Civic Space Developments

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

Eritrea second on list of worst jailers of journalists in Africa

Eritrea accuses Qatar of supporting opposition groups and encouraging anti-government protests in Eritrea, Berlin’s ambassador to Eritrea summoned over DW’s (Germany’s state-owned international broadcaster) media coverage of the country Read more

Eritrea second on list of worst jailers of journalists in Africa

Government tightens reins on civic freedoms during the last year

over the last year, the experienced continued closing of civic space by introducing restrictive laws, abduction and detention of HRDs, while crackdown on press freedom continued Read more

Government tightens reins on civic freedoms during the last year

People in the US turn to protest to demand changes to the status quo

As part of a campaign against University of California (UC)’s outsourcing of jobs, thousands of the school’s service and patient care workers held a strike on 13th November 2019. Read more

People in the US turn to protest to demand changes to the status quo

Report on freedom of expression highlights criminal defamation

On 10th December 2019, Panama’s Fórum de Periodistas por la Libertades de Expresión e Información (Journalists’ Forum for Freedom of Expression and Information) published a report on freedom of expression between 1st December 2018 and 30th November 2019. In the report, the criminalisation of slander and libel is highlighted as a serious restriction. In addition, according to the report, lawsuits demanding millions in compensation from journalists for “crimes against honour” have multiplied. Read more

Report on freedom of expression highlights criminal defamation

Discriminatory citizenship law sparks a month of protests in India and brutal response from police

Over the last month, a divisive and discriminatory citizenship law has sparked widespread protests in India. It has been met with excessive force and deadly violence by the authorities, with at least 27 killed and hundreds injured. Critics of the law and activists have been arrested while there have been allegations of torture in detention by the police in Uttar Pradesh. The police also failed to protect attacks against students by a pro-government mob at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Read more

Discriminatory citizenship law sparks a month of protests in India and brutal response from police

Despite political change in Nauru, judiciary convicts 2015 protesters

In December 2019, a group of high-profile protesters known as the Nauru 19 were found guilty of rioting and other charges. They were charged after they had organised a protest outside parliament in June 2015 against the suspension of three parliamentarians for granting interviews, critical of the government, to foreign media. Read more

Despite political change in Nauru, judiciary convicts 2015 protesters

Activists disappeared or arrested in Pakistan while media faces restrictions and threats

Over the last few months, Pakistani human rights defender Idris Khattak was forcibly disappeared, activist Muhammad Ismail was arbitrarily detained on trumped up charges, while his daughter and women rights activist Gulalai Ismail fled the country. The authorities also denied entry to a representative from the Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ), warned news anchors not to express their opinions, while journalists from the Dawn newspaper faced threats for their reporting. Student protesters including Alamgir Wazir were arrested and charged for their activism. Read more

Activists disappeared or arrested in Pakistan while media faces restrictions and threats