positive CS development

Prominent human rights organisation ceases operation as violations continue

Amid growning repression, on 10th January 2022, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) issued a statement saying that it had decided to suspend its activities as a result of increasing disregard for the rule of law, the growing violations of human rights and police harassment. Separately, civil society organisations criticised a bill which aims to amend several articles of the law regulating religious preaching and lessons. The proposed amendments seek to expand the scope of the law to include the prohibition of “talking about religious matters on visual, audio or electronic media” except with an official licence from Al-Azhar or the Ministry of Endowments, and increases penalties for violating the law, in some cases amounting to life imprisonment with hard labour. Meanwhile, authorities continued to use charges of joining a terrorist group, inciting a crime, and spreading false news against journalists. Read more

 Prominent human rights organisation ceases operation as violations continue

Chile: journalist Francisca Sandoval dies after being shot when covering protest

On 1st May 2022, during the Workers’ Day march in Santiago, shooters opened fire following an alleged altercation with protesters. Four people were injured, three of them journalists covering the march. Francisca Sandoval, a 29-year-old journalist with La Victoria's Señal 3, was critically wounded and died from her injuries on 12th May 2022. Read more

Chile: journalist Francisca Sandoval dies after being shot when covering protest

USA: Massive protests erupt over leaked Supreme Court opinion affecting legal abortion rights

Sparked by a leaked Supreme Court opinion that indicated the court would end access to legal and safe abortions, thousands demonstrated in several cities in May 2022 to demand that their right to access healthcare not be infringed. Outside the Supreme Court in D.C. and in other cities, people took to the streets on 3rd May 2022 to protest the potential decision by the country’s highest court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Read more

USA: Massive protests erupt over leaked Supreme Court opinion affecting legal abortion rights

Restrictive legislation, criminal cases against the media & bans on protests on Ukraine

The government pushed ahead with the implementation of a law claimed to be aimed at countering the spread of ‘’false’’ information on the internet and put forward a draft anti-extremism law containing vague wording. Critics fear that both of these laws might be used to unduly restrict freedom of expression. Decision makers and pro-government activists made new calls for designating foreign funded NGOs and media as ‘’foreign agents’’ and proposed to renew consideration of controversial draft legislation on this topic previously rejected by parliament. The implementation of a new widely criticised reporting scheme for NGOs began with technical difficulties, as a result of which NGOs were unable to submit reports online -- as required by law -- within the first deadline. Parliament passed new legislation that media organisations have warned will result in public TV and radio channels becoming mouthpieces of the authorities. In an alarming development, several criminal cases were opened against media outlets and journalists in apparent retaliation for their work. While residents continued to actively exercise their right to peacefully assemble on issues of concern to them, local authorities in the capital Bishkek imposed excessive and unlawful restrictions on protests relating to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Read more

Restrictive legislation, criminal cases against the media & bans on protests on  Ukraine

Honduras: Lenca and Garífuna leaders killed within two days

On 30th April 2022, human rights defender and Lenca Indigenous leader Justo Benítez Sánchez was shot and killed at his home in the San Isidro community, Santa Bárbara department. He was a renowned leader who defended land and water rights and had a key role in the resistance against a mining project that would affect the Gualcarque River. Separately, on 1st May 2022, Garífuna leader Alonso Salgado was killed in an attack at the house of another Garífuna leader, Zury Quintanilla, in Rio Tinto. Read more

Honduras: Lenca and Garífuna leaders killed within two days

Colombia: attacks on HRDs and journalists amid increasing violence

According to data from the Observatory of Human Rights, Conflict and Peace of the Instituto de Estudios para el Desarrollo y la Paz (Institute for Development and Peace Studies - INDEPAZ), 64 social leaders and human rights defenders were killed between the beginning of 2022 and 19th April 2022. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Colombia: attacks on HRDs and journalists amid increasing violence

President Suluhu acts on promise to expand media freedoms, arbitrary arrests of journalists continue

President Suluhu meets exiled opposition leader; Opposition party chairman released from detention; Planned eviction of Maasai community sparks protests in Tanzania and UK; Legislative amendments approved to expand media freedom; New licences issued to newspapers banned during Maghufuli era; Arbitrary arrests of journalists a remaining concern Read more

President Suluhu acts on promise to expand media freedoms, arbitrary arrests of journalists continue

Guatemala: freedom of expression in sharp decline

On 8th March 2022, journalist Orlando Villanueva was shot and killed in a public sports facility in Puerto Barrios, capital of the Izabal department. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Guatemala: freedom of expression in sharp decline

Costa Rica: partial veto of new Access to Information Law

In April and May 2022, violence against Indigenous peoples in China Kichá continued to take place with impunity. On 27th April 2022, the Legislative Assembly approved Bill 20.799, the “General Law of Access to Public Information and Transparency.” The bill was nicknamed the “Gag Law” by the Costa Rican press because its Article 8 established a series of limits on access to information. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Costa Rica: partial veto of new Access to Information Law

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