HRD prosecuted

New anti-terror law used to restrict activities of HRDs, academics and journalists

Despite public statements by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud on modernising Saudi Arabia, the authorities have cracked down on human rights defenders in recent months and introduced a new anti-terror law that will further target human rights defenders, academics, journalists and bloggers. Read more

 New anti-terror law used to restrict activities of HRDs, academics and journalists

Military takeover: civil society calls for peaceful, inclusive political transition

Several national and international civil society groups have called for a peaceful and constitutional resolution of the crisis and a return to a constitutional order. Read more

Military takeover: civil society calls for peaceful, inclusive political transition

Opposing voices and views on presidential age limit removal not tolerated

In the early morning of 3rd October, unidentified individuals attacked the homes of two opposition members of parliament (MP) with suspected grenades just days after another opposition member, Moses Kasibante, experienced a similar incident on 27th September. Allan Ssewanya (MP for Makindye West), says one grenade was thrown into his home, while Robert Kyagulanyi (MP for Kyaddondo West), popularly known as Bobi Wine, said three grenades had exploded and smashed the window of his son’s bedroom. The MPs were among a group of 25 MPs suspended from Parliament on 27th September following chaos and a brawl during a motion over the controversial removal of the presidential age limit from the Constitution. In a Facebook post, Bobi Wine stated that no one had been hurt in the blast at his home, but that he had been receiving "death threats on an almost daily basis. In late October, Ugandan MPs were each given 29 million Ugandan shillings (US $8,000) as a payout for consultations with their constituencies on the constitutional amendment, in a move decried by critics as a bribe. A similar payment was offered to legislators in 2005 when President Museveni sought to remove a constitutional two-term cap for presidents Read more

Opposing voices and views on presidential age limit removal not tolerated

New law protects minority languages and expands their spheres of use

In a welcome step, Albania's first law to boost the status and rights of minorities in Albania, is the culmination of a long running campaign to bring minority rights inline with international standards. In addition to allocating extra funding for recognised ethnic minority communities, media outlets and affiliated civic groups, the law also officiates the use of minority languages for communications with Albanian authorities Read more

New law protects minority languages and expands their spheres of use

Lèse-majesté laws used to silence dissidents

As previously covered in the CIVICUS Monitor, unwarranted restrictions on freedom of expression can be used to silence dissidents in Thailand. In a recent example, Sulak Sivaraksa, an outspoken critic of Thai authorities was indicted on the 10th October 2017. Read more

Lèse-majesté laws used to silence dissidents

4 LUCHA activists released, while 4 HRDs sentenced to prison

On 3rd October, the authorities released four activists from the citizen movement Lutte pour le changement (LUCHA), after they had spent more than 75 days in detention. Nicolas Mbiya, Josué Cibuabua, Mamie Ndaya and Josué Kabongo were arrested in Mbuji Mayi in July. As reported previously, Mbiya was arrested on 14th July 2017. Read more

4 LUCHA activists released, while 4 HRDs sentenced to prison

Madagascar: "Almost if not all environmentalists are under threat"

As alerted by Front Line Defenders, environmental human rights defender Raleva was arbitrarily detained on 27th September in Vohilava village, and transferred 4 days later to a prison in Mananjary. Raleva, a member of the human rights organisation - Justice et Paix and Observatoire Independant des Droits Economiques, Sociaux et Culturels à Madagascar (OIDESCM), had been active in advocating for communities affected by the gold mining by a Chinese company Mananjary district. Raleva was arrested during a public meeting, organised by local authorities to announce the start of gold mining activities in Marokarima community, as he demanded that local authorities show the permit thereof, as the Head of District ordered earlier in 2017 the end of all gold mining activities in Mananjary district. He is accused of using the title of 'Head of District' during the public meeting. Read more

Madagascar: "Almost if not all environmentalists are under threat"

UN decisions set important precedents in view of unrelenting rights violations

During this period, UN human rights bodies announced two important, precedent-setting decisions with respect to the exercise of fundamental freedoms in Kazakhstan. At the same time, the pattern of criminal prosecution of critical voices continued, with charges of economic crimes, “incitement” of discord and defamation being used for retaliatory purposes. One outspoken social media user continued to be held in psychiatric detention, while one activist fled the country due to pressure. New, restrictive draft legislation affecting the activities of media and religious communities were under consideration, and authorities continued to interfere with the rights of residents to peacefully gather and voice concerns. Read more

UN decisions set important precedents in view of unrelenting rights violations