India, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand - restrictive law

Indian authorities target activists, journalists as they suppress support for the farmers’ protests

Since early January 2021, the authorities have continued to suppress and demonise the farmers protest movement using excessive force with over a hundred detained and charged as well as blocking roads and protests spaces. Activists supporting them have been criminalised using draconian laws as well as journalists reporting and commenting on the protests. The government has also attempted to silence criticism online. Read more

Indian authorities target activists, journalists as they suppress support for the  farmers’ protests

Singapore targets peaceful protesters and continues judicial harassment of critics

In recent months the Singaporean authorities have continued to use the restrictive Public Order Act to charge human rights activist Jolovan Wham, arrest LGBT activists and warn social media users against peacefully protesting. It has also continued to harass independent news outlet New Naratif and to prosecute critics for defamation. Read more

Singapore targets peaceful protesters and continues judicial harassment of critics

Persecution of activists, raids in Kashmir and increasing restrictions on foreign funding in India

In September 2020, the Indian Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2020 was adopted which would impose further restrictions on civil society. In October 2020, Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy was the latest activist to be arrested under the UAPA while the health of detained poet and social activist Varavara Rao continues to deteriorate. Also, in October, raids were conducted on human rights defenders, non-governmental organisations and newspapers in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Journalists and human rights lawyers continue to be targeted for exercising their freedom of speech while student activists and protesters remain in jail for their activism. Farmers continue to protest against new farm laws. Read more

Persecution of activists, raids in Kashmir and increasing restrictions on foreign funding in India

Thai authorities use excessive force, lese-majeste laws to clamp down on pro-democracy protests

There have been ongoing pro-democracy protests in Thailand demanding the dissolution of Thailand’s military-backed government led by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the drafting of a new constitution and an end to the harassment of activists and government critics. Over the last month, the authorities have continued to attempt to suppress the protests by using excessive force and blocking public spaces, charging protest leaders for lese-majeste, targeting student protesters and using disinformation tactics
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Thai authorities use excessive force, lese-majeste laws to clamp down on pro-democracy protests

Authorities escalate crackdown on the youth-led protest movement in Thailand

The Thai authorities have escalated their crackdown on peaceful protests in Thailand in recent weeks. TLHR and Article 19 reported that at least 90 individuals were arrested between 13th and 21st October 2020 and peaceful protests have been dispersed, in some instances with excessive force. Read more

Authorities escalate crackdown on the youth-led protest movement in Thailand

Singapore government continues to harass its critics as share of popular vote falls

In recent months, the authorities have continued to use the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) against its online critics. It is also continuing its harassment of critical news site New Naratif for allegedly breaking its restrictive election laws. Human rights defender Jolovan Whan spent 10 days in jail for holding a public discussion, while a group of Myanmar nationals are being investigated for holding a peaceful protest. NGOs are also calling for better protection of migrant workers. Read more

Singapore government continues to harass its critics as share of popular vote falls

Activists, academics and journalists in India face judicial harassment despite pandemic

The Narendra Modi government has continued its persecution of human rights defenders, activists, student leaders and journalists. Political activists and student leaders continue to be the government’s prime targets, with some detained under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and for sedition. A raging pandemic and national lockdown has not stopped the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from making more arrests in the controversial Bhima Koregaon case of 2018. Human rights groups have continued to remain concerned about violations in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
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Activists, academics and journalists in India face judicial harassment despite pandemic

Ongoing use of repressive laws, Thai activist abducted, increased surveillance in the South

In the last few months, there have been ongoing use of repressive laws, a prominent Thai pro-democracy activist was abducted in Cambodia, while there have been reports of increased surveillance using biometric data in the southern Malay Muslim provinces including a facial recognition system. A Thai poultry company continues to target human rights defenders while a new report highlights how the authorities are using repressive laws to intensify the crackdown on online critics. Read more

Ongoing use of repressive laws, Thai activist abducted, increased surveillance in the South

Civic space restrictions continue unabated in Singapore despite COVID-19 pandemic, as election looms

In the past few months, Singapore has continued to crack down on lone protesters, sustained its use of the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) to restrict freedom of expression online and harassed individuals under Singapore’s contempt of court law Read more

Civic space restrictions continue unabated in Singapore despite COVID-19 pandemic, as election looms

In India the situation of activists and journalists remains precarious under the COVID-19 lockdown

Human rights defenders across India continue to be arrested and detained - some under draconian laws - despite the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, for raising questions or criticising the authorities. Journalists have also been targeted, including in Indian administered Kashmir. The authorities have also used the opportunity to destroy the Shaheen Bagh protest site in Delhi and to criminalise those protesting the discriminatory Citizen Amendment Act (CAA). Read more

In India the situation of activists and journalists remains precarious under the COVID-19 lockdown