non state actors

Chilean police forces repress protests with COVID-19 regulations

On 18th March 2020, the Chilean government issued a decree that established an exceptional “state of catastrophe” for three months due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The legislation also allowed the president to take further measures such as restrictions on gatherings in public spaces and individuals’ movement, quarantines or curfews. Read more

Chilean police forces repress protests with COVID-19 regulations

At least 37 political prisoners in Nicaragua have presented COVID-19 symptoms say CSOs

Human rights and press freedom organisations have denounced that civic space constraints in Nicaragua continue during the pandemic, taking new forms. Lack of reliable information and even disinformation campaigns have been accompanied by continued harassment of defenders, journalists, critical voices and even doctors providing information on COVID-19. Read more

At least 37 political prisoners in Nicaragua have presented COVID-19 symptoms say CSOs

Denialism of COVID-19 pandemic and continuous threats to freedom of expression

The reporting period was marked by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, this was denied by the Tajikistani authorities despite the alarming increase in deaths of patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 throughout March and April 2020. Doctors faced harassment and intimidation as officials urged them not to refer patients for testing. The first cases of COVID-19 were only officially announced on 30th April 2020, when a World Health Organisation (WHO) delegation travelled to the country to investigate the health crisis. Attacks on freedom of expression continued with independent journalist Daler Sharipov sentenced to one year’s imprisonment on what is widely regarded as politically motivated charges. The blocking and disabling of websites, social media platforms and internet messages and the temporary blocking of internet access continued to be part of the authorities’ strategy to silence critical voices. By the end of April 2020, the websites of Asia Plus, Akhbor.com and Radio Ozodi were blocked.
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Denialism of COVID-19 pandemic and continuous threats to freedom of expression

Social leaders and journalists at increased risk during COVID-19

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Colombia’s government declared a sanitary emergency and banned public gatherings on 12th March 2020. On 22nd March 2020, a new decree established a nationwide mandatory quarantine which was subsequently extended into May 2020. Despite the obligatory isolation measures, several protests have taken place since the beginning of the public emergency – often mobilised by people denouncing the lack of food, financial aid and access to medical services. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Social leaders and journalists at increased risk during COVID-19

Far-right protest against lockdown restrictions; activists protest in creative ways during COVID-19

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic there is a ban in place for gatherings of over 20 people. Despite this, a number of demonstrations have been held. Far-right groups gathered to protest governments confinement measures. Meanwhile, far- left groups gathered for May Day protests and called for solidarity towards refugees. In a worrying development, there have been two seperate incidents where media crews were attacked during protests. Read more

Far-right protest against lockdown restrictions; activists protest in creative ways during COVID-19

Residents protest mining activities, CSOs denounce xenophobia amid Coronavirus outbreak

Peaceful assembly affected by state of emergency amid Covid 19 outbreak; Residents of Shukruti village protest against the activities of mining company Georgian Manganese LLC; CSOs denounce hate speech and xenophobia amid Coronavirus outbreak Read more

Residents protest mining activities, CSOs denounce xenophobia amid Coronavirus outbreak

Myanmar authorities prosecuting activists and critics despite the COVID-19 pandemic

In recent months the assault on civic freedoms has persisted. A Karen environmental activist has been charged for raising concerns about a cement factory, while students and activists have been charged under the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law for protesting. Further, three activists are facing prison terms for calling for constitutional reforms, two journalists were detained and ill-treated at the Myawady border and street artists have been arrested for a mural on the coronavirus (COVID-19). There has also been a fourth conviction against satirical performance group the Peacock Generation while there continues to be low COVID-19 awareness in Rakhine due to an internet blackout. Read more

Myanmar authorities prosecuting activists and critics despite the COVID-19 pandemic

Norwegian media fall for Russian trolls

An investigation by Norwegian public broadcaster NRK has found that in the past few years all the major media outlets in Norway have placed tweets of Russian fake accounts on their websites. At least eight media outlets fell for the fake messages from the Internet Research Agency, a Russian 'troll factory'. Some tweets fuelled Islamophobia and spread fake news about US President Donald Trump. Read more

Norwegian media fall for Russian trolls

Anger and protests over rising gender-based violence in Mexico

Women-led protests intensified in Mexico amid reports of killings of women and girls which captured the country’s attention. In particular, the murder and sexual assault of a seven-year old girl and the brutal femicide of Ingrid Escamilla triggered massive protests in and around Mexico City and other cities as people decried the increase in gender-based violence. Read more

Anger and protests over rising gender-based violence in Mexico

El Salvador’s response to COVID-19 excessively restricts fundamental rights, say CSOs

On 22nd March 2020, security forces in El Salvador began enforcing a government-mandated lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the policy’s first night, 269 people across the country were reportedly detained for breaking the quarantine. Since emergency measures were implemented, local civil society organisations have urged public authorities to exercise exceptional powers responsibly, for instance by developing protocols to avoid illegal detentions. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador’s response to COVID-19 excessively restricts fundamental rights, say CSOs