restrictive law

Sustained attack on civic freedoms in Myanmar with ongoing prosecutions and internet blackout

In recent months there has been a sustained attack on civic freedoms including an internet blackout in Rakhine and Chin State while military critics, journalists and peaceful protesters continue to be arrested or charged. Read more

Sustained attack on civic freedoms in Myanmar with ongoing prosecutions and internet blackout

Protests nationwide in Japan calling for reforms to anti-rape law

In the last few months, protests have been held against the problematic anti-rape laws in Japan and in support of the mass protests in Hong Kong. Women in Japan have also mobilised online against the requirement for women to wear high heels in the workplace.. A UN expert on freedom of expression has submitted a follow up report to the Human Rights Council on the failure of the Japanese government to implement recommendations he made in 2017 to improve freedom of expression including on media independence. Read more

Protests nationwide in Japan calling for reforms to anti-rape law

Arrests, office raids and internet restrictions as Lebanon continue crackdown on media freedom

This update covers the period between January 2019 and May 2019 and highlights incidents of attempts by a military tribunal to imprison a journalist for criticising the security forces on social media; raids by security forces, defamation lawsuit and attacks on media outlets; and continuous restrictions by the authorities of the space for LGBTQ community by blocking online dating app Grindr; while anti-austerity measures peaceful protesters were being dispersed through the use of water cannons. Read more

Arrests, office raids and internet restrictions as Lebanon continue crackdown on media freedom

Egypt parliament approved new draft NGO law - a continuation of state crack down on CSOs

On 15th July 2019 a new repressive NGO law, “The Law on Regulating the Work of Civil Associations”, was approved by the Egyptian parliament and sent to the President for approval. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has 30 days to review and if he ratifies, the legislation will come into effect. Read more

Egypt parliament approved new draft NGO law  - a continuation of state crack down on CSOs

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

Human Right Council calls on Brunei to review legislation limiting fundamental freedoms

The UN Human Rights Council reviewed the human rights record of Brunei in May 2019 and raised concerns around restrictive legislation such as the Sedition Act and ​the Local Newspapers Order. In the same month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report on Brunei’s new penal code that contains several provisions that impose criminal punishment for acts that violate the right to freedom of expression. Read more

Human Right Council calls on Brunei to review legislation limiting fundamental freedoms

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

EU signs trade deal with Vietnam despite ongoing suppression of civic freedoms

Despite criticism from civil society, on 30th June 2019, the European Union and Vietnam on signed a free trade deal . In the last few months, civil society has documented arrests and prosecution of individuals for their peaceful expression in Vietnam, the disappearance of activists and long sentences handed down to protesters. Read more

EU signs trade deal with Vietnam despite ongoing suppression of civic freedoms

Civil society concerned about physical attacks and ongoing prosecution of Thai activists

In the last few months, there have been physical attacks against activists and human rights defenders or activists who have disappeared or placed under surveillance. Further, land rights activists from Sai Thong National Park have been prosecuted and jailed while pro-democracy student activists are facing sedition charges. Read more

Civil society concerned about physical attacks and ongoing prosecution of Thai activists

Hong Kong protests met with excessive force as activists suppressed around Tiananmen anniversary

Since March 2019, activists in China have been arrested for their work and human rights lawyers banned from leaving the country while peaceful protesters have been detained by the authorities. In Hong Kong there has been mass protests against an extradition bill which has been met with excessive force by the police while surveillance was ramped up around the Tiananmen anniversary. Read more

Hong Kong protests met with excessive force as activists suppressed around Tiananmen anniversary