censorship

Academics, Journalists, Actors and Lawyers Targeted for Exercising Right to Freedom of Expression

Sana’a University academic, architect and online activist Dr. Mohammed Ali Naim assassinated by unidentified gunmen; journalist Fahd Yahya Al-Arhabi arrested by Houthi de-facto authorities; forces affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council storm the building of the Yemen News Agency (Saba); Read more

Academics, Journalists, Actors and Lawyers Targeted for Exercising Right to Freedom of Expression

Brazil’s civic space in dispute amid democratic backsliding

Brazil’s institutional crisis has expanded as President Jair Bolsonaro seeks to undermine trust in the electoral system and embarks on disputes with the Federal Supreme Court. Read more

Brazil’s civic space in dispute amid democratic backsliding

Orbán government alleged to have used Pegasus spyware on investigative journalists

As its next step in a long trail of attacks against independent civil society, the Hungarian government banned anonymous donations to NGOs from 1st July 2021. However, this rule was overturned two weeks later. A few weeks later, the Hungarian government gave up 2,3 billion Norwegian kroner (€220 million) which it was set to receive from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Norway Grants Scheme due to failure to reach an agreement over who should distribute funds to civil society. On 24th July 2021, thousands of Hungarians joined the Pride Parade in Budapest to protest the government's anti-LGBTI rhetoric and legislation. On 30th July 2021, Hungary’s National Election Committee approved the government's request for a referendum, which is meant to protect the new anti-LGBTI legislation from “the attacks of Brussels”. Meanwhile, French NGO Forbidden Stories published their investigation into Israeli surveillance company NSO’s hacking spyware, revealing that amongst other countries Hungary used the spyware to spy on investigative journalists. Read more

Orbán government alleged to have used Pegasus spyware on investigative journalists

Dissolved parliament, and ongoing crackdown on peaceful assembly and expression

President Salva Kiir dissolves the parliament in accordance with the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), signed in 2018; two aid workers from Doctors with Africa CUAMM were killed in an ambush while delivering food relief in Lake State; Youth leaders arrested for protesting the dumping of waste by Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC) in their town; National Security Service (NSS) raided CSO event; Journalists detained and assaulted by police officers Read more

Dissolved parliament, and ongoing crackdown on peaceful assembly and expression

China tries to deflect global criticism as persecution of activists, Uyghurs and censorship persists

Human rights defenders have been arrested, prosecuted and sentenced. Some have been arbitrarily sentenced to long terms in prison. New reports highlight mass imprisonment, torture and persecution amounting to crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and the government’s crackdown on Tibetan monks. Dozens of accounts belonging to LGBTQ+ groups were deleted. Journalists were targeted, while dissidents were put under surveillance or forced to leave town ahead of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s centenary celebration and Tiananmen anniversary. A new law banning defamation of security forces was passed. Read more

China tries to deflect global criticism as persecution of activists, Uyghurs and censorship persists

Arbitrary detention of Lao women activist, increased online surveillance, persecution of minorities

In recent months, authorities took further steps to crack down on fundamental freedoms. The government announced the formation of a task force to monitor “fake news” related to COVID-19. The UN also determined that the arrest and subsequent imprisonment of a Lao human rights defender and environmental activist was arbitrary. Minority groups continued to be harassed and persecuted by the government. The European Union (EU) report on Human Rights and Democracy raised the lack of improvement on Laos' human rights record, while a report on religious freedom highlighted concerns of religious restrictions faced by minority religious groups. Read more

Arbitrary detention of Lao women activist, increased online surveillance, persecution of minorities

Protests calling for justice for Roma people, president bans outlets from receiving information

On 19th June 2021, a Roma man in Teplice died after a police officer knelt on his neck. According to police, a court autopsy report confirmed that Stanislav Tomas, a 46-year-old man, died of a drug overdose and not as a result of excessive force used by the police. Tomas’s death resulted in a spontaneous demonstration outside a police station near Teplice railway station. On 7th July 2021, an estimated 400 protesters gathered in Prague to protest against COVID-19 related measures and COVID certificates. In a concerning development, on 24th May 2021, Czech President Milos Zeman's office announced that it would stop providing information to several investigative media outlets, including public broadcaster Czech Television, Respekt, server Seznam Zprávy and daily Deník N. The President also publically vilified LGBTI persons during a TV interview. Read more

Protests calling for justice for Roma people, president bans outlets from receiving information

Organisers take legal action after municipality prevents LGBTI march from going ahead

On 9th June 2021, Belarusian activists in Lithuania organised a rally at a border crossing in Medininkai to block traffic to and from Belarus. The aim of the protest was to put pressure on Belarus and call for stricter EU sanctions. The protest was not authorised by Lithuanian authorities and protesters attempting to block roads were threatened by police and the Lithuanian Border Guard Service (VSAT) with detention and fines. In a separate development, organisers of the first LGBTI Pride march in the city of Kaunas are suing the municipality over its refusal to issue a permit for the event, which is planned to take place on 4th September 2021. Even though the organisers proposed three different routes through the city, they were all rejected due to infrastructure renovation works and the “disproportionate inconvenience” due to traffic disruptions that the protest may cause. Related to LGBTI rights, on 4th June 2021, the National Association of Families and Parents sent a letter to the Lithuanian Radio and Television Council (LRT) complaining that there is too much LGBTI representation and that this “propaganda can no longer be tolerated.” Read more

Organisers take legal action after municipality prevents LGBTI march from going ahead

Chile: Constitutional Convention begins its work

On 15th and 16th May 2021, over 6 million people in Chile voted in the election of 155 members of the Constitutional Convention, the body responsible for drafting a new Constitution for the country. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Chile: Constitutional Convention begins its work

Mass protests over Istanbul convention as women refuse to give up, LGBTI rights targeted again

On 19th June 2021, protesters gathered on the streets of Istanbul to voice their anger at the government’s decision to withdraw from the COE Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention. In a protest related to this, on 21st June 2021, six protesters were detained. In addition, women again took to the streets to protest on 1st July 2021. Police responded by setting up barricades to block protesters and used tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters. Despite Pride parades being banned for three years in a row, several civil society groups opposed the bans and gathered in Istanbul on 26th June 2021, under the motto “the streets are ours”. They have initiated legal proceedings against the ban and intend to continue planning their events for next year. However, authorities blocked streets, fired tear gas and arrested 25 people at the Pride march in Istanbul. Several journalist, especially women journalists, came under attack during the Pride march.
Read more

Mass protests over Istanbul convention as women refuse to give up, LGBTI rights targeted again