Civic Space Developments

Prime Minister Abiy Wins Nobel Peace Prize Amid Tensions

Prime minister Abiy win Nobel Peace prize, Ruling party coalition merges to form singular multi-ethnic party ahead of 2020 elections, HRDs form first HRDs coalition since draconian law and repressive governments between 2006-2018, Sidama people vote to create separate federal region. Read more

Prime Minister Abiy Wins Nobel Peace Prize Amid Tensions

North Korea develops new systems to increase surveillance and block outside information

There have been reports of new systems being developed to increase surveillance of citizens and the UN Special Rapporteur highlighted restrictions on freedom of information in his last report. There has also been a report on how North Korea counters foreign media content and the arrest of defectors at the border. Read more

North Korea develops new systems to increase surveillance and block outside information

Immigration detainees in Japan hold hunger strike while Okinawa anti-base protests continue

Over the last few months, immigration detainees went on a hunger strike to protest against prolonged detention. Protests have continued against a new US airfield in Okinawa off the Henoko coast. The first ordinance to punish hate speech was passed in the Kawasaki assembly in the Kanagawa Prefecture. An international contemporary art festival shut down a section around censorship within Japan, while the International Olympic Committee has banned political expression at the upcoming Olympics. Read more

Immigration detainees in Japan hold hunger strike while Okinawa anti-base protests continue

Violent protests and alleged extrajudicial executions in Bolivia as political crisis escalated

On 10th November 2019, Evo Morales resigned as president of Bolivia, after weeks of unrest over contested general elections at the end of October 2019. Read more

Violent protests and alleged extrajudicial executions in Bolivia as political crisis escalated

Opposition politician found slain as government warns media ahead of 2020 elections

United Nations Special Envoy to Burundi, Michael Kafando, announced plan to step down, opposition party member raped and killed, national media regulator announces new code of conduct for journalists covering upcoming elections, 4 journalists arrested and detained while covering clashes between armed group and security forces Read more  |  Read in French

Opposition politician found slain as government warns media ahead of 2020 elections

Human rights defender and journalist arrested and charged, later released

On 4th December 2019, the Secretary General of the human rights organisation Convention Tchadienne pour la Défense des Droits Humains (CTDDH - Chadian Convention for the Protection of Human Rights) Mahamat Nour Ibedou was charged with 'murder' and 'complicity to murder' after being arrested the previous day, on 3rd December 2019. Read more

Human rights defender and journalist arrested and charged, later released

Hundreds released as National Dialogue on Anglophone crisis concludes, others remain in prison

On 4th October 2019, president Paul Biya ordered the prosecution to drop all charges against opposition leader Mouvement pour la renaissance du Cameroun (MRC) Maurice Kamto and 102 other people who were arrested in the context of MRC's 'marches blanches' (white marches) protests on 26th January 2019 to denounce what they call electoral fraud during the country's presidential elections on 7th October 2018.The release of the opposition members came after negotiations between MRC and the government, and on the last day of the National dialogue on the Anglophone crisis that took place in Yaoundé from 30th September to 5th October 2019. Read more

Hundreds released as National Dialogue on Anglophone crisis concludes, others remain in prison

Despite serious crimes probe, Myanmar continues to silence critics and block the internet

Over the last few months, the authorities convicted film maker Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi and the Peacock generation poetry troupe for criticism of the military, while a Kachin activist was jailed for insulting a judge. The internet shutdown in Rakhine state remains. Rohingya campaigners outside the country faced threats while protesters continue to be arrested and convicted. Read more

Despite serious crimes probe, Myanmar continues to silence critics and block the internet

Activist group continues resistance against seabed mining in PNG

Over the last few months, an activist group known as the Alliance of Solwara Warriors have continued their campaign to ban seabed mining. Refugee and activist Behrouz Boochani was released from detention on Manus island after six years, a senior Papua New Guinea journalist was reinstated after being sacked briefly and thousands marched in support of West Papua. Read more

Activist group continues resistance against seabed mining in PNG

President Kagame Denies Spying on Opponents Abroad

American pastor deported on accusation of hate speech, President Kagame denies spying on dissidents abroad, while outspoken government critic confirms being a victim of surveillance while in exile Read more

President Kagame Denies Spying on Opponents Abroad