internet restriction

Indian government snooping row sparks outrage as restrictions on civic freedoms persist

Calls for the authorities to release human rights defenders and activists detained under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) have escalated following an exposé by online news portal The Wire and 16 other media organisations which revealed the names of people who were either persons of interest or forensically identified as having been targeted by clients of the Israel-based NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. Farmers have continued protests against the new farm laws despite restriction, arbitrary arrests and excessive force by the authorities. There have also been new reports on restrictions on civic freedoms in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir
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Indian government snooping row sparks outrage as restrictions on civic freedoms persist

Turkmenistan’s government targets critics at home and abroad in its relentless crackdown on dissent

During this period, Turkmenistan’s government continued its crackdown on dissent, targeting critical voices in- and outside the country, as well as their relatives. Two Turkmenistan-based individuals were prosecuted on spurious criminal charges in retaliation for speaking out on issues of concern to them. Activist Murat Dushemov was sentenced to four years in prison after challenging government measures imposed in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, while medical doctor Khursanai Ismatullaeva was criminally prosecuted after seeking support from exile-based human rights groups in her struggle to obtain justice for her unfair dismissal. Her detention came the day after her case was raised at a European Parliament event devoted to Central Asia. At the initiative of the Turkmenistani authorities, Turkish police dispersed Turkmen citizens who gathered outside the country’s consulate in Istanbul on 1st August 2021 to peacefully protest against the regime’s repressive policies. Ten people were detained and held for several days. The Turkmenistani authorities increasingly targeted activists living abroad through their relatives inside the country Read more

Turkmenistan’s government targets critics at home and abroad in its relentless crackdown on dissent

Assault on civic freedoms persist in the Philippines despite UN joint human rights programme

On 24th July 2021, the Philippines government and the UN formalised a human rights programme that aims, on paper at least, to address the country’s human rights problems. Despite this, in recent months, activists have been arbitrarily arrested on trumped up charges and even killed by security forces. The government is also adopting “drug war” measures against activists and there have been cyberattacks on human rights alliance Karapatan. Read more

Assault on civic freedoms persist in the Philippines despite UN joint human rights programme

July 2021: Black weeks for Belarusian Civil Society

CSOs targeted for inspection by authorities; Criminal cases against protesters and political prisoners continued; Human rights defenders and journalists targeted by authorities Read more

July 2021: Black weeks for Belarusian Civil Society

Cuba: New legislation enables further control over online content, restricting freedom of expression

Cuban and international civil society organisations reiterated their concern over increased repression in the country one month after the anti-government demonstrations of 11th July 2021 (11J). In addition, on 17th August 2021, Cuba’s official diary Gaceta Oficial published the Decree-Law 35/2021 on Telecommunications, Information and Communication Technologies, and the Use of the Radio Spectrum. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Cuba: New legislation enables further control over online content, restricting freedom of expression

Government commits to toughen penalties for attacks on journalists

During this period, political parties supported the amendments to the Criminal Code requested by NGOs and media associations in order to toughen penalties for attacks on journalists. LGBTI persons and anti-fascist and sovereignist-patriotic groups staged protests.

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Government commits to toughen penalties for attacks on journalists

Silenced dissent, sentencing of opposition activists, and still no right to peacefully assemble

The reporting period was characterised by an overwhelming number of prosecutions for participating in activities of a banned extremist organisation (Article 405 of the Criminal Code). In all cases, the targeted citizens are facing charges for allegedly supporting the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DVK) and/or the Street Party, both of which have been banned and labelled extremist by court rulings. A significant number of administrative sentences and fines were also handed to citizens for exercising their right to peaceful assembly. Despite the adoption of a new law on the right to demonstrate last year, citizens are still denied this right in practice, especially when attempting to voice concerns about politically sensitive or controversial issues. Read more

Silenced dissent, sentencing of opposition activists, and still no right to peacefully assemble

In jail for a joke: Stifling of independent voices continues

The muzzling of independent media is part of a broader trend of growing authoritarianism in Tajikistan with the authorities increasingly regarding journalists who ask probing questions, attempt to promote transparency and create space for public debate as a threat to their hold on power. Recently introduced measures providing for full state control over the country's independent television and radio stations threaten to exacerbate the situation for independent media even further. The increasing challenge of access to information, together with the suppression of freedom of expression in connection with reporting on COVID-19, has created a heightened climate of fear among journalists and health workers, making it very difficult to assess the true extent of the pandemic. Of continuing concern is the persecution of human rights lawyers. Added to this, the authorities also continued with the persecution and silencing of the opposition. Read more

In jail for a joke: Stifling of independent voices continues

Fear and self-censorship in Cuba following mass anti-government protests

After anti-government protests flared up across Cuba on 11th July 2021, rights group Cubalex reported that over 500 people had been detained or were reported missing in the context of the demonstrations. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Fear and self-censorship in Cuba following mass anti-government protests

Widespread anti-government protests across Cuba

On 11th July 2021, thousands of people joined spontaneous anti-government protests in at least 20 cities across Cuba. News outlets reported that these were the largest demonstrations seen in the country in decades. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Widespread anti-government protests across Cuba