance at the China border. Read more

Ongoing crackdown on foreign media content and increased surveillance at the  border

Private security company hired by authorities to research anti-base protesters in Okinawa

In January 2019, a newspaper published a report that a private security company had been hired by the authorities in 2015 to conduct research and surveillance of protesters in Okinawa opposing the U.S. military base relocation. In the previous month, a court upheld the guilty verdict against an Okinawan for his anti-U.S. base activities while two Hong Kong activists were arrested in Tokyo for protesting at a war shrine. In March 2019, Human Rights Watch published a report on abuses against transgender people Read more

Private security company hired by authorities to research anti-base protesters in Okinawa

Criminal defamation laws used to prosecute online criticism of religion and monarchy

In recent months there have been arrests and prosecution of individuals under defamation laws for criticising the monarchy and religion online while human rights defenders continue to face police questioning for dissent. A women’s day march has come under attack while the indigenous Orang Asli community continues to defend their land against encroachment. Read more

Criminal defamation laws used to prosecute online criticism of religion and monarchy

Despite international scrutiny, Vietnam continues to conduct surveillance, harass and jail activists

Despite the scrutiny at the UN and by the EU, the persecution of activists has continued over the last few months. Some have been jailed for their peaceful expression while others have been intimidated and harassed. Further, the draconian cyber security law came into force in January 2019. Read more

Despite international scrutiny, Vietnam continues to conduct surveillance, harass and jail activists

Persecution of activists continue while abuses against Uighurs remain in the spotlight

China has continued to arrest, prosecute and jail activists and lawyers. In one case, dozens of workers and students are being held for labour rights protests linked to the Jasic Technology factory in Shenzhen. Human rights groups have continued to raise concerns about abuses in Xinjiang against the Uighurs while a new report on human rights defenders in China says they continue to work under hostile conditions and face reprisals. Read more

Persecution of activists continue while abuses against Uighurs remain in the spotlight