Civic Space Developments

Expression in Burundi

Prior to the crackdown on free media in 2015, Burundi’s World Press Freedom Ranking was already a lowly 142nd, having been as high as 72nd a decade earlier. Read more

Peaceful Assembly in Burundi

Even though article 32 of Burundi’s constitution protects the right to peaceful assembly, public demonstrations in Burundi have become almost impossible in the wake of the sustained use of excessive force by security forces. Read more

Association in Burundi

Burundian civil society grew in size and influence after the mid-1990s and made important contributions to deepening democracy, including during free and fair elections in 2005 when the civil war ended. Read more


Space for civil society and citizen activism has been almost totally destroyed following a government crackdown in 2015 when citizens protested against the incumbent president’s bid for a third term. Many ordinary civilians and civil society activists have been killed, police have repeatedly used excessive force against protestors and detainees have been brutally tortured. Read more

Peaceful assembly in South Africa

There is a culture of protest in South Africa with thousands of protests taking place each year; most are peaceful and focused on local issues. Read more

Association in South Africa

South African law allows for many types of NGOs to be formed, from community-based organisations to trusts and non-profit organisations. Read more

South Africa Overview

In March human rights defender Sikhosipi Rhadebe was murdered by unknown persons, having worked for years to advance the cause of the Xolobeni community, whose livelihoods are negatively affected by mining operations in the Eastern Cape province. Read more

Expression in Sudan

Article 39 of the national interim constitution safeguards the freedom of expression, but the legal environment remains restricted. The Press and Publications Law (2009) provides the state with power through the Press Council to monitor and censor press content. Read more

Peaceful Assembly in Sudan

The national interim constitution provides guarantees for the freedom of peaceful assembly but in practice the right is not respected in Sudan. Read more

Association in Sudan

While the national interim constitution provides guarantees for the right to freedom of association, legislation governing the formation and operation of organisations – including the Voluntary and Humanitarian Work Act – curtails the free exercise of the right in several ways. Read more