Civic Space Developments

Arrests and fines for environmental activists after civil disobedience acts

On 23rd August 2021, 17 activists from the environmental group Extinction Rebellion occupied the entrance to Norway's Petroleum and Energy Ministry in Oslo for more than five hours. The blockade ended with police arresting 19 activists, with another 29 people arrested on the same day for blocking one of the main roads in the Norwegian capital. Read more

Arrests and fines for environmental activists after civil disobedience acts

Human rights defenders, critics targeted in Indonesia while protests on Papua repressed

In recent months, activists have been targeted for comments they made during an online talk or for reporting on corruption. An academic has been jailed for defamation while street artists are being silenced for a mural and graffiti critical of the state. A West Papuan activist facing trial has been hospitalised while there has been a lack of accountability for excessive force and other violations by the security forces during several protests related to Papua. Read more

Human rights defenders, critics targeted in Indonesia while protests on Papua repressed

Attacks, pressure on dissent and opposition unrelenting

Members of the country’s main opposition party, Chadema, arrested just hours ahead of planned conference in Mwanza; Authorities in Mwanza ban “unnecessary gatherings” as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19, a day before the Chadema party’s planned conference; protesters demanding the release of Chadema party leader arrested; publication and distribution of Raia Mwema, a weekly tabloid, suspended for 30 days Read more

Attacks, pressure on dissent and opposition unrelenting

CSOs propose government priorities for sector, while protesters march against mandatory vaccination

CSOs propose government priorities for civil society sector; Protest against mandatory Covid-19 vaccination held Read more

CSOs propose government priorities for sector, while protesters march against mandatory vaccination

Violent protest against LGBTIQ+ ends in anti-government protests

Protesters denounce new law pardoning violent dispersal of 2019 protests; Violent protest against LGBTIQ+ ends in anti-government protests ; Azerbaijani blogger killed in Georgia under unclear circumstances; State Security Service condemned for surveillance activities

Read more

Violent protest against LGBTIQ+ ends in anti-government protests

Highest number of protests recorded, whistle blower and trade unionist killed

increasing waves of protest action recorded as country reaches all time high; residents of Middleburg take to the streets to denounce new tariff hikes; protesters gather outside the East London Magistrate’s Court where the bail hearing of Alutha Pasile, a man believed to have brutally murdered 23 year old Nosicelo Mtebeni, was being held; protesters under the #CodeRed Feminist movement took to the streets in various cities across the country and gathered in key national buildings including Constitution Hill and the Union Buildings to demand a Universal Basic Income Grant among other demands; Malibongwe Mdazo, an organiser of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), publicly gunned down; Read more

Highest number of protests recorded, whistle blower and trade unionist killed

Activists and journalists at risk, crackdown on protests in Afghanistan following Taliban takeover

On 15th August 2021, the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan after the government collapsed and two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal. Civic space violations have been documented including house-to-house searches for activists, excessive use of force or firearms against peaceful protesters and raids as well as the torture and ill-treatment of journalists with impunity. Read more

Activists and journalists at risk, crackdown on protests in Afghanistan following Taliban takeover

Indian government snooping row sparks outrage as restrictions on civic freedoms persist

Calls for the authorities to release human rights defenders and activists detained under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) have escalated following an exposé by online news portal The Wire and 16 other media organisations which revealed the names of people who were either persons of interest or forensically identified as having been targeted by clients of the Israel-based NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. Farmers have continued protests against the new farm laws despite restriction, arbitrary arrests and excessive force by the authorities. There have also been new reports on restrictions on civic freedoms in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir
Read more

Indian government snooping row sparks outrage as restrictions on civic freedoms persist

Fiji government continues to silence dissent as impunity for torture persists

Over the last few months, the police harassed critics of a controversial land bill by detaining nine opposition politicians under the restrictive Public Order Act for questioning. A former surgeon with the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jone Hawea, was also taken in by police over his comments related to the government’s COVID-19 handling. A youth activist spoke publicly about the human rights violations he experienced in 2006 following the coup, highlighting the ongoing culture of impunity in Fiji. Read more

Fiji government continues to silence dissent as impunity for torture persists

Argentina: protests in memory of pandemic victims, demanding rights and policy changes

On 16th August 2021, hundreds of people joined the “Marcha de las Piedras” (March of the Stones) in remembrance of the more then 100,000 people who had died from COVID-19 in Argentina and to protest against President Alberto Fernández’s administration for its handling of the pandemic. Read more

Argentina: protests in memory of pandemic victims, demanding rights and policy changes