Civic Space Developments

Nearly 200 arrested during protests over Zwarte Piet in the Netherlands

On 12th November, a protest organised in Rotterdam to demonstrate against the controversial character Zwarte Piet turned violent. Read more

Nearly 200 arrested during protests over Zwarte Piet in the Netherlands

Systematic reprisals against dissidents in Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani authorities have a well documented track record of ruthlessly suppressing critical dissent and harassing outspoken activists into silence. Read more

Systematic reprisals against dissidents in Azerbaijan

Thousands march against abortion and same sex marriage in Malawi

On 6th December, protest marches against the same sex marriage and legalised abortion took place across Malawi. Read more

Thousands march against abortion and same sex marriage in Malawi

Tensions rise in Germany over growing xenophobia and hate speech

On 16th October, supporters and opponents of the "anti-Islamization" and anti-migrant PEGIDA movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) assembled in Dresden to mark the group's second anniversary. Read more

Tensions rise in Germany over growing xenophobia and hate speech

HRDs criminalised for exercising freedoms of association and expression

Human rights defenders were arbitrarily arrested on fabricated charges for their legitimate human rights activities. Read more

Tags: HRD detained
HRDs criminalised for exercising freedoms of association and expression

Civil society fights back against threatened closure of environmental CSO

On 20th December, the Ecuadorian government threatened to dissolve Acción Ecológica, an environmental CSO raising awareness on the impact of a planned mega-copper mine on the lands of the Shuar indigenous people.
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Civil society fights back against threatened closure of environmental CSO

Expression

The freedom of expression is guaranteed by Article 73 of the Constitution. Reservations are made on the grounds of public order, state security and the protection of health, morals and the rights or reputation of others, but these must be consistent with Iceland’s democratic traditions. Read more

Peaceful Assembly

The Constitution’s Article 74 also protects the freedom of peaceful assembly, but specifies that the police may attend public gatherings, and open-air gatherings may be banned if there is a fear of rioting. Read more

Association

Article 74 of the Constitution protects the right to form associations for any lawful purpose without prior permission, including trade unions. Read more

Iceland-Overview

Iceland has a strong democratic tradition and a culture of participation and activism. While the country has seen several corruption scandals in recent years, most recently exposed by the Panama Papers leaks, each time there has been a strong civic response that has led to rapid political change. Read more