Civic Space Developments

Concerns about media censorship in Vanuatu around the COVID-19 pandemic

Concerns have been raised around the government decision in March 2020 to prohibit the publication of articles on the COVID-19 pandemic without government authorisation as part of the state of emergency in Vanuatu. Read more

Concerns about media censorship in Vanuatu around the COVID-19 pandemic

Honduras’ new criminal code continues to concern human rights organisations

On 23rd February 2020, the offices of peasants’ organisation La Via Campesina were looted in Tegucigalpa. According to members of the organisation, a computer and some documents were stolen. Some office equipment and furniture were also damaged. Read more

Honduras’ new criminal code continues to concern human rights organisations

Journalists attacked during coverage of migrant camps; police use excessive force against migrants

Journalists covering the conditions of migrant camps on the Greek Islands and far-right group protests against governments refugee policy have faced continuous attacks. In addition, police used excessive force against migrants who protested against the current living conditions at camps and the slow pace of asylum procedures. The outbreak of the Coronavirus has however brought protest action to a halt due to emergency measures put in place by the government. Read more

Journalists attacked during coverage of migrant camps; police use excessive force against migrants

Peru: Awajun leader killed as community resists mining in their territory

On 10th and 11th February 2020, members of Peru’s Awajun and Wampis communities protested outside the main offices of the Amazonas regional government to denounce alleged action by the government to enable mining in their territories. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Peru: Awajun leader killed as community resists mining in their territory

Right-wing populist leader attacks lottery funded NGOs

Netherland’s largest charity lottery, De Nationale Postcode Loterij, is under fire from right-wing populist party Forum voor Democratie (Forum for Democracy, FvD) for supporting what they call ‘activists and extreme-left organisations’. Party leader, Thierry Baudet has proposed several measures, ranging from giving people the choice to decide which charity their money should go to, setting up an additional lottery that runs parallel to the current one and retracting De Nationale Postcode Loterij’s permit. He also wants to change the law that allows foundations and associations to go to court with public interest matters. Read more

Right-wing populist leader attacks lottery funded NGOs

Civil society in the Philippines decry restrictive laws, smear campaigns and judicial harassment

Over the last few months, harassment and attacks against journalists and activists have persisted in the Philippines. Attempts were made to shut down ABS-CBN, the largest media network, while cyber-troll armies were mobilised against government critics. Legislation against terrorism is being pushed through that undermines civic freedoms while civil society groups are facing judicial harassment, raids and smear campaigns. Government critic Senator de Lima has spent three years in detention. With the COVID-19 pandemic President Duterte has pushed through legislation that further threatens free speech and abuses against curfew violators have been documented. Read more

Civil society in the Philippines decry restrictive laws, smear campaigns and  judicial harassment

'Deal of the Century’ sparks protests, journalists at the frontline face continuous attacks

US President Donald Trump's peace plan known as 'Deal of the Century' sparked protests in various regions. During protests journalists who were in the frontline faced continuous use of excessive force from armed forces. A teenager was killed by armed forces in a seperate protest against encroaching Israeli settlers on the occupied West Bank. Read more

'Deal of the Century’ sparks protests, journalists at the frontline face continuous attacks

Activists, journalists and protesters facing continued restrictions by parties to the conflict

Newspaper distribution suspended in the wake of COVID-19; Death sentence upheld for prisoner of conscience; HRDs and journalists detained; Journalist temporarily barred from travelling; Protesters facing arbitrary arrests Read more

Activists, journalists and protesters facing continued restrictions by parties to the conflict

Controversial constitutional referendum goes ahead despite months of protests: several killed

On 22nd March 2020, legislative elections and the controversial referendum on a new constitution took place in Guinea, in a context of violence, clashes with security forces and interruptions in the access to the internet and social media. Read more  |  Read in French

Controversial constitutional referendum goes ahead despite months of protests: several killed

Civil society denounces systematic criminalisation in Venezuela

In February 2020, 155 Venezuelan civil society organisations signed a statement demanding an end to the criminalisation of human rights defenders in the country. In their press release, the organisations say that the human rights movement has been affected by the view that there are “internal enemies seeking to destabilise peace”. Read more

Civil society denounces systematic criminalisation in Venezuela