enabling law

More commitments to improve press freedom

During a meeting with editors of major Tanzanian media outlets, President Samia Suluhu Hassan requested Tanzanians to give her more time to improve the country’s economy before resuming the stalled new constitution process and allowing political rallies to begin. Political rallies have been banned since the announcement by former President John Magufuli of a blanket ban on such rallies. In practice, the measure has been selectively applied against opposition parties. Read more

More commitments to improve press freedom

Release of IWACU four journalists, refugees experience human rights violations

On 9th March 2021, 5,225 Burundian prisoners were pardoned pursuant to a presidential decree dated 5th March 2021, in an attempt to decongest the prisons. The decree is likely to benefit prisoners convicted of minor crimes, pregnant women or those with children, minors, prisoners with chronic diseases, prisoners aged 70 and above, and inmates with mental disorders. The presidential decree also resulted in the release of four journalists who were convicted of threatening the country's security being released. The four journalists were arrested in October 2019 while reporting in Bubanza province on the insecurity that befell the region. They were accused of attempts of conspiracy that undermined the country’s internal security which the four journalists refuted, arguing that they were only doing their work. In June 2020, the court dismissed their appeal and they were sent to Bubanza Prison to serve their sentences, but they were granted a presidential pardon later in the year. Read more

Release of IWACU four journalists, refugees experience human rights violations

USA: Assaults, harassment and arrests of journalists covering protests

Lawmakers in California are considering a bill introduced in January 2021 that would protect restaurant workers from abuses and labour violations by their employers. Read more

USA: Assaults, harassment and arrests of journalists covering protests

Concerns over media freedom remain despite positive presidential signals

On 16th March 2021, four opposition politicians fled to Kenya in fear for their safety. The politicians faced political persecution for rejecting the 2020 election results that declared Magufuli the President. On 20th April 2021, the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) announced that its bank accounts had been unfrozen . THRDC’s accounts were frozen in August 2020, as previously reported by the Monitor. This resulted in the suspension of the Coalition’s activities for eight months. Despite positive moves by the government to improve freedom of expression, journalists continue to be arrested and targeted by the authorities. According to a statement released by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT), five journalists were arrested and harassed by the authorities in April. On 9th April 2021, Dr. Philis Nyimbi, the District Commissioner of Nayamagana issued threats against an ITV journalist, Mabere Makubi. On 12th April 2021, authorities briefly detained Dickson Billikwija, a private broadcaster for Islands TV, and Christopher James, a broadcaster for ITV and Radio One. The two journalists were detained on the orders of Lusubilo Mwakabibi, the District Executive Director of Temeke. Read more

Concerns over media freedom remain despite positive presidential signals

Sustained anti-government protests continue in Bulgaria

Anti-government protests which began in July 2020 continued in the months that followed, over one hundred were arrested in early September Read more

Sustained anti-government protests continue in Bulgaria

Protests break out against President Ismail Omar Guelleh

Djiboutians held demonstrations to protest a fifth term for incumbent President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who is running for re-election beyond his two-decade rule (34 years to be precise). According to the President, “Young Djiboutians told me to stay put, so that’s why I’m standing for re-election". Guelleh, 73, is facing political newcomer Zakaria Ismail Farah, his only rival after traditional opposition parties decided to boycott the upcoming election, citing lack of fairness and transparency. President Guelleh recently engineered a change in the constitution to eliminate a provision that would have prevented him from seeking re-election for a further term. Read more

Protests break out against President Ismail Omar Guelleh

Democracy in peril in the United States as rioters storm Capitol

At least five people died, including a police officer, and over 50 people were arrested after thousands of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on 6th January 2020 to disrupt a joint session of Congress and attempt to overturn the recent presidential election. Read more

Democracy in peril in the United States as rioters storm Capitol

CSOs call for Azeri authorities to stop the persecution of independent journalists

The media NGOs are calling the Azeri authorities to stop the persecution of the independent journalists and to respect human rights. Another Azerbaijani journalist was sentenced to 16 years in prison, being accused of espionage in favour of foreign forces. Poland Aslanov, the chief editor of the independent news websites Xeberman and Press-az, claims that he is innocent, and the accusations brought against him are related to his journalistic activity. He also declared hunger strike in sigh of protests against illegal allegations. Read more

CSOs call for Azeri authorities to stop the persecution of independent journalists

El Salvador’s government attempts to discredit independent press

In a news conference on 24th September 2020, President Nayib Bukele announced that independent media outlet El Faro was under investigation for alleged money laundering. Without proof, Bukele also accused a number of news outlets including El Faro, the Revista Factum, Gato Encerrado and La Prensa Gráfica of lying and “attacking” his government. Read more

El Salvador’s government attempts to discredit independent press