indigenous groups

Intelligence agency coordinated with energy companies to spy on groups engaged in peaceful advocacy

In early July 2019, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) released a trove of documents, known as the Protest Papers, indicating that Canada's intelligence apparatus coordinated with energy companies to spy on several groups engaged in peaceful advocacy and protest. In the period covered by this update, several protests have also taken place in defense of environmental causes, LGBTQ and religious rights, and in solidarity with Hong Kong demonstrations. Journalist Ben Makuch handed over to the police all his communications with a source, after years of court battles.

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Intelligence agency coordinated with energy companies to spy on groups engaged in peaceful advocacy

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

Attacks and threats against human rights defenders persist in Papua New Guinea

In recent months, civil society has reported the ongoing threats against human rights defenders, proposals to regulate social media by the government and protests by refugees on Manus island as they situation there deteriorates. Read more

Attacks and threats against human rights defenders persist in Papua New Guinea

Student protests mobilise thousands for environmental protections

On 15th March 2019, students in cities across the country participated in an international climate-change protest. Read more

Student protests mobilise thousands for environmental protections


30th April 2019: another peak in repression

The escalating tensions in Venezuela caused by the dispute of power between Juan Guaido and the ruling party have witnessed an increase in violations of civic freedoms. 30th April 2019, began as a day which could have marked the return of democracy to Venezuela. Opposition leader and interim President, Juan Guaidó appeared in the streets with the opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez who was previously sentenced to 14 years in prison and held under house arrest. The two politicians called for Venezuelans to take the streets and demand that Nicolas Maduro step down from power. Read more

30th April 2019: another peak in repression

Jair Bolsonaro’s first 100 days in office demonstrate Brazilian president’s disregard for pluralism

On 10th April 2019, Jair Bolsonaro completed his first 100 days in office. In these three months, the new government has repeatedly attacked democratic institutions and demonstrated a disregard for the diverse voices of a plural democratic society. Bolsonaro’s government has continuously used executive power to circumvent and reduce citizen participation in policy formation. Read more

Jair Bolsonaro’s first 100 days in office demonstrate Brazilian president’s disregard for pluralism

New Australian law to crackdown on violent videos on social media may lead to censorship

In April 2019, the government passed legislation to crackdown on violent videos that critics believe could undermine freedom of expression. In February 2019 aboriginal activists occupied the Parliament foyer around environmental issues; in March 2019, activists protested a coal mine owned by Indian multinational Adani while in April 2019, animal rights activists organised coordinated protests against the meat industry. Read more

New Australian law to crackdown on violent videos on social media may lead to censorship

Student activists detained during protest against evictions in Taiwan

In March 2019, student activists were detained while protesting against the eviction of the Daguan community while migrant workers from the Philippines and Indonesia demonstrated against violence and poor work conditions. In January 2019, the Taiwan police dismantled the occupation camp of indigenous protesters who had been protesting for 699 days. Read more

Student activists detained during protest against evictions in Taiwan

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