bureaucratic restriction

Protests escalate in Afghanistan as frustration with Taliban rule and abuses grow

In recent months, protests by women activists have been met by restrictions and violence as well as arrests, torture and ill-treatment. Media outlets have been banned and journalists covering protests restricted. Books and social media apps are being banned while political parties have effectively been banned. Read more

Protests escalate in Afghanistan as frustration with Taliban rule and abuses grow

Palestinian activists face lawsuit and ban; climate activists threatened with SLAPPs

In December 2021, after long and intense protests by climate organisations and scientists, the ‘Lobautunnel’ project was put on hold by climate and transport minister Eleonore Gewessler. Nonetheless, the Municipality of Vienna threatened to initiate court proceedings against individual protesters - some of them minors - scientists and civil society organisations involved in the demonstrations against ‘Lobautunnel’. Separately, a member of BDS Austria is being sued for defamation by the municipality of Vienna over a social media post. This case sheds light on the underlying hostile context for Palestinian rights advocates in Austria, Read more

Palestinian activists face lawsuit and ban; climate activists threatened with SLAPPs

Government agencies used to silence dissent in India as its rights record is scrutinised at the UN

In recent months we have continued to see raids and investigation of NGOs, detention of human rights defenders, journalists and protesters, restrictions on journalists and disruption of protests Read more

Government agencies used to silence dissent in India as its rights record is scrutinised at the UN

Protesters face judicial harassment while restrictions to freedom of expression persist in Malaysia

In recent months, the police continued to harass organisers and participants of protests, including activists and politicians, related to the rising prices of goods and the cost of living, around a combat ship scandal, the situation in Iran and around the election date. At least four people have been charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. The authorities have also criminalised politicians and a comedian for their expression and are investigating a book by the former Attorney General. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) found a company to have violated the freedom of association of its workers, while a gender-diverse gathering was raided by the authorities. Read more

Protesters face judicial harassment while restrictions to freedom of expression persist in Malaysia

Macron secures second term, climate movement targeted via Separatism bill

While President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected for a second term in April 2022, the presidential coalition Ensemble lost the absolute majority in the National Assembly following legislative elections in June 2022. After the results of the presidential election were announced on 24th April 2022, far-left protesters took to the streets in Mayor-run French cities. In Paris, Rennes and Toulouse some incidents were reported as police clashed with protesters. Concerning developments that took place in relation to the so-called Separatism bill. On 13th September 2022, the prefect of the Vienne department sent letters to public authorities in the Poitiers area urging them to withdraw their funding of “Village des Alternatives”, a festival organised by Alternatiba, a grassroots movement fighting against climate change and social inequalities. According to the prefect, the scheduled activities would allegedly breach the “contract of republican commitment”. However, the mayor of Poitiers, one of the recipients of the letter, criticised the request of the prefect as disproportionate and offered her support to Alternatiba, refusing to defund the activities. Read more  |  Read in French

Macron secures second term, climate movement targeted via Separatism bill

Court awards damages for defamation in Tonga, media blocked during visit of delegation from China

Mele Teusiva ‘Amanaki, the Secretary General of Tonga's Public Service Association Incorporated (PSA) was awarded damages by the Supreme Court after winning a defamation lawsuit against the Tonga Weekly newspaper and its former editor. In many of the Pacific countries, the media were barred from filming or accessing events. During a visit by a Chinese delegation, the media was blocked. There was no briefing and no press conference, but media were allowed access to take photos. Read more

Court awards damages for defamation in Tonga, media blocked during visit of delegation from China

University protests against riot police deployment continue, Predator-gate scandal raises further concerns about surveillance

In September 2022, university students and staff protested several times in Athens against the deployment of police forces, the so-called University Institutions Protection Teams (OPPI) on university campuses. Protests and marches were also held in Thessaloniki against the deployment of riot police at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki campus. As of September 2022, a new controversial regulation is currently in public consultation. The new legislation would create a committee to monitor whether the principles of journalistic ethics and conduct have been observed. If the committee finds that they were not, they can remove the given media organisation from the registry and exclude it from state funding for two years. Additionally, abusive legal proceedings were launched against a journalist who was spied on with Predator. Read more

University protests against riot police deployment continue,  Predator-gate scandal raises further concerns about surveillance

Lack of accountability for ‘’Bloody January’’ events & persecution of critics undermine pledged modernisation

The lack of justice and accountability for the ‘’Bloody January’’ 2022 events remained a key concern due to the failure of the authorities to impartially, thoroughly and effectively investigate allegations of excessive force, torture and ill-treatment, and other violations related to these events. For example, while 70 percent of those surveyed by KIBHR reported torture and ill-treatment in detention during the January events, only 15 law enforcement officials were under investigation for torture as of mid-August 2022. The first court proceedings against police officers facing such charges began in early September 2022. Hundreds of criminal cases related to the January events had been submitted to court as of August 2022, while other cases were pending trial. These cases include those of at least 30 civil society and opposition activists . The most high-profile activist case related to the January events is that of opposition Democratic Party leader Zhanbolat Mamai, who remained in pre-trial detention on multiple charges initiated in retaliation for his opposition activities Read more

Lack of accountability for ‘’Bloody January’’ events & persecution of critics undermine pledged modernisation

Bolivia: coca growers’ protests marked by violence and use of excessive force

In August 2022, organisations Centro de Investigación y Promoción del Campesinado (CIPCA) and Fundación “Acción Cultural Loyola” (ACLO) reported facing harassment seeking to obstruct their work supporting Indigenous peoples in Huacaya, Chuquisaca. Read more

Bolivia: coca growers’ protests marked by violence and use of excessive force

Costa Rica: concerns over stigmatisation of media and government actions to limit access to information

On 8th July 2022, Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health suspended the operating permit of Parque Viva, an event venue in Alajuela owned by Grupo La Nación, the parent company of newspaper La Nación. Read more

Costa Rica: concerns over stigmatisation of media and government actions to limit access to information