Latest Developments

Canada Day marked by vigils and protests following discovery of Indigenous children’s unmarked grave

This year’s Canada Day on 1st July 2021 was marked by vigils and protests following the recent discovery of more than 1,000 unmarked graves of Indigenous children at former residential schools. At least 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their families to attend the schools over a century as part of the campaign to assimilate the children into Canadian society. Read more

Canada Day marked by vigils and protests following discovery of Indigenous children’s unmarked grave

Protests around Olympics opening while civil society slams failure to pass anti-discrimination bill

Protests that have persisted against the Olympic Games over the last year have continued around the opening ceremony. Civil society has slammed the government for shelving an anti-discrimination bill. In a positive move, the International Olympic Committee slightly relaxed its rules against protests by athletes as long as they are not disruptive. Read more

Tags: LGBTI | protest
Protests around Olympics opening while civil society slams failure to pass anti-discrimination bill

Fear and self-censorship in Cuba following mass anti-government protests

After anti-government protests flared up across Cuba on 11th July 2021, rights group Cubalex reported that over 500 people had been detained or were reported missing in the context of the demonstrations. Read more

Fear and self-censorship in Cuba following mass anti-government protests

Protests over gender-based violence, office of LGBTI rights organisation vandalised

On 3rd May 2021, the headquarters of Cogam, a non-profit organisation that has been fighting for the equality of LGBTI people in Madrid was vandalised with transphobic graffiti messages opposing the Law on Sexual Diversity. On 11th June 2021, spontaneous protests were held across the country against gender-based violence after the body of a six-year-old girl named Olivia was found on the seabed of the Canary Island, Tenerife. Related to LGBTI rights, on , on 29th June 2021, the government however approved a draft bill that would have allowed legal gender recognition based on self-determination. Read more

Protests over gender-based violence, office of LGBTI rights organisation vandalised

The Gambia adopts Access to Information Law

On 1st July 2021, Gambia’s National Assembly adopted the Access to Information (ATI) Bill, which is currently waiting for the President’s assent. The ATI Bill in the Gambia was a result of close collaboration between civil society – organised through the CSO Coalition on ATI – and government departments. Read more

The Gambia adopts Access to Information Law

Organisers take legal action after municipality prevents LGBTI march from going ahead

On 9th June 2021, Belarusian activists in Lithuania organised a rally at a border crossing in Medininkai to block traffic to and from Belarus. The aim of the protest was to put pressure on Belarus and call for stricter EU sanctions. The protest was not authorised by Lithuanian authorities and protesters attempting to block roads were threatened by police and the Lithuanian Border Guard Service (VSAT) with detention and fines. In a separate development, organisers of the first LGBTI Pride march in the city of Kaunas are suing the municipality over its refusal to issue a permit for the event, which is planned to take place on 4th September 2021. Even though the organisers proposed three different routes through the city, they were all rejected due to infrastructure renovation works and the “disproportionate inconvenience” due to traffic disruptions that the protest may cause. Related to LGBTI rights, on 4th June 2021, the National Association of Families and Parents sent a letter to the Lithuanian Radio and Television Council (LRT) complaining that there is too much LGBTI representation and that this “propaganda can no longer be tolerated.” Read more

Organisers take legal action after municipality prevents LGBTI march from going ahead

Unrelenting harassment of activists and critics by police to stifle all forms of dissent in Malaysia

In recent months, the government continued to curtail fundamental freedoms and intimidate activists and journalists. Dozens have been hauled up by the police for peaceful protests critical of the government and its policies. Activists faced investigation for raising issues related to police brutality and the government handling of the pandemic, while journalists were also targeted for their reporting. Amidst a worsening COVID-19 crisis, the government continued to use the anti-fake news ordinance against individuals, a move criticised as detrimental to promoting access to information which is essential during a public health crisis. P
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Unrelenting harassment of activists and critics by police to stifle all forms of dissent in Malaysia

Antiterrorism laws further threaten civic space in Senegal

On 25th June 2021, Senegal’s National Assembly passed two draft laws, modifying the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, with the aim of “reinforcing the fight against terrorism”, but they contain problematic and overly broad provisions which could affect civic freedoms negatively. Opposition and civil society groups have denounced the adopted laws as an attempt to limit opposition and to restrict the right to protest Read more  |  Read in French

Antiterrorism laws further threaten civic space in Senegal

El Salvador: Step backward for transparency in proposal to reform Access to Public Information Law

On 7th July 2021, the Nayib Bukele government presented a bill which would make regressive reforms to El Salvador’s Access to Public Information Law (Ley de Acceso a la Información Pública), undermining government transparency. Read more

El Salvador: Step backward for transparency in proposal to reform Access to Public Information Law

Enabling CSO strategy and protest for murdered journalist

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted in June 2021 the Draft of the National Strategy for Promoting Civil Society Development 2021-2026. The public debates on the document were launched in 2020. According to the CSO Meter, the new National Strategy defines four strategic objectives and aims to create favourable conditions for developing Ukrainian CSOs, charitable foundations and self-organisation bodies. The document comes with a new principle that underlines the necessity to consult civil society experts regarding each decision about their activity. Read more

Enabling CSO strategy and protest for murdered journalist