Friday 30.10.2020 Namibia - Latest Developments -
Throughout several months this year, there have been a series of abductions and gender-based violence cases which prompted youths and civil society organisations to begin protests calling for government action to address the rising numbers; CSOs call for enactment of Access to Information Bil Read more
Monday 26.10.2020 Hungary - Latest Developments -
The attacks on freedom of expression have not stopped with the demise of Index- the leading independent news site in Hungary. On 11th September 2020, Hungary’s Media Council decided not to automatically extend the licence of the radio station Klubrádió. Klubrádió, which is one of the few remaining critical outlets in Hungary, has, according to the government-appointed Media Council, repeatedly violated the country’s media law. For this reason, the Media Council said, the radio outlet would have to apply for a new licence. Independent media are not the only bodies subject to threats from Hungary’s illiberal forces. Academic freedom is also under threat as students from the University of Theatre and Film Arts have staged protests, since 31st August 2020, against the Orban government’s infiltration of their university. In an attack on LGBTI rights, during an online press conference, Dora Duro, a politician of the far-right party Mi Hazank (Our Homeland) attacked a new children’s book which retells fairy tales with LGBTI+ individuals as the main characters. Read more
Monday 19.10.2020 Uganda - Latest Developments -
Ugandan Communications Commission issues a public notice stating that anyone wishing to publish information online needs to be issued with a licence; New draft regulations to require comedy performers to sign a code of ethics and have their scripts approved by a committee; Protesters supporting opposition party NUP dispersed and arrested; Read more
Monday 19.10.2020 Croatia - Latest Developments -
During the reporting period, several gatherings were held, while adhering to the recommendations to curb the spread of COVID-19. However, the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak stated that there is a high possibility that gatherings will be limited again in the autumn. The Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) and the Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers of Croatia (SNH) sent an open letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek reminding them of unresolved challenges facing journalists and calling for a quality media strategy, new media laws and journalism funds. They also called on the government to adopt the promised media legislation reform and to solve cases of threats and pressure against journalists.
Friday 16.10.2020 Bosnia & Herzegovina - Latest Developments -
Police have shown inconsistency in their reactions towards protests. For example, LGBTI activists report that significant additional costs of securing the 2019 Pride parade were imposed on the organisers but were not sought from other similar gatherings in 2019 and 2020. In addition, activists, journalists and lawyers expressed concerns about the inconsistent actions of the police towards the citizens of Banja Luka because of the different attitude towards unannounced rallies and the reasons for the gatherings. For example, police officers lay misdemeanor charges against "Justice for David" organisers, while it seems that the organisers of several other unreported rallies have not been punished. Read more
Monday 12.10.2020 Burundi - Latest Developments -
Civil Society calls for renewed interest in the case of human rights defender Germain Rukuki, who has been imprisoned for the past three years; Recent case of the four journalists from Iwacu group was named by Time Magazine as the fifth most urgent case of threats to press freedom in the world; Human Rights Watch (HRW) concerning Burundi’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the silencing of medical doctors and healthcare workers; President Ndayishimiye makes reference to exiled opposition leaders, linking them with “support of homosexuality" in televised speech Read more | Read in French
Thursday 8.10.2020 Uruguay - Latest Developments -
On 8th July 2020, Uruguay’s parliamentarians approved the Ley de Urgente Consideración (“Urgent Consideration Law” - LUC) proposed by the country’s new government, amid mass protests and strikes against it. Read more | Read in Spanish
Monday 5.10.2020 Poland - Latest Developments -
Crackdown on LGBTI rights continues; feminists protest over withdrawal from domestic violence treaty
In July 2020, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro announced that Poland would begin the process of withdrawing its ratification from the European convention on preventing violence against women, known as the Istanbul Convention. The announcement by the government sparked massive protests on 24th July 2020 in Warsaw. Thousands of women, gathered outside the offices of Ordo Iuris, a conservative right-wing legal foundation. Meanwhile the government has continued its crackdown on LGBTI rights. On 7th August 2020, an activist of the queer collective “Stop Nonsense” known as Margot S was arrested on charges of earlier vandalising a van belonging to a homophobic group and attacking its driver and for hanging LGBTI rainbow flags on Warsaw statues. When a crowd of protesters tried to block the police car that was taking Margot, and the police began to arrest them. Forty-eight people were arrested in total and are facing sentences of up to three years.
Tuesday 29.9.2020 Lithuania - Latest Developments -
Lithuanian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are rejoicing after a National NGO Fund was established following many years of advocacy.
In addition, the Lithuanian administration has promised a further two million Euros for the NGO sector, which has been heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In a separate development, in July 2020, around 500 people rallied in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital for LGBTI rights, calling on the government to legalise sex change and same-sex marriage and to highlight the harmful provisions of the controversial Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information. In a positive development, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in favour of a gay couple Beizaras and Levickas in a landmark case against hate speech.
Thursday 24.9.2020 Russia - Latest Developments -
Thousands protest in support of ousted Governor, several arrested and fined; Activists detained for protesting Constitutional reforms; Youtube channel host Dmitri Nizovtsev beaten for filming protests; Journalist Mila Zemtsova detained while covering pickets, pickets follow in support; Public hearing held for draft order on reporting requirements for non-profit organisations; State funded financial support extended to creative NGOs Read more