travel ban

Authorities embark on coordinated reprisals against CSOs, HRDs following mass 2020 protests

Post-election protests continued to December 2020; Reports reveal extent of violent crackdown on post-election protests by law enforcement; Dozens of journalists, HRDs, CSOs targeted in coordinated raids; Journalist detained upon arrival at the airport in Minsk; TUT.BY journalists persecuted by Belarusian authorities; Read more

Authorities embark on coordinated reprisals against CSOs, HRDs following mass 2020 protests

Critical voices silenced, impunity for excessive force and unlawful killings in Indonesia

In recent months, police have arrested, charged and convicted individuals for their social media posts, while a journalist was assaulted by the military. Political activists in Maluku and Papua have also been jailed for their peaceful activism. There has continued to be a lack of accountability for police violence during the mass protests against the job creation bill while reports of torture and unlawful killings continued to be reported. Read more

Critical voices silenced, impunity for excessive force and unlawful killings in Indonesia

Censorship, discrimination raises questions about fairness of Myanmar elections

Ahead of the elections, human rights groups have continued to document restrictions to civic and political freedoms and called the polls “fundamentally flawed”. The violations documented include censorship of opposition parties, the serious impact on the ability of voters in areas where there has been an internet shutdown and restrictions on journalists due to the pandemic. Further, the discriminatory 1982 Citizenship Law and the Election Law have been used to disenfranchise Rohingya and other opposition candidates to prevent them from running for office, while voting has been cancelled in various regions. Read more

Censorship, discrimination raises questions about fairness of Myanmar elections

Arrests made in relation to killing of Oromo singer, key opposition figure faces terror charges

The Attorney General’s office announces that they had filed terror charges against Jawar Mohammed, a leading opposition leader, together with other activists; Renowned professor Mesfin Woldemariam, founder of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council and renowned human rights defender dies; Several killed and others injured in protests in Wolaita region; Journalists barred from travelling to cover regional elections; Separately, others re-arrested after being released on bail for alleged incitement to violence Read more

Arrests made in relation to killing of Oromo singer, key opposition figure faces terror charges

Political opposition figures persecuted and detained

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for civil society to operate, as governments implement restrictions on fundamental freedoms, and Azerbaijan is no exception. Restrictions have limited freedoms already under threat in the country, including the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression. Read more

Political opposition figures persecuted and detained

Mass protests follow disputed election results

Protests erupt across the country over disputed results; denounce electoral irregularities; Opposition candidates intimidated after results announcement; Workers down tools to protest disputed results and brutality; Internet and websites blocked; Journalists assaulted, detained; Journalists quit jobs to protest brutality and censorship Read more

Mass protests follow disputed election results

China silences reporting on COVID-19, expands surveillance and arrests Hong Kong protest leaders

The Chinese Communist Party has continued to censor reporting about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and targeted journalists, doctors, activists, academics and critics in order to control the narrative. The coronavirus is also being used as a pretext for accelerating mass surveillance across the country. In Hong Kong, the authorities arrested 15 pro-democracy politicians and activists in April 2020, were accused of torture or ill-treatment of protesters and expelled US journalists. Human rights groups also reported on the use of an app to conduct mass surveillance by the Chinese government on Uighur and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang province. Read more

China silences reporting on COVID-19, expands surveillance and arrests Hong Kong protest leaders

Cuban artist detained for his work and declared prisoner of conscience

At the end of March 2020, the Cuban government announced a series of measures to promote social distancing and contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. The policies adopted included mandatory quarantine for travellers, movement restrictions and closing borders to non-residents. Read more

Cuban artist detained for his work and declared prisoner of conscience

Activists, journalists and protesters facing continued restrictions by parties to the conflict

Newspaper distribution suspended in the wake of COVID-19; Death sentence upheld for prisoner of conscience; HRDs and journalists detained; Journalist temporarily barred from travelling; Protesters facing arbitrary arrests Read more

Activists, journalists and protesters facing continued restrictions by parties to the conflict

Increased internet censorship; mass mobilisation for regime-praising events continues

New examples of internet censorship have appeared in Turkmenistan. The global online encyclopedia Wikipedia was blocked in the country after it featured an unflattering description of Turkmenistan’s president, and an increasing number of VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps used to circumvent internet censorship became unavailable. Amid government fears of growing opposition to its policies among Turkmenistani diaspora communities, there were reports of an increasing number of cases in which citizens were arbitrarily barred from leaving the country to work and study abroad. The authorities also continued attempts to cover up socio-economic problems in the country, forced state employees and students to participate in regime-praising events and to help cover the costs associated with such events, at the threat of repercussions. Read more

Increased internet censorship; mass mobilisation for regime-praising events continues