positive CS development


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

Civil society organisations accuse Bolivian government of creating a hostile environment for HRDs

Amnesty International's report on Bolivia exposes an alarming environment for human rights defenders and civil society organisations in the country - where these actors face a variety of threats and accusations by high-level authorities.

In the Los Yungas region, recurrent protests from coca growers have escalated into violence and led to arrests.

While there has been a positive development for freedom of association in Bolivia, with the removal of a law that financially strangled independent media, there have also also been a number of incidents signalling that political interference in journalism is far from over. This update covers the period from 25th of May to 8th of July 2019. Read more

Civil society organisations accuse Bolivian government of creating a hostile environment for HRDs

Bhutan urged to repeal criminal defamation laws during Human Right Council review

In April 2019, Bhutan’s press freedom rankings improved while in May 2019 the country’s human rights record was reviewed by the UN Human Rights Council where there were calls for the government to reviews its defamation laws. In June 2019, parliament made a positive move by voting to decriminalize homosexuality. Read more

Bhutan urged to repeal criminal defamation laws during Human Right Council review


Amendments to law governing freedom of association are dropped

As previously covered in the CIVICUS Monitor, civil society in Kosovo recently mobilised against new proposals which could have curtailed freedom of association. After the voting of Law 06/L-043 on Freedom of Association, the second reading of the law on the 7th of November 2018 saw a number problematic amendments added to the bill. In mid-April 2019, the proposals were dropped on the third reading of the new law. Read more

Amendments to law governing freedom of association are dropped

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

Tunisia civic space under threat by emergency bill and attempts to undermine transitional justice

A repressive state of emergency draft bill is under discussion in parliament, while the state of emergency has been continuously extended for almost four years during which emergency powers have been abused resulting in human rights violations. The new bill could grant Tunisian authorities sweeping powers to repress civic rights. Additionally, in April, the Ministry of Human Rights and Relations with Civil Society distributed confidentially a proposal to parliament that would effectively ensure impunity for past gross human rights violations, many against peaceful protesters, and grant perpetrators amnesty, an attempt that will undermine victim's rights and civil society mobilisation for justice. Read more

Tunisia civic space under threat by emergency bill and attempts to undermine transitional justice


UN rights committee questions Tonga on freedom of expression for children

In May 2019, during the state review, the UN Committee on the Rights of a Child (CRC) questioned Tonga around the space for freedom of expression for children in the country. In April 2018, the press freedom index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) showed that Tonga had improved its ranking by six places Read more

UN rights committee questions Tonga on freedom of expression for children