Civic Space Developments

Journalists and others killed and arbitrarily detained for exercising their right to freedom of expr

Photojournalist Fawaz Al-Wafi found dead in his car after succumbing to numerous fatal stab wounds to his chest by unknown assailants; journalist Hala Fouad Badawi transferred from the Military Intelligence Prison to the Central Prison in Mukalla, the capital of Hadhramaut Governorate, following her arrest on 30th December 2021; Read more

Journalists and others killed and arbitrarily detained for exercising their right to freedom of expr

Media Networks and Journalists Face Brutal Repression

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad ratified the Cybercrime Law No. 20 of 2022, which includes penalties ranging from one month to 15 years in prison, while fines range from 200,000 to 15 million (approx. 26,700 EUR) Syrian pounds for a group of acts classified by the law as cybercrimes; the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria—the regional government—announced that it was suspending Rudaw Media Network’s license to operate in north-eastern Syria; German court in the city of Frankfurt began hearing evidence in a trial involving allegations of torture and murder by state agents during Syria’s decade-long brutal armed conflict; Read more

Media Networks and Journalists Face Brutal Repression

Mexico: vicious attacks against women, journalists and HRDs continue

At the end of April 2022, thousands of people protested in multiple cities to demand justice for the murder of 18-year-old student Debanhi Escobar in Nuevo León, and for the killings and disappearances of other women and girls across the country. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Mexico: vicious attacks against women, journalists and HRDs continue

CSOs condemn murder of LGBTIQ+ member, protesters beaten

Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) banned an Indian film for promoting same sex marriage, LGBTIQ+ member Sheila Adhiambo Lumumba found dead after brutal attack; striking inmates at the Kamiti Maximum Prison in Nairobi County were badly beaten by officers; Magistrates’ Court in Mombasa findsd six activists guilty of gathering illegally and failing to maintain physical distances in a public place during a demonstration; police officers arrest and beat human rights defender Julius Kamau, for protesting the high cost of living outside the Treasury building; Mombasa citizens held the “NjaaRevolution” (translated to ‘hunger revolution’), protesting the high cost of living; Read more

CSOs condemn murder of LGBTIQ+ member, protesters beaten

Arrests of activists, journalists continue in Myanmar as military tribunals impose harsh sentences

In recent months, activists were arrested, faced fabricated charges - including of terrorism - and given harsh sentences including the death penalty, by secret military tribunals. According to reports, many activists had unfair trials and were tortured or ill-treated. Myanmar’s press freedom rankings dropped further according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and journalists continued to be criminalised on charges of “incitement, sedition and ‘terrorism’”. At least 26 writers were jailed in 2021. The junta also arrested dozens of activists for supporting the ‘silent strike’ around the one year anniversary of the coup. Read more

Arrests of activists, journalists continue in Myanmar as military tribunals impose harsh sentences

COVID-19 restrictions hamper civil society response to volcano and tsunami relief in Tonga

In January 2022, Tonga was hit with the eruption of an undersea volcano, prompting a tsunami. While foreign aid and support has come in, the strict COVID-19 measures have severely impacted the work of relief agencies and their ability to distribute relief. Read more

COVID-19 restrictions hamper civil society response to volcano and tsunami relief in Tonga

Environmental rights protests against Russian Fossil Fuels and local mining projects

Several protests for environmental rights took place during this period including the first Fridays for Future strike since the pandemic, a protest against imports of Russian fossil fuels and a protest to halt mining construction. Read more

Environmental rights protests against Russian Fossil Fuels and local mining projects

15 activists sentenced to prison for peacefully protesting under State of Siege in Eastern DRC

Human rights organisations have highlighted civic space violations committed under the State of Siege, which imposed martial law in the conflict-ridden provinces of Ituri and North Kivu in May 2021. Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented a dozens of cases where police and the military have suppressed peaceful critics, used lethal force to stop peaceful protests, arbitrary arrested and prosecuted HRDs, journalists and members of the political opposition. Some of the civic space violations documented are included in this Monitor update. Read more  |  Read in French

15 activists sentenced to prison for peacefully protesting under State of Siege in Eastern DRC

El Salvador: human rights defenders arbitrarily detained during state of emergency

On 24th April 2022, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly extended the state of emergency for another 30 days, following a request from President Nayib Bukele.

Since a state of emergency was established to address gang-related violence, about 16,000 people were detained for alleged connections with criminal groups. Amid the crackdown, there have been reports of arbitrary detentions and police officers being made to fulfil arrest quotas, encouraging further due process violations. Human rights groups and journalists speaking out about abuses have faced stigmatisation and public vilification.
Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: human rights defenders arbitrarily detained during state of emergency

Landmark court judgment decriminalises same sex relationships

Botswana’s Court of Appeal hands down unanimous judgment affirming decriminalisation of same-sex relationships; Proposed amendments seek to provide oversight to interception of communications; Whistleblowing Act failing to protect expression Read more

Landmark court judgment decriminalises same sex relationships