release of HRDs

"Black Thursday": at least 50 killed in protests against extension of military transitional period

On 20th October 2022, dozens of people were killed in protests across the country against the decision of the military junta to extend the transitional period by another two years. Civil society actors and opposition, including the platform Wakit Tama and opposition party Transformateurs, had called for the protests on 20th October 2022 - the day that would mark the end of the initially agreed 18-month transition to civilian rule. On 19th October 2022, authorities banned the protests saying organisers had not complied with legal provisions related to protests, adding that the protest "aims to create a popular and armed insurrection with the support of external forces in order to destabilise the country". Read more  |  Read in French

"Black Thursday": at least 50 killed in protests against extension of military transitional period

Ecuador: two journalists killed in Manabí within a month

Indigenous rights defender Lina María Espinosa has received several death threats related to her work in 2022, human rights organisation Amnesty International warned in August 2022. On 7th July 2022, for instance, Espinosa received an anonymous phone call in which a man told her that he had been surprised not to see her at a meeting between the government and the Indigenous movement and added, “we already have your wreath of flowers ready.” Read more

Ecuador: two journalists killed in Manabí within a month

Deadly year for journalists in Mexico

On 11th August 2022, four employees of Switch 105.9 FM, Alan González, Alejandro Arriaga, Armando Guerrero and Andrés Flores, were shot and killed amid a wave of violent crimes in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Read more

Deadly year for journalists in Mexico

Implications of new tax on freedom of expression raises concern, public order Act under review

Anti-corruption activist exonerated in president’s mass pardon; Youth beaten up for insulting President Hichilema ; Government introduces 16% VAT on newspaper sales ; Review of Public Order Act underway Read more

Implications of new tax on freedom of expression raises concern, public order Act under review

Government embarks on brutal wave of retaliatory tactics against pro-democracy activists amid political impasse

Over the past few months, authorities have embarked on brutal, state-supported retaliatory attacks and arrests targeting activists who have mobilised and participated in the now year-long wave of protests and campaigns by citizens calling for democratic reforms in the country; Meanwhile, King Mswati III snubs SADC meeting intended to discuss deteriorating political developments in Eswatini, indicating that Eswatini would prefer to deal with its domestic issues outside of the regional spotlight. Read more

Government embarks on brutal wave of retaliatory tactics against pro-democracy activists amid political impasse

Civic freedoms restricted ahead of 24th August general elections

On 17th August 2022, police officers attempted to prevent a civil society protest from taking place in Luanda. The protest, organised by dozens of CSO's, aimed to protest irregularities in the electoral process for the upcoming general elections on 24th August 2022. Groups of protesters, spread out on the planned itinerary of the protest, were dispersed by police officers. Dozens of protesters, including VOA correspondent Coque Mukuta, were reportedly arrested. Read more

Civic freedoms restricted ahead of 24th August general elections

Reports and monitoring missions document extreme repression and violence against activists

In response to mounting pressure from human rights defenders in Iraq, the Ministry of Interior arrested Lieutenant-Colonel Omar Nizar, who was affiliated with the Rapid Response Division, on charges of killing protesters during a 2019 crackdown; Protesters summoned for their participation in protests on 25th October 2019; Body of civil society activist Haider Sabri found in Basra city with a bullet wound to the head; Read more

Reports and monitoring missions document extreme repression and violence against activists

HRDs exposing rights violations in Anglophone regions subjected to death threats

Amnesty International issued a statement on 7 July 2022 regarding reports that at least seven human rights defenders and one cyber-activist had faced death threats as a result of exposing human rights violations in the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon – Northwest and Southwest regions – where clashes and violence have been taking place between government security forces and separatists since 2017. Over 6,000 people are estimated to have been killed, while over 765,000 people have been displaced in the conflict.

Read more  |  Read in French

HRDs exposing rights violations in Anglophone regions subjected to death threats

Several killed, injured, arrested in protest against the military junta’s “unilateral management of the transition”

Front National pour la Défence de la Constitution (FNDC), a coalition of political parties, civil society groups and trade unions, called for protests on 28th and 29th July 2022 in Conakry to demand more transparency in Guinea’s transition, as coordinated by the military junta. Protests also called for the establishment of an inclusive framework for dialogue. According to news reports, the military junta deployed the armed forces to maintain public order during the demonstrations, and security forces reportedly used tear gas to disperse protesters, while protesters responded by throwing stones and burning tyres. Some of the protests turned into violent clashes between protesters and security forces, particularly in the neighbourhoods of Bambèto, Sonfonia and on the route Le Prince, and which led to casualties, injuries,and dozens of arrests. Read more  |  Read in French

Several killed, injured, arrested in protest against the military junta’s “unilateral management of the transition”

Continued repression under new President

During the reporting period, Turkmenistan experienced an orchestrated transfer of power from father to son, with Serdar Berdymukhamedov assuming the presidency from his father Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who had held this office since 2006. The authorities continued to crack down on people who publicly express discontent about the situation in the country, stand up for their rights, and engage with like-minded people. In addition to directly putting pressure on such people and their relatives, security services also targeted people who have been in contact with them. Several people remain in prison on criminal charges in retaliation for their peaceful exercise of the freedoms of expression and association, although international human rights experts, foreign decision makers, and human rights groups have all called for their release. Outspoken activists based abroad also continue to face intimidation and harassment. Additionally, , there have been alarming reports about increasing control and policing of women, with authorities implementing restrictive measures to enforce so-called traditional norms of clothing, appearance, and conduct among women and girls. Read more

Continued repression under new President