Civic Space Developments

Fundamental freedoms still severely restricted in Brunei

The state of civic space in Brunei was downgraded by the CIVICUS Monitor to ‘repressed’ in December 2019 and there has been no documented progress on improving fundamental freedoms. According to Freedom House, freedoms of the expression and assembly are significantly restricted and online speech is monitored by authorities. Read more

Fundamental freedoms still severely restricted in Brunei

Chile: HRD killed during protest, anti-migrant demonstrations and concerning internet bill

Opposition politicians launched impeachment proceedings against Chile’s president, Sebastián Piñera, over possible irregularities in the sale of a mining company, after new details about the deal were revealed in leaked documents. People took to the streets in protests by Mapuche communities, anti and pro-immigration groups and reproductive rights activists. In addition, a new bill on digital platforms could have important negative impacts on freedom of expression. Read more

Chile: HRD killed during protest, anti-migrant demonstrations and concerning internet bill

Civil society raises concerns about press freedom and restrictions on peaceful assembly in Mongolia

The state of civic space remains ‘obstructed’ in Mongolia. In August 2021, a report on press freedom documented violations and concerns around self-censorship. A report by Amnesty International found that the government and law enforcement authorities are severely violating the freedom of peaceful assembly. In October 2021, a protest was held on sexual violence against girls. Read more

Civil society raises concerns about press freedom and restrictions on peaceful assembly in Mongolia

El Salvador: anti-government protests against authoritarian measures and Bitcoin implementation

On 3rd September 2021, the newly installed judges in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court published a resolution stating that presidents can serve two consecutive terms. The decision, taken by the magistrates appointed after lawmakers allied with President Nayib Bukele replaced five of the Court’s former judges, paves the way for Bukele to run for re-election in 2024. Read more

El Salvador: anti-government protests against authoritarian measures and Bitcoin implementation

USA: Pro-choice rally sizzles, pro-Trump rally fizzles

On 2nd October 2021, tens of thousands of women and their supporters marched in multiple cities to protest against state restrictions on abortion and to advocate for a constitutional right to the procedure. Read more

USA: Pro-choice rally sizzles, pro-Trump rally fizzles

Nicaragua: persecution of civil society leaders continues unabated two months ahead of elections

On 9th September 2021, Nicaragua’s Public Prosecutor Office charged lawyer and human rights defender María Oviedo, presidential candidate Noel Vidaurre and campesino leader Pedro Mena with “conspiracy to undermine national integrity”. Oviedo was also charged under the country’s Cybercrime Law (No. 1042) with “dissemination of false news using information and communications technologies”. Read more

Nicaragua: persecution of civil society leaders continues unabated two months ahead of elections

Harassment of activists, critics persist in Malaysia as new Prime Minister comes to power

In recent months, the government has continued to use repressive laws against peaceful protesters and activists. These include the ongoing use of the Penal Code, Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA). #Lawan activists have continued to face judicial harassment while peaceful protesters involved in a candlelight vigil were dragged to police cars and restricted access to lawyers. Some were also threatened. Opposition parliamentarians were blocked by police from marching to parliament, activist Fahmi Reza was arrested for his artwork critical of the Prime Minister, while the CMA has also been used against those criticising politicians and royalty. Read more

Harassment of activists, critics persist in Malaysia as new Prime Minister comes to power

Uruguay: civil society pushes back against regressive legislation

In June 2021, the government proposed changes to the Access to Public Information Law (No. 18.381) using Article 29 of the “Accountability and Budget Execution Balance for the financial year 2020” bill. The legislation would modify the information that public agencies must make permanently available on their websites and other media, also imposing limitations to the right of access to public information. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Uruguay: civil society pushes back against regressive legislation

Restrictions and attacks on journalists, protesters; reprisals against activists in the Maldives

In recent months, civil society has raised concerns about a new bill that threatens to force journalists to reveal sources. There have been reports of excessive force by the police against protesters and journalists with impunity. There has still been no justice for families of human rights defenders Yameen Rasheed and Ahmed Rilwan. In September 2021, the UN published a report on reprisals against civil society which included cases in the Maldives. Read more

Restrictions and attacks on journalists, protesters; reprisals against activists in the Maldives

Mexico: Frustration with government takes people to the streets

On 29th August 2021 in Chiapas, members of a teachers’ union blocked President López Obrador’s vehicle on his way to deliver his daily televised news conference. Members of the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (National Coordinator of Education Workers - CNTE) wanted to speak directly to the president about employment issues including remuneration, working conditions and recruitment. Read more

Mexico: Frustration with government takes people to the streets