Civic Space Developments

Peaceful Assembly in USA

Protests – both planned and spontaneous – are an integral part of civic life in the USA. Demonstrations on a wide range of issues take place every day throughout the country and most of them are peaceful and well-policed. Read more

Expression in Saudi Arabia

The media in Saudi Arabia is heavily censored and journalists also censor themselves because of a fear of reprisals for commentary or reporting that could be seen as critical of the authorities. Read more

Peaceful Assembly in Saudi Arabia

Protests are few and far between in Saudi Arabia, where authorities have actively issued orders banning all forms of public gathering, even those aimed at promoting cultural or literary causes. Read more

Association in Saudi Arabia

While some space for civil society does exist in Saudi Arabia – most typically through informal, cultural or community-based meetings and interactions – citizens have no meaningful influence over public discourse because of government dominance over the sector and the targeted repression of critical voices. Read more

Saudia Arabia Overview

Despite certain political and social reforms made since the turn of the century, the authorities in Saudi Arabia continue their decades-long clampdown on dissent, human rights activism and independent reporting through the media. Read more

JUSTICE FOR LAND RIGHTS ACTIVIST, SIKHOSIPHI RHADEBE: CIVIL SOCIETY WRITES OPEN LETTER TO SOUTH AFRI

Nearly two hundred civil society organisations from 74 countries, including South Africa, have written an open letter to South African President Jacob Zuma to mark the second-month anniversary of the brutal assassination of South African community and land rights activist Sikhosiphi Rhadebe. Mr Rhadebe was killed on 22 March 2016 by unknown assailants using firearms. Read more

Tags: HRD killing

CIVICUS condemns UK government’s attempt to silence civil society

The UK government is receiving widespread condemnation for a new clause in grant agreements that will place restrictions on civil society organisations lobbying the government. Read more

Effort of Colombia’s civil society in peace negotiations not acknowledged

Carlos A Guevara coordinates the information system for Somos Defensores (We Are Defenders), a non-governmental protection program for human rights defenders in Colombia. He is a journalist, audio-visual producer and social communicator specialising in human rights, armed conflict, public opinion, digital rights, peace building and humanitarian assistance based on the “do no harm” principle. He has extensive experience in supporting, training and consulting with social and human rights organisations in Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Honduras and Mexico on issues of advocacy, management of public opinion and human rights, communication for protection, risk analysis, self-protection and management of communications in crisis situations. Read more

Joint letter to King of Bahrain on the arrest of Zainab Al-Khawaja

Dear King Hamad,

We, the undersigned Bahraini and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), would like to unequivocally condemn your government’s arrest of human rights defender Zainab Al-Khawaja along with her infant son. The implementation of Ms. Al-Khawaja’s prison sentence for merely exercising her right to free expression and assembly amounts to arbitrary detention is wholly unacceptable. While Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa indicated an intention to release her, she has not yet been freed from prison and we are concerned that these arbitrary charges remain against her. We therefore call on the Government of Bahrain to secure her immediate and unconditional release. Read more

Joint letter to King of Bahrain on the arrest of Zainab Al-Khawaja

Intolerance of civil society in Vietnam: An interview with Penelope Faulkner from VCHR

Vice-President of the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR), Penelope Faulkner, speaks to CIVICUS about the current challenges faced by civil society in Vietnam and the role of international solidarity networks in supporting the creation of a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders. Read more