bureaucratic restriction

COVID-19 restrictions hamper civil society response to volcano and tsunami relief in Tonga

In January 2022, Tonga was hit with the eruption of an undersea volcano, prompting a tsunami. While foreign aid and support has come in, the strict COVID-19 measures have severely impacted the work of relief agencies and their ability to distribute relief. Read more

COVID-19 restrictions hamper civil society response to volcano and tsunami relief in Tonga

Solomons NGOs oppose extension of parliamentary term while journalists face restrictions

Plans by Solomon’s cabinet in March 2022 to extend the current term of parliament to five years from four has been opposed by the opposition and civil society groups. In April 2022, police confronted two members of the media, asking them not to film the Prime Minister upon his arrival at the National Parliament.
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Solomons NGOs oppose extension of parliamentary term while journalists face restrictions

Bolivia: teachers protest; harassment of human rights defenders continues

On 29th March 2022, Amnesty International published their annual report 2021/22 underscoring the continued stigmatisation and harassment faced by human rights defenders in Bolivia. Read more

Bolivia: teachers protest; harassment of human rights defenders continues

USA: Amazon workers vote for unionisation; courts hold police liable for excessive force

On 19th February 2022, one person was killed and five wounded in Portland at a march to protest police violence. The woman killed was a long-time activist involved in racial justice protests and LGBTQIA+ organising. Read more

USA: Amazon workers vote for unionisation; courts hold police liable for excessive force

Arbitrary travel restrictions, harassment of activists and targeting of journalists in India

Over the last month, the authorities barred the Amnesty International Chair Aakar Patel and journalist Rana Ayyub from international travel. Journalists have been arrested and ill-treated for undertaking their work by the police and non-state actors. A UN working group found the detention of Jesuit priest and activist Stan Swamy arbitrary, the courts denied bail to student activist Umar Khalid and extended the detention of Kashmiri activist Khurram Parvez. Tribal activists were also arrested In Odisha for protecting their land. Read more

Arbitrary travel restrictions, harassment of activists and targeting of journalists in India

Restriction on social gatherings and movement due to pandemic lockdown in Kiribati

On 22nd January 2022, Kiribati implemented a COVID-19 lockdown after international arrivals brought the virus with them. No public transport was in operation; social gatherings were banned; and all bars and nightclubs closed. The curfew period has been reduced over time.
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Restriction on social gatherings and movement due to pandemic lockdown in Kiribati

Police fine women rights activists for IWD actions

Several protests took place during this period, including on women's rights, LGBTQI+ rights and Protests related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Specificallym following the International Women's Day march, the collective “We march, we do not celebrate” was fined by the Kosovo Police for “disturbing public order and damaging public property”. The collective has stated that this represents an act of revenge by the police against the activists for their criticism of the law enforcement institutions. In another development, Kosovo’s Independent Media Commission and Buletini Ekonomik faced cyber attacks, while several violations against journalists were documented. Read more

Police fine women rights activists for IWD actions

Orbán government secures landslide victory spelling further concerns for civic freedoms

Although the governing Fidesz party, which came to power in 2010, faced a united opposition for the first time, it secured a landslide victory on 3rd April 2022 in the parliamentary elections. For several years, civil society, and even European institutions, have raised concerns about democratic backsliding in the country, and critics feared that the election process would not meet the minimum standards of fairness. The preliminary findings of the OSCE mission found that the election process was not fair, with the presense of unbalanced and biased media coverage. In the lead up to the elections, civil society faced smear campaigns aimed at attacking their credibility, while the government passed a new decree which would further limit which press are allowed access to hospitals to report on COVID-19. Although the governments LGBTQI+ referendum was declared invalid, concerns for LGBTQI+ rights remain. Read more

Orbán government secures landslide victory spelling further concerns for civic freedoms

Dominican Republic: militarisation in response to small community protest

On 16th February 2022, “Capotillo Se Levanta” (“Capotillo Rises”), a community movement of social and popular associations in the Santo Domingo sector of Capotillo, convened a protest against the increase in fuel and food costs. Read more

Dominican Republic: militarisation in response to small community protest

Honduras: Guapinol water defenders released after trial annulled by Supreme Court

On 27th January 2022, Xiomara Castro of the Libre party was sworn in as Honduras’ president. She took office amid a dispute with dissidents in her own party, who rebelled against her preferred choice for Congress leadership. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Honduras: Guapinol water defenders released after trial annulled by Supreme Court