violent protest

Tension in Haiti: protests, attacks against defenders and journalists

On 28th August 2020, Monferrier Dorval, a constitutional scholar and president of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association, was assassinated in his home in Haiti’s capital city. Read more

Tension in Haiti: protests, attacks against defenders and journalists

Costa Rica: weeks of protests against tax increases and impunity for killing of Indigenous leader

A government proposal to borrow U$1.7 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which would require imposing new tax measures, sparked weeks-long protests in Costa Rica from the end of September 2020. Read more

Costa Rica: weeks of protests against tax increases and impunity for killing of Indigenous leader

Thousands protest as Constitutional Tribunal imposes a near ban on abortion

On 22nd October 2020, the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland ruled that access to abortion care on the grounds of “severe and irreversible foetal defect or incurable illness that threatens the foetus’ life” is unconstitutional. The court’s decision outlaws almost all abortions accept in cases of rape or incest, or if the mother is in lethal danger due to her pregnancy. Poland's abortion laws were already among the strictest in Europe and it is estimated that about 100,000 women seek a termination abroad each year to get around the tight restrictions. Following this ruling , people in Poland have staged protests since 22nd October 2020 across the country. The protests have been joined by a variety of groups including miners, taxi drivers, farmers and trade unions. However, protesters have been met with the use of excessive force, including tear gas, pepper spray and physical assault. Thus far, 17 people have been detained, but this figure may be underreported. The Prime Minister has also announced that the miltary will be deployed for COVID-19 emergency reasons. Read more

Thousands protest as Constitutional Tribunal imposes a near ban on abortion

Protests documented amid COVID-19 restrictions

Security forces accused of abuses and using disproportionate force while enforcing lockdown measures; As the economic effects of the lockdown began to be felt by citizens, several protests were reported in cities across the country; service delivery protests also documented as residents of Khayelitsha, Cape Town, protest to demand better toilet facilities; Zimbabweans in South Africa protest at their embassy in Pretoria to denounce rights violations and declining economy back home; #PutSouthAfricaFirst protest held in September Read more

Protests documented amid COVID-19 restrictions

Protesters return to the streets ahead of constitutional referendum in Chile

On 25th October 2020, Chile is scheduled to hold a plebiscite to decide if the country will draft a new constitution, a key demand of the mass protests that started at the end of 2019. For many, this process would represent the hope of establishing a new social pact founded on human dignity and pluralism, replacing the current constitution which dates back to the country’s military regime. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Protesters return to the streets ahead of constitutional referendum in Chile

Post-election protests plunge Kyrgyzstan into crisis

Following the parliamentary elections on 4th October 2020, a deep political crisis evolved in Kyrgyzstan, entailing serious human rights concerns. The parliamentary elections, which were marred by allegations of widespread irregularities, resulted in a landslide victory for pro-government parties, with most opposition parties left out in the cold. This prompted mass protests by opposition members and supporters in the capital Bishkek. What began as peaceful demonstrations evolved into clashes between protesters and law enforcement authorities during the evening of 5th October 2020 when the latter resorted to forceful tactics after an attempt by some protesters to break through the gates of White House, the seat of the president and parliament. The clashes ended with the seizure of the White House and several other public buildings by groups of protesters in the early morning of 6th October 2020, and the unlawful release of previous high-profile political figures from prison. In the days which followed the post-election protests, the Central Commission for Elections and Referendums of the Kyrgyz Republic (CEC) cancelled the election results, the prime minister and other top officials stepped down, calls were made for the resignation or impeachment of the President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, and parliament was left in a debilitated state. Through a convoluted chain of events, Sadyr Japarov – a former MP who was among those freed on 5th-6th October 2020 – was endorsed to head a new government on 14th October 2020. Read more

Post-election protests plunge Kyrgyzstan into crisis

Protests against systemic racism continue despite flagrant attacks on civil liberties

At the end of August 2020, the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white police officer sparked further outrage and led to several nights of protests in Kenosha, where the shooting took place, and other cities. Read more

Protests against systemic racism continue despite flagrant attacks on civil liberties


Quran burning sparks protests in Malmö

On 28th August 2020, the leader of Denmark’s extremist Hard Line party, Rasmus Paludan, was stopped on his way to Malmö where he was planning to hold an anti-Islam demonstration. He was subsequently deported and denied access to the country for two years. This did not deter his supporters from posting videos of themselves burning and kicking the Quran (Islam’s holy book). Three people were arrested on suspicion of hate crimes. This sparked 300 inhabitants of the Rosengård district of Malmö to riot. In a separate development, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg kicked off global socially distanced climate protests on 25th September 2020 outside the Swedish parliament.
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Quran burning sparks protests in Malmö

Climate activists detained; clashes at anti-Islam protest

On 29th August 2020 an anti-Islam protest was staged in Oslo by the Stop Islamisation of Norway (SIAN), a far-right anti-Islam group. During the protest a member of the group ripped pages out of the Quran (the Islamic holy book) and proceeded to spit on them. A counter demonstration was also staged calling for “no racism on our streets”. Clashes erupted between the groups, with authorities using tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the groups and arresting 29 people. In a separate development, on the morning of 21st September 2020, around 40 climate protesters from Extinction Rebellion were arrested in Oslo.
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Climate activists detained; clashes at anti-Islam protest

Arbitrary arrests, excessive force, attacks on media in mass protests in Indonesia against jobs law

As workers and students rallied across Indonesia against a controversial job creation law, civil society groups have documented arbitrary arrests, excessive use force against protesters and journalists and inhuman and degrading treatment against protesters while detained Read more

Arbitrary arrests, excessive force, attacks on media in mass protests in Indonesia against  jobs law