positive CS development

Ecuador: Amnesty granted to 268 rights defenders and protesters

On 11th March 2022, the National Assembly approved a bill granting amnesty to 268 people who faced prosecution for their defence of land, Indigenous and environmental rights, and for their involvement in 2019 protests. The bill was approved by the plenary of the National Assembly with 99 favourable votes out of the 125 parliamentarians in attendance. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Ecuador: Amnesty granted to 268 rights defenders and protesters

Chile: same-sex marriage legalised; Gabriel Boric sworn in as President

On 11th March 2022, Gabriel Boric of Social Convergence was sworn in, becoming Chile’s youngest ever president. Boric is a former student union leader who had a key role in 2011 mass protests for free public education. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Chile: same-sex marriage legalised; Gabriel Boric sworn in as President

Excessive force used against protesters while journalists at risk in Nepal

In recent months there have been concerns about the use of excessive force by the police against protesters demonstrating against an aid grant. There have been ongoing reports of obstruction, harassment and attacks against journalists while civil society groups have raised concerns about draft internet regulations that could affect freedom of expression and right to privacy. A woman human rights defender ended her hunger strike protest after the authorities agreed to some of the demands. Read more

Excessive force used against protesters while journalists at risk in Nepal

Colombia: surveillance of civil society and detention of protest leaders

2022 began with astounding violence in the north-eastern department of Arauca along the Colombia-Venezuela border. Over 60 homicides were recorded in the region in January 2022, attributed to the escalating dispute over narcotrafficking routes between armed groups ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional) and dissidents of the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). Read more

Colombia: surveillance of civil society and detention of protest leaders

Outrage as five journalists killed in Mexico in early 2022

Five journalists were murdered in Mexico in the first two months of 2022, leading to protests for justice and calls for more government action to stop the violence against the press. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Outrage as five journalists killed in Mexico in early 2022

Journalists and activists remain at risk in the Philippines as election looms

Ahead of the upcoming elections in May 2022, media groups and journalists are facing libel allegations for reporting on corruption, while a journalist who reported on the ‘drug war’ was killed. A women and child rights advocate has been arrested and detained, and cyber attacks on news websites have been linked to the army. In more positive news, police have charged two people in the ‘Bloody Sunday’ killings, the human rights defenders bill has been approved by the House of Representatives and human rights defender Teresita Naul was released.
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Journalists and activists remain at risk in the Philippines as election looms

Canada: Protests against health restrictions show no signs of slowing

On 1st January 2022, a pastor who has been repeatedly arrested for holding church gatherings in Calgary was arrested again after he attended a protest outside the provincial health minister's home. Read more

Canada: Protests against health restrictions show no signs of slowing

Paraguay: Protests for land rights amid wave of forced evictions

In a landmark decision published on 12th October 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Committee found that Paraguay’s failure to prevent and control the toxic contamination of traditional lands, due to the intensive use of pesticides by nearby commercial farms, violates Indigenous communities’ rights and sense of “home”. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Paraguay: Protests for land rights amid wave of forced evictions

Belize: Libel and Defamation Act to be repealed and replaced with new legislation

On 20th January 2021, Belize’s Cabinet gave its approval for the introduction of legislation for the repeal and replacement of the Libel and Defamation Act. According to an analysis by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), there are a series of concerning aspects to Belize’s laws on libel and defamation – which are criminal offences in the country. Read more

Belize: Libel and Defamation Act to be repealed and replaced with new legislation

Ongoing violations on civic freedoms at Poland/Belarus border; further threats to LGBTQI+ rights

On 1st December 2021, the one-month-long state of emergency introduced in September 2021 along the Polish-Belarusian border expired after having been extended for a further 60 days. Following this, the Polish government installed several replacement measures which maintained restrictions on access to the area of the Poland-Belarus border. There have been concerning civic space developments as a result of the border situation. A police raid was carried out to investigate the activities of a humanitarian aid group, the Club of Catholic Intelligentsia, operating near the border. On 15th December 2021, four of their volunteers were interviewed by the police and the group’s phones and laptops were confiscated. Additionally, journalists reporting on the border crisis continue to face arbitrary detentions. New regulations which came into effect state that the local Border Guard Commander has the right to arbitrarily select media workers admitted to the border zone, who will be granted a permit. The regulations in effect raised international concern over transparency and the respect of human rights and media freedom. Additionally, the government has continued to attack LGBTQI+ rights through restrictive legislation. Read more  |  Read in Polish

Ongoing violations on civic freedoms at Poland/Belarus border; further threats to LGBTQI+ rights