minority groups

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

Lhotshampa minority remain displaced and their electoral rights restricted

While the elections in 2018 and the formation of a third new government since the introduction of democracy in 2008 has been seen as positive for the country, the Lhotshampa minority group continued to be denied any engagement with the election process. Read more

Lhotshampa minority remain displaced and their electoral rights restricted

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

Anti-corruption reporting under threat as investigations into media attacks stall

In December 2018, the arrest of an opposition MP sparked a nationwide debate. Nebojisa Medojevic, an MP from the opposition Democratic Front (DF), was arrested after refusing to testify about accusations of high-level corruption. In a separate incident, on 19th December 2018 The EU-Montenegro Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee expressed concerns relating to media freedom in Montenegro and the political interference in the national public broadcaster. Read more

Anti-corruption reporting under threat as investigations into media attacks stall

Despite smears, civil society remains defiant

The last few months in 2018 witnessed several attacks against CSOs and human rights activists. A government campaign was initiated against a number of human rights organisations following an open letter to Federica Mogerini, the EU High Commissioner for Security and Foreign Affairs from CSOs. Read more

Despite smears, civil society remains defiant

Civil society says shutting down of international NGOs an ‘attack on civic freedoms’

In October 2018, the authorities ordered 18 international non-governmental organization (INGOs) to shut down operations and leave the country including Action Aid Read more

Civil society says shutting down of international NGOs an ‘attack on civic freedoms’


UN fact-finding mission finds serious crimes fuelled by the silencing of critical voices

In August 2018, a fact-finding mission report on Myanmar found that violence and human rights violations, including in Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan states, “are fuelled by the silencing of critical voices by the Myanmar authorities”. Read more

UN fact-finding mission finds serious crimes fuelled by the silencing of critical voices