Civic Space Developments

Electoral law passed that will stifle charities in Australia while targeting of activists persists

In recent months electoral laws were passed by parliament to impose more regulation on charities during elections while a joint NGO report highlighted the suppression of climate defenders. At the same time the senate disallowed proposed regressive changes to the NGO regulation that would have handed the Charities Commissioner extraordinary and far-reaching powers while lawyers slammed the secrecy around a judgment in the case of a whistleblower, Witness K who is being prosecuted for disclosing information about the bugging of Timor-Leste government buildings in 2004 Read more

Electoral law passed that will stifle charities in Australia while targeting of activists persists

Freedom of expression suffers another blow as two journalists and one HRD are detained

Journalists Ferdinand Ayité and Joël Egah, editors of the newspapers L'Alternative and La Fraternité respectively, were placed into custody on 10th December 2021 on accusations of insulting authorities, defamation and dissemination of falsehoods in relation to comments both journalists made during a discussion on L'Autre Journal, a current affairs programme run on L'Alternative's You Tube channel. Read more  |  Read in French

Freedom of expression suffers another blow as two journalists and one HRD are detained

Journalist arrested; UN experts denounce abuses by private military contractors

On 4th October 2021, police and military officers arrested journalist Landry Ulrich Nguéma Ngokpélé, director of publication for the newspaper Le Quotidien de Bangui. The journalist relayed, through his wife, to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that he faces prosecution for alleged complicity with the rebel group Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), criminal association, defamation, insult, and slanderous denunciation. Read more

Journalist arrested; UN experts denounce abuses by private military contractors

Migrant rights groups and workers in Taiwan rally at ministry to be allowed to change employers

A coalition of migrant rights groups and migrant worker organisations rallied outside the Ministry of Labour (MOL) in Taipei on 26th December 2021 to call on the public to join them for a march in January 2022 to push the government to allow blue-collared migrant workers to change employers. Read more

Migrant rights groups and workers in Taiwan rally at ministry to be allowed to change employers

Crackdown on union strike in Cambodia while repression of opposition and critics continues

In recent months, despite the release of activists, Hun Sen’s government continued to target members of the banned Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and journalists. The extradition of two opposition activists and political refugees from Thailand to Cambodia has raised criticism on the collusion between the two ASEAN countries and the lack of protection provided to those who have fled repression in Cambodia. Protests have also been suppressed including during the 30th anniversary of the Paris Peace agreements and most recently around the strike by a casino workers’ union. Read more

Crackdown on union strike in Cambodia while repression of opposition and critics continues

Mexican government investigated and monitored journalist and human rights defenders

In November 2021, new court documents revealed that human rights defenders and a journalist who had prominent roles investigating a massacre in Mexico were criminally investigated by government authorities under a special organised crime statute. Read more

Mexican government investigated and monitored journalist and human rights defenders

Mass protests against increasing insecurity; authorities shut down mobile internet

On 27th November 2021, anti-riot police attempted to disperse, including through the use of tear gas, a protest against increasing insecurity, caused by terrorist attacks, and the "incapacity " of the administration of president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré to deal with this violence, in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou. Police were massively deployed in the capital to prevent the protesters from gathering at the Place de la Nation. Following the police action, protesters erected barricades and burned tyres in several neighbourhoods of the city, leading to confrontations with security forces. Read more  |  Read in French

Mass protests against increasing insecurity; authorities shut down mobile internet

LGBTIQ+ people and rights under attack; journalist detained

LGBTIQ+ groups say they have seen an increase in attacks on LGBTIQ+ people since the controversial draconian anti-LGBTIQ+ law, “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021”, was introduced in Parliament end of June 2021 by eight Members of Parliament. As reported previously on the Monitor, the draft law would set high prison sentences for identifying as LGBTIQ+ people and those supporting or advocating for LGBTIQ+ rights – the latter punishable with prison sentences of up to ten years. In November 2021, Ghana's Parliament opened public hearings on the draft law.

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LGBTIQ+ people and rights under attack; journalist detained

Bolivia: Media workers abducted and assaulted when covering land conflict

On 28th October 2021, a group of media professionals working for several Bolivian media outlets were abducted and assaulted as they covered a land dispute in the eastern province of Guarayos. Read more

Bolivia: Media workers abducted and assaulted when covering land conflict

Cuban authorities prevent pro-democracy marches

On 14th November 2021, Cuban security forces surrounded the home of playwright Yunior García, who had called for nationwide pro-democracy protests, to prevent him from demonstrating. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Cuban authorities prevent pro-democracy marches