minority groups

Civil society concerned about risks to fundamental freedoms in Kashmir as special status revoked

Civil society groups have raised concerns about the threats to fundamental freedoms in Jammu and Kashmir following the revocation of its special status by the central government on 5 August 2019 Read more

Civil society concerned about risks to fundamental freedoms in Kashmir as special status revoked

Peaceful protests in Kosovo amid growing ethnic tensions

As previously covered on the CIVICUS Monitor, 2019 has seen civil society mobilise against new laws which could have curtailed freedom of association. In this update, we detail how people in Kosovo have exercised their right to peaceful assembly. In the period between May 16th and July 10th 2019, Kosovo has witnessed a number of protests on a variety of issues. During this period, no protest was unwarrantedly denied or met with excessive force by security forces. Read more

Peaceful protests in Kosovo amid growing ethnic tensions

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

Civic freedoms in Cuba becoming increasingly restrained

Cuba continues to use arbitrary detention and harassment as strategies to restrict civic space. A frequent target of such tactics, organization Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) reported that 26 of their members were arrested on 23rd of June on their way to Sunday Masses, which were organised as rites of prayer for the freedom of political prisoners. Read more

Civic freedoms in Cuba becoming increasingly restrained

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

State orchestrated civil society a threat to independent groups

As we've previously covered in the CIVICUS Monitor, concerns have been rising over a perceived increase in state affiliated civil society. Most worryingly, these groups have been shown to play a role in smearing and harassing independent civil society groups that are critical of the government. Read more

State orchestrated civil society a threat to independent groups

Anti-corruption protests force removal of Mongolian politician while judicial independence at risk

In December 2018 and January 2019, there were mass protests against corruption in Mongolia which led to the removal of the speaker of Mongolia’s parliament, implicated in some of these scandals. In March 2019, civil society were alarmed when parliament passed legal amendments giving increased powers to the executive to intervene with the courts and anti-corruption agency. Read more

Anti-corruption protests force removal of Mongolian politician while judicial independence at risk

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

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

Protesters in Myanmar face arbitrary arrest, prosecution and excessive force

In the last few months, protesters have been arrested and prosecuted under the Penal Code and the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law for their activism. Some also faced excessive use of force by the police. Human rights groups also report the ongoing persecution of critics while the two Reuters journalists who were investigating the military crackdown of the Rohingya in 2017 have spent a year in jail. Read more

Protesters in Myanmar face arbitrary arrest, prosecution and excessive force