Civic Space Developments

Crackdown on feminist rallies and harassment of former political prisoners in Nicaragua

Freedom House’s “Freedom in the World” report, an annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide, continued to classify Nicaragua as "Not Free". Published on 4th March 2020, the annual report notes that Nicaragua had one of the largest declines in these rights and freedoms in the past 10 years, behind only Venezuela in the Americas. Read more

Crackdown on feminist rallies and harassment of former political prisoners in Nicaragua

Activists and opposition face judicial harassment as emergency measures in Thailand raise concerns

Protesters holding a “Run Against Dictatorship” in January 2020 faced obstruction, harassment and intimidation. A leading opposition party was dissolved by the courts in February 2020, a move that many believe was politically motivated. Authorities have dropped serious charges against officials involved in the murder of a prominent ethnic Karen activist. A journalist was convicted for her social media post and human rights defenders continue to face charges for exposing labour abuses. New emergency laws passed could threaten the right to freedom of expression and access to information Read more

Activists and opposition face judicial harassment as emergency measures in Thailand raise concerns

El Salvador’s response to COVID-19 excessively restricts fundamental rights, say CSOs

On 22nd March 2020, security forces in El Salvador began enforcing a government-mandated lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the policy’s first night, 269 people across the country were reportedly detained for breaking the quarantine. Since emergency measures were implemented, local civil society organisations have urged public authorities to exercise exceptional powers responsibly, for instance by developing protocols to avoid illegal detentions. Read more

El Salvador’s response to COVID-19 excessively restricts fundamental rights, say CSOs

Online debate on Dong Tam incident followed by pandemic silenced by Vietnam authorities

Since January 2020, the Vietnam government has attempted to silence any online debate or criticism of the government’s handling of a land dispute in Dong Tam that left four people dead. The authorities have also convicted well-known journalist and blogger Truong Duy Nhat to ten years in prison and have been seeking to block the dissemination of information online around the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is also modelling China and forcing activists and political prisoners to undergo public confessions on television. Read more

Online debate on Dong Tam incident followed by pandemic silenced by Vietnam authorities

Protesters tents removed; Syrian refugees face discriminatory Coronavirus emergency measures

Following the order of the Lebanese Minister of Interior, security forces destroyed and removed tents erected by protesters in downtown Beirut. Riot police used some excessive force and about 10 protesters were detained overnight. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, activists say that the revolution is continuing online. As part of the Coronavirus emergency measures about 21 municipalities have introduced restrictions which discriminate against Syrian refugees. The restrictions impose a curfew for Syrian refugees only and go beyond the national government’s nationwide curfew. Read more

Protesters tents removed; Syrian refugees face discriminatory Coronavirus emergency measures

Eight HRDs arrested and prosecuted for protesting against corruption

Police dispersed a protest organised by civil society actors in Niamey on 15th March 2020 to denounce corruption in the purchase of military material, and arrested several civil society actors in the aftermath of the protest. The protest was previously banned through a Council of Minister's decision taken on 13th March 2020 prohibiting public gatherings of more than 1,000 persons as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As the organisers, the pro-democracy movement Tournons la Page Niger, who notified authorities of the planned protest, did not receive an official notification of the prohibition of the protests, they decided to move ahead with the march. At least 15 people, including eight civil society activists, were detained by authorities between 15th and 17th March 2020 for participation in an unauthorised protest. Read more  |  Read in French

Eight HRDs arrested and prosecuted for protesting against corruption

Calls for newly elected government to repeal the so- called ‘Gag Law'

The so called “gag law” has been used by the previous government to restrict the right to protest and the media’s coverage of protests. However, there is a clear intention on the part of the new government to reform the Criminal Code and to repeal the parts that are used to undermine freedom of expression. In a separate development, far-right party VOX continues to attack media organisations and journalists. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Calls for newly elected government to repeal the so- called ‘Gag Law'

Massive protests after suspension of municipal elections in Dominican Republic

On 16th February 2020, the Dominican Republic abruptly suspended nationwide municipal elections which were already in progress. People had been casting ballots for hours when election officials reportedly realised that there was an issue with about 60% of the electronic voting machines. In response, the Dominican Central Electoral Board made the decision to suspend the elections. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Massive protests after suspension of municipal elections in Dominican Republic

Attacks on journalists on the rise as religious groups clash with police

As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, there have been persistent concerns over media freedom in Montenegro. On 23rd January 2020 for Journalist's Day, Montenegrin media workers reminded authorities that there are still many unresolved cases of violence against journalists. This period was marked by protests over the “Church-state confrontation” where supporters of the Serbian Orthodox Church continued protesting against the controversial new Law on Freedom of Religion. Read more

Attacks on journalists on the rise as religious groups clash with police

Opposition supporters demonstrate to demand resignation of prime minister

Opposition supporters protest in Maseru to demand the resignation of the Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane, citing failure to respect rule of law Read more

Tags: protest
Opposition supporters demonstrate to demand resignation of prime minister