Civic Space Developments

Protests escalate in Afghanistan as frustration with Taliban rule and abuses grow

In recent months, protests by women activists have been met by restrictions and violence as well as arrests, torture and ill-treatment. Media outlets have been banned and journalists covering protests restricted. Books and social media apps are being banned while political parties have effectively been banned. Read more

Protests escalate in Afghanistan as frustration with Taliban rule and abuses grow

Conviction of lawyer and recent legal changes further erodes civic space in Fiji ahead of elections

In recent months, ambiguous amendments to media laws have been passed that could affect the independence of the media, while electoral law amendments have raised concerns about privacy rights. Further, a senior lawyer was found guilty of contempt for correcting a spelling error, violating the right to freedom of expression. Read more

Conviction of lawyer and recent legal changes further erodes civic space in Fiji ahead of elections

Honduras: attacks on Garífuna human rights defenders continue

Alfredo López Álvarez, a Garífuna human rights defender and member of the Triunfo de la Cruz Land Defence Committee, was threatened during the Central America Donors Forum 2022 in October 2022. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Honduras: attacks on Garífuna human rights defenders continue

Palestinian activists face lawsuit and ban; climate activists threatened with SLAPPs

In December 2021, after long and intense protests by climate organisations and scientists, the ‘Lobautunnel’ project was put on hold by climate and transport minister Eleonore Gewessler. Nonetheless, the Municipality of Vienna threatened to initiate court proceedings against individual protesters - some of them minors - scientists and civil society organisations involved in the demonstrations against ‘Lobautunnel’. Separately, a member of BDS Austria is being sued for defamation by the municipality of Vienna over a social media post. This case sheds light on the underlying hostile context for Palestinian rights advocates in Austria, Read more

Palestinian activists face lawsuit and ban; climate activists threatened with SLAPPs

Government agencies used to silence dissent in India as its rights record is scrutinised at the UN

In recent months we have continued to see raids and investigation of NGOs, detention of human rights defenders, journalists and protesters, restrictions on journalists and disruption of protests Read more

Government agencies used to silence dissent in India as its rights record is scrutinised at the UN

Dominican Republic: anti-colonial demonstration attacked by ultra-nationalist group

On 27th July 2022, medical professionals protested in Santo Domingo to demand improvements in the country’s healthcare system. The peaceful protest organised by the Dominican Medical Association (Colegio Médico Dominicano - CMD) was joined by about 200 people, who marched from a maternity hospital toward the National Palace. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Dominican Republic: anti-colonial demonstration attacked by ultra-nationalist group

Maldives elected to UN Human Rights Council despite press freedom concerns, restrictions on protests and impunity

In recent months, there continues to be concern about restrictions to press freedom following the passage of the Evidence Act and ongoing restrictions on protests and arrests of protesters by the authorities. There is still a lack of accountability for the disappearance of journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdullah. Read more

Maldives elected to UN Human Rights Council despite press freedom concerns, restrictions on protests and impunity

Protesters face judicial harassment while restrictions to freedom of expression persist in Malaysia

In recent months, the police continued to harass organisers and participants of protests, including activists and politicians, related to the rising prices of goods and the cost of living, around a combat ship scandal, the situation in Iran and around the election date. At least four people have been charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. The authorities have also criminalised politicians and a comedian for their expression and are investigating a book by the former Attorney General. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) found a company to have violated the freedom of association of its workers, while a gender-diverse gathering was raided by the authorities. Read more

Protesters face judicial harassment while restrictions to freedom of expression persist in Malaysia

Despite UN scrutiny, activists continue to be criminalised by the new Philippines administration

Over the last five months, human rights defenders have continued to be arrested on fabricated charges while the terrorist financing law has been used to persecute activists. Journalists have also been targeted for their work. Read more

Despite UN scrutiny, activists continue to be criminalised by the new Philippines administration

Economic crisis & teachers’ conditions spark mass protests as FIDESZ government continues its battle for EU funds

The Hungarian capital saw one of the largest protests in recent decades over conditions for teachers and the severe economic situation in Hungary. Since the government made teacher strikes effectively impossible by a decree in February 2022, teachers have started staging acts of civil disobedience. However, in late September 2022, five teachers were dismissed for having participated in the civil disobedience movement. Hungary's media watchdog, the National Media and Communications Authority (NMHH), said its Media Council had concluded that an animated Netflix series broke a Hungarian anti-LGBTQI+ law. . The Council has concluded in at least six cases that a media provider headquartered in another EU member state miscategorised content depicting homosexuality or transsexuality and that the age recommendation was too young. Read more

 Economic crisis & teachers’ conditions spark mass protests as FIDESZ government continues its battle for EU funds