Civic Space Developments

Haiti: journalist released after 20 days in captivity

On 16th July 2022, the UN human rights office warned of worsening violence in and around the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and an increase in abuse against vulnerable local communities at the hands of heavily armed gangs. Read more

Haiti: journalist released after 20 days in captivity

Journalists in Timor-Leste face charges for exposing corruption and abuse, tainting media freedom

In recent months, two journalists have been charged for exposing corruption and police abuse. Journalists also had to protest in order to be able to question Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi when he visited the country. Read more

Journalists in Timor-Leste face charges for exposing corruption and abuse, tainting media freedom

Authorities declare nationwide curfew amid deadly protests sparked by the rising cost of living

At least a dozen people were killed during protests that erupted in Freetown and other major cities in Sierra Leone on 10th August 2022. The demonstrations, gathering hundreds of people, were sparked by high inflation, the rising cost of basic goods and the perceived failure of the government to cushion the effects of these rising prices. Read more

Authorities declare nationwide curfew amid deadly protests sparked by the rising cost of living

CSOs raise concerns over lack of consultations during parliamentary process

Irish civil society is becoming increasingly alarmed by the government’s abuse of the legislative process in the Irish Parliament. Recent controversies have emerged regarding the adding of extensive last-minute amendments to important legislation, with no time for scrutiny, and the guillotining of debates. For example, in late March 2022, the revised Electoral Reform Bill was published by the Irish parliament. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) was disappointed to note that the recommendations which the organisation fought to have included in the pre-legislative scrutiny report on civil society freedom haven’t been included in the revised Bill. Read more

CSOs raise concerns over lack of consultations during parliamentary process

Colombia: human rights defenders and local leaders impacted by violence in rural areas

On 26th July 2022, the UN Human Rights Office published a report on the rising violence in rural areas of Colombia. According to the study, violence fell dramatically after the signing of the Peace Agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016, but increased again as non-state armed groups and criminal organisations expanded their presence, particularly over the past two years. Read more

Colombia: human rights defenders and local leaders impacted by violence in rural areas

El Salvador: Thousands join LGBTQIA+ Pride March

On 25th June 2022, thousands of people joined the LGBTQIA+ Pride March in San Salvador. A key demand of the demonstration was the approval of a Gender Identity Law that would create an institutionalised mechanism for legal recognition of gender identity for transgender persons. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: Thousands join LGBTQIA+ Pride March

Bangladesh authorities intensify persecution of rights group Odhikar, journalists, and critics

In recent months, civic space violations have continued to take place, including the judicial harassment of human rights group Odhikar and their staff as well as ongoing attacks by ruling party youth activists, carried out with impunity. There have been cases of arrests and attacks against journalists, the use of blasphemy charges against teachers, and the seven-year conviction of a student for a social media post critical of the government. Regulations to increase control over the digital space has also been proposed in the government. Read more

Bangladesh authorities intensify persecution of rights group Odhikar, journalists, and critics

CSOs report new wave of oppression against human rights defenders and civil society

CHRI reported that there had been an intensification in the Iranian authorities’ crackdown on dissent in the month since the intelligence chief of the Iranian military’s Islamic Revolutionary Corps (IRC) was replaced; Iranian authorities sentenced five prominent human rights defenders to prison for attempting to file a legal complaint against government agencies and officials for mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis; CSOs draw attention to trend by authorities to repeatedly sentence and imprison women human rights defenders in a revolving prison door that will never let them be free; civil society organisations released a joint statement condemning and calling for the release of LGBTIQ+ activist Zahra Sedighi-Hamadani, known as Sareh, who has been in detention since October 2021 Read more

CSOs report new wave of oppression against human rights defenders and civil society

Cuba: Repercussions of June 2021 mass protests still felt

One year after anti-government protests broke out across Cuba on 11th July 2021, the repercussions of these demonstrations are still being felt. Judicial proceedings against protesters are still ongoing, and civil society organisations report that the supression of civic space has intensified since then. Read more

Cuba: Repercussions of June 2021 mass protests still felt

Samoan authorities use defamation laws against critics as press freedom rankings drop

In recent months, there have been cases of defamation charges reported, including against the opposition leader, an Australian based Samoan radio station, and a radio presenter. Press freedom rankings for Samoa have dropped as access to state information has become more challenging to obtain. Read more

Samoan authorities use defamation laws against critics as press freedom rankings drop