Civic Space Developments

Human rights organisations accuse prosecutors of criminalising community defenders

Human rights organisations of El Savador’s Foro del Agua (Water Forum) have denounced the criminalisation of activists defending the right to water in Tacuba, Ahuachapán department. According to their complaint, two prosecutors have accused community defenders of offences such as aggravated theft without providing evidence, in legal cases that have been technically inconsistent.

Also in this update: protests against gender-based violence and sexual assault, two journalists were attacked by an anonymous account seeking to discredit their work, and El Salvador had its first Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in loco visit in 32 years. Read more

Human rights organisations accuse prosecutors of criminalising community defenders

Authorities use force to disperse protests, harass journalists

law enforcement officers violently disperse protests in central Baku that had been organised by the National Council of Democratic Forces; authorities disperse women’s rights activists who had gathered in the city centre to protest domestic violence; 10 senior opposition party members arrested and detained ahead of protests, lawyer Nemat Karimli subjected to excessive controls and verbal intimidation as he went in to meet with his client; Several incidents of police officers using force or violence against journalists documented Read more

Authorities use force to disperse protests, harass journalists

Activists detained during protest

clashes erupt between supporters and opponents of the former president of Armenia, during which three people were detained,the students of Yerevan State University of Armenia went on strike, to protest against a proposed “Law on Higher Education and Science,” Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs (AIISA) prohibits several news outlets from attending its event Read more

Activists detained during protest

Activist Folly Satchivi released from prison, three activists denied entry to Togo

On 16th October 2019, activist, youth leader and HRD Folly Satchivi of the movement En Aucun Cas was released following a presidential pardon issued by president Fauré Gnassingbé. A week prior to the presidential pardon, on 10th October 2019, the Appeal Court in Lomé partially overturned the judgement by a lower court for the offense of 'aggravated disturbance of public order' in January 2019, but found the activist guilty of 'glorification of crimes and offences', and sentenced him to 28 months in prison, with 6 months suspended. Read more

Activist Folly Satchivi released from prison, three activists denied entry to Togo

Turkmenistan: The state reinforces propaganda campaigns following rumours of the president’s death

This report reviews the protection of freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in Turkmenistan from the beginning of July to the beginning of November 2019. International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights (TIHR) have prepared the report as part of their cooperation with the CIVICUS Monitor. Read more

Turkmenistan: The state reinforces propaganda campaigns following rumours of the president’s death

Costa Rican students demonstrate against university budget cuts

Over five days at the end of October 2019, public university students protested against budget cuts in Costa Rica’s Special Fund for Higher Education (FEES) and blocked roads near the National University (UNA) in Heredia. Groups of protesters occupied university facilities, while some marched from the University of Costa Rica to the Presidential House. On 22nd October 2019, security forces used tear gas against protesters in an attempt to clear the road and remove students from campus. Read more

Tags: protest | youth
Costa Rican students demonstrate against university budget cuts

Activists, lawyers and critics continue to face harassment and defamation charges in Thailand

In the last few months, there has been harassment against activists, lawyers and government critics from both the state as well businesses while the bones of a disappeared ethnic Karen activist were found. A new report by Human Rights Watch documented cases of peaceful critics who have been prosecuted by the government for the last five years and concerns have been raised about a new anti-fake news center established by the authorities. A study finds that SLAPP or strategic lawsuits against public participation are on the rise. Read more

Activists, lawyers and critics continue to face harassment and defamation charges in Thailand

Indigenous activists in NZ continue struggle to block development at Ihumātao

Over the last few months, indigenous activists have continued their struggle to block land development at Ihumātao in Auckland. Pro-Hong Kong student activists have been threatened while protesting and climate activists have been arrested. Read more

Indigenous activists in NZ continue struggle to block development at Ihumātao

Sustained wave of protests in Haiti met with excessive force

In September 2019, a new wave of protests engulfed Haiti. Fuel shortages, spiralling inflation, accusations of government corruption and a lack of water, food and basic services were among the main causes leading people to the streets. As previously reported on the Monitor, the Caribbean country has been immersed in a political crisis since 2018 and people have often mobilised to demand change. Newspapers such as Deutche Welle have called it the country’s “longest wave of demonstrations for years”. Read more

Sustained wave of protests in Haiti met with excessive force

April 2019 legislative elections marred by civic space violations

In the run-up to, during and following the legislative elections several civic space violations took place - including blanket bans on protests, the shutdown of the internet, excessive use of force by security forces, including lethal force, leading to the killing of several people, the shutdown of the internet on election day and arbitrary arrests. Read more

April 2019 legislative elections marred by civic space violations