Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand - excessive force

Despite sanctions, abuses against activists, journalists and protesters persist in Bangladesh

Human rights abuses have continued to be reported including judicial harassment of human rights defenders as well as the families of activists in exile. Families of the disappeared have been coerced to sign statements denying the violation took place. Journalists have also been targeted as well as media outlets critical of the state. The police have also disrupted and used excessive force against protesters. In some cases, ruling party supporters were also involved in attacks on protesters with impunity. Read more

Despite sanctions, abuses against activists, journalists and protesters persist in Bangladesh

Authorities harass and squeeze funding of NGOs while activists, journalists targeted in India

The authorities have blocked access to foreign funding for NGOs using the restrictive Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act and raided the offices of human rights groups for allegedly violating the law. There continues to be a lack of accountability on the use of the Pegasus spyware against activists, while human rights defenders and journalists continue to be targeted, including in Jammu and Kashmir. Activists and protesters also remain in detention on various trumped up charges. Read more

Authorities harass and squeeze funding of NGOs while activists, journalists targeted in India

Crackdown on union strike in Cambodia while repression of opposition and critics continues

In recent months, despite the release of activists, Hun Sen’s government continued to target members of the banned Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and journalists. The extradition of two opposition activists and political refugees from Thailand to Cambodia has raised criticism on the collusion between the two ASEAN countries and the lack of protection provided to those who have fled repression in Cambodia. Protests have also been suppressed including during the 30th anniversary of the Paris Peace agreements and most recently around the strike by a casino workers’ union. Read more

Crackdown on union strike in Cambodia while repression of opposition and critics continues

Thai activists and protesters face judicial harassment, excessive force despite upcoming UN review

In recent months activists and protest leaders have continued to be summoned, arrested and detained on various charges including royal defamation and sedition. Some have been denied bail. A new emergency regulation issued in August 2021 threatens online freedoms. Criminal defamation charges have been brought by companies against a woman activist and a journalist. Police have used excessive force including water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protests. Protesters have been detained and suffered injuries, including children. Concerns continue to be raised about a draft law which includes counter-terrorism financing measures to regulate non-profit groups.
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Thai activists and protesters face judicial harassment, excessive force despite upcoming UN review

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

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

Activists, journalists continue to face reprisals as COVID-19 law exacerbates violations in Cambodia

In recent months, environmental defenders have been charged and convicted for advocacy against environmental destruction. Opposition members, journalists and perceived dissidents continue to face reprisals from the government and from non-state actors. Read more

Activists, journalists continue to face reprisals as COVID-19 law exacerbates violations in Cambodia

Activists at risk as repression in Papua escalates while Indonesia imposes further net restrictions

Over the last few months, activists from Papua have been arrested and charged for their activism. Those protesting against government policies, including students, have faced harassment, detention and even attacks from non-state actors with impunity. The internet has been disrupted in Papua and journalists have been targeted. Internet laws have been used to silence criticism of authorities in Papua. The authorities are bringing in new internet regulations which poses serious risks to privacy, freedom of speech and access to information. Read more

Activists at risk as repression in Papua escalates while Indonesia imposes further net restrictions

Press freedom under assault in Bangladesh while critics, protesters also silenced

In recent months, journalists have been targeted for their reporting on the pandemic or being critical of the authorities. Some have been criminalised and attacked, including Rozina Islam, Abu Tayeb Munshi and Ruhul Amin Gazi and there is still no accountability for the death of writer and commentator Mushtaq Ahmed. Reports of police brutality and attacks by pro-government groups against anti-Modi protesters in March 2021 have yet to be investigated. Read more

Press freedom under assault in Bangladesh while critics, protesters also silenced

Crackdown on Thai activists continues as new restrictive NGO law proposed

Since the beginning of 2021, scores of activists have been charged for lese majeste, sedition and other violations, including seven leading pro-democracy protesters who have been denied bail. A restrictive new NGO law has been proposed that could be used to muzzle civil society groups and non-governmental organisations. The security forces have used rubber bullets, tears gas and water cannon to disperse protests while the authorities are increasingly invoking the lese majeste laws to restrict public discourse on the monarchy. Read more

Crackdown on Thai activists continues as new restrictive NGO law proposed