India, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand - restrictive law

Civil society concerned about physical attacks and ongoing prosecution of Thai activists

In the last few months, there have been physical attacks against activists and human rights defenders or activists who have disappeared or placed under surveillance. Further, land rights activists from Sai Thong National Park have been prosecuted and jailed while pro-democracy student activists are facing sedition charges. Read more

Civil society concerned about physical attacks and ongoing prosecution of Thai activists

Arbitrary arrests, judicial harassment and attacks on activists and critics in India persist

Over the last few months, there has been the continued use of restrictive laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Sedition Act to harass, criminalise and detain activists and silence dissent. Cases have also been documented of attacks and ill-treatment of activists by the police, attacks on journalists and at least one case of an activist that has gone missing. Read more

Arbitrary arrests, judicial harassment and attacks on activists and critics in India persist

Singapore parliament passes ‘Online Falsehoods Bill’ despite civil society concerns

The ‘Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill’ to combat fake news was submitted to parliament in April 2019 and has been tabled for a second reading in May despite concerns it could stifle freedom of expression. Activist Jolovan Wham was sentenced to a fine or days in prison, in February 2019 for organising an ‘illegal assembly’ and for contempt of court in April 2019. Singapore has remained ranked at a dismal 151st spot out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index released in April 2019 Read more

Singapore parliament passes ‘Online Falsehoods Bill’ despite civil society concerns

Media censored, activists silenced and opposition weakened ahead of Thai elections

Ahead of the 24 March elections there have been continued reports of media outlets and journalists being censored, activists being silenced and criminalised and opposition politicians being targeted . Further, restrictive laws and decrees issued by the military junta have yet to be lifted. Read more

Media censored,  activists silenced and opposition weakened ahead of Thai elections

Increasing use of judicial system in Singapore to silence critics

In January 2019, Jolovan Wham, a human rights defender was found guilty by the Singapore District Court for organising an ‘illegal assembly without a police permit’ in violation of the Public Order Act, and for refusing to sign a police statement Read more

Increasing use of judicial system in Singapore to silence critics

Singapore cracks down on critical news websites to silence dissent

In November 2018, Singapore blocked a critical news website and is investigating another on charges of defamation. Read more

Singapore cracks down on critical news websites to silence dissent

Civil society calls for all restrictions to be lifted ahead of elections as persecution continues

As Thailand inches closer to holding long-delayed elections, peaceful protesters , government critics and opposition politicians continue to face investigations and charges Read more

Civil society calls for all restrictions to be lifted ahead of elections as persecution continues

Fake news law proposal, another tool to crackdown on critics

In September 2018, a parliamentary Select Committee on” deliberate online falsehoods” made 22 recommendations to halt the viral spread of fake news including the adoption of laws Read more

Fake news law proposal, another tool to crackdown on critics

Critics of military junta continue to be criminalised

The military junta continues to use sedition and other laws restricting expression and assembly against its critics. The courts have thrown out cases of criminal defamation filed by businesses. In the Deep South activists continue to be detained under martial law. Read more

Critics of military junta continue to be criminalised

Singapore Public Order Act used to restrict or criminalise expression and peaceful assembly

Civil society groups believe the Public Order and Safety (Special Powers) Act 2018 passed by the Parliament in March 2018 poses an additional threat to fundamental freedoms in Singapore. Read more

Singapore Public Order Act used to restrict or criminalise expression and peaceful assembly