HRD prosecuted

Conviction of lawyer and recent legal changes further erodes civic space in Fiji ahead of elections

In recent months, ambiguous amendments to media laws have been passed that could affect the independence of the media, while electoral law amendments have raised concerns about privacy rights. Further, a senior lawyer was found guilty of contempt for correcting a spelling error, violating the right to freedom of expression. Read more

Conviction of lawyer and recent legal changes further erodes civic space in Fiji ahead of elections

Honduras: attacks on Garífuna human rights defenders continue

Alfredo López Álvarez, a Garífuna human rights defender and member of the Triunfo de la Cruz Land Defence Committee, was threatened during the Central America Donors Forum 2022 in October 2022. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Honduras: attacks on Garífuna human rights defenders continue

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

Despite UN scrutiny, activists continue to be criminalised by the new Philippines administration

Over the last five months, human rights defenders have continued to be arrested on fabricated charges while the terrorist financing law has been used to persecute activists. Journalists have also been targeted for their work. Read more

Despite UN scrutiny, activists continue to be criminalised by the new Philippines administration

Mass arrests of activists, restrictive draft laws and widening campaign against ‘’false’’ information

Applying a controversial law on protection against ‘’false’’ information, the government initiated the blocking of several news sites. Those targeted included the Kyrgyz service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which was blocked for two months in October 2022 because of a video allegedly featuring incorrect and biased information about Kyrgyzstan’s role in hostilities at the border with Tajikistan, which broke out in September 2022 and resulted in dozens of people being killed and hundreds injured. The government described these events as ‘’a pre-meditated military aggression’’ by Tajikistan and insisted that it had only acted from a defensive point of view. The measures taken under the law on ‘’false’’ information showed that this law can be used as a government censorship tool, as feared by media and civil society actors when it was adopted last year. Police also increased efforts to track down ‘’false’’ information on social media and summoned social media users for ‘’prophylactic’’ discussions because of allegedly ‘’provocative’’ posts. New problematic draft laws on media and NGOs, developed by the presidential administration, were put forward. In an alarming development seen in October 2022, the authorities arrested close to 30 activists, journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders and other critics of a government-negotiated border deal, under which the territory of the Kempir-Abad water reservoir is due to become part of neighbouring Uzbekistan. Read more

Mass arrests of activists, restrictive draft laws and widening campaign against ‘’false’’ information

Security laws being used to criminalise human rights defenders in Mongolia

Civil society have raised concerns in recent months about the criminalisation of two human rights defenders. Activists Sukhgerel Dugersuren is facing an investigation and a smear campaign for raising concerns around a development project while Munkhbayar Chuluundorj has been jailed for his criticism of China Read more

Security laws being used to criminalise human rights defenders in Mongolia

Canada: courts consider cases with impact on civic freedoms

For several weeks in September and October 2022, people in Toronto demonstrated in solidarity with protesters in Iran. The city is home to the world’s second largest Iranian diaspora. Read more

Canada: courts consider cases with impact on civic freedoms

Anti-monarchy protesters face repression as the right to protest remains under threat

September 2022 was a very turbulent month for the United Kingdom. On 6th September 2022, Conversative Party member Liz Truss was appointed as the new prime minister by Queen Elizabeth II after Boris Johnson’s resignation in July 2022. Just two days later, the Queen died, and her eldest son acceded to the throne to become King Charles III. During this period, anti-monarchy protests took place and faced repressions. Protests were also staged for Chris Kaba, a 24-year-old Black man, who was shot dead by a firearms officer in South London while driving a flagged vehicle. Additionally, climate activists staged protests urging the government to halt oil projects and tackle cost-of-living crisis. Read more

Anti-monarchy protesters face repression as the right to protest remains under threat

Civic freedoms remain highly restricted as Karakalpakstan protests turn violent, bloggers and activists targeted

On 20th June 2022, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev outlined draft amendments to the Constitution and proposed holding a nation-wide referendum on the amendments. Observers and civil society activists voiced concern that the proposed amendments do not envisage any limitation of the President’s scope of power, and would allow President Mirziyoyev to potentially remain in power for two more seven-year terms – until 2040. The proposed amendments triggered an outcry in the Republic of Karakalpakstan in western Uzbekistan since they included amendments removing this region’s autonomous status and its constitutional right to secede from Uzbekistan. Authorities reportedly dispersed the demonstration using excessive force. Official figures indicate that 21 people died, including 17 citizens and four law enforcement officials. However, media reports stated that by the evening of 2nd July 2022 there were at least 77 bodies at the Republican Scientific Centre for Emergency Medical Care. The authorities have detained journalists, bloggers and activists whom they suspect of playing leading roles in the protests. Read more

Civic freedoms remain highly restricted as Karakalpakstan protests turn violent, bloggers and activists targeted