protestor(s) detained

Protests for academic freedom met with excessive force, journalist under surveillance

A series of demonstrations which have taken place at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki over the past few months have been met with repressions. The protests began after the Council of the State, Greece’s highest administrative court, ruled that the legislation which provides for the creation of a new police corps, permanently stationed on university campuses, does not violate academic freedom. The ruling was handed down in early 2021 and entered into force in June 2022, with university police being stationed at two of Greece’s largest campuses in Athens and Thessaloniki. On 11th April 2022, it was first revealed that Greek journalist Thanasis Koukakis had been under surveillance for approximately ten weeks when his cell phone was hacked and infected with surveillance software, known as Predator. Additionally several cases of detention, harassment and intimidation against journalists were documented. Read more

Protests for academic freedom met with excessive force, journalist under surveillance

Youth protest in Mongolia on the economic situation while press freedom rankings drop

In April 2022, youths protested around the failure of government to address economic issues, with some arrested by the police and beaten. The country’s press freedom ranking by Reporters Without dropped 22 places, as journalists continue to be targeted. Activist Munkhbayar Chuluundorj remains in detention. Read more

Youth protest in Mongolia on the economic situation while press freedom rankings drop

Ecuador: another crackdown on Indigenous-led protests

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Ecuador since 13th June 2022, when the Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de Ecuador (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador – CONAIE) and other Indigenous organisations convened a national strike against the government’s economic and social policies. Read more

Ecuador: another crackdown on Indigenous-led protests

Canada: use of emergency powers to disperse protests under scrutiny

In April 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that an independent public inquiry would be held into the government’s use of emergency powers in February 2022 to disperse anti-vaccine trucker protests and border blockades. Read more

Canada: use of emergency powers to disperse protests under scrutiny

Panamá: 19 people detained in protests in the Colón province

Between 9th and 29th May 2022, protesters across the Colón province mobilised against the rise in fuel and living costs and to denounce the lack of government investment in the region. Read more

Panamá: 19 people detained in protests in the Colón province

Ongoing concerns about lack of impartial investigations into "Bloody January’’ events

During the reporting period, the fallout from the ‘’Bloody January’’ 2022 events continued to evolve. While the authorities have pledged to ensure that reported abuses are investigated, an ongoing concern was the lack of effective, impartial and thorough investigations into allegations of the use of excessive force to end the January protests and unrest, arbitrary detentions of protesters, as well as due process violations, torture and ill-treatment of people detained during these events. Hundreds of people remained under investigation on criminal charges relating to the January events. Among these are activists who are facing charges believed to be retaliation for their legitimate civic, human rights and pro-democracy engagement. The trials against some activists began in May 2022. Two Shymkent-based activists were convicted on charges of rioting, although they both insisted that they only peacefully protested to voice misgivings about socio-economic problems and call for political change. Some activists have been charged with the broadly worded offence of ‘’knowingly spreading false information”, which has been repeatedly used to stifle free speech. In the aftermath of the January events, President Tokayev has vowed to promote political modernisation and create ‘’a new Kazakhstan’’. As part of this initiative a constitutional referendum was organised on 5th June 2022. However, at the same time, fundamental freedoms continue to be seriously violated in the country.
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Ongoing concerns about lack of impartial investigations into "Bloody January’’  events

Calls for justice after journalist Shireen Abu-Akleh killed in ‘targeted attack’ by Israeli forces

On 11 May 2022, Shireen Abu Akleh, a prominent 51-year-old Palestinian-American journalist from Jerusalem, was killed while she was covering the aggression in Jenin Refugee Camp in the occupied West Bank, despite her wearing her press uniform. An investigation by CNN suggests that Abu Akleh was killed in a targeted attack by Israeli occupation forces with a direct bullet in the head. Restrictions on representatives of civil society organisations have continued. For instance, on 1st June 2022, Israeli authorities prevented Ubai Al-Aboudi, the Executive Director of the Bisan Center for Research and Development, from traveling to Amman, Jordan to attend a two-day expert meeting with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. Separately, in an open letter to the President of the European Parliament, civil society representatives raised their concerns after Israeli authorities denied the entry of European Members of Parliament into Palestine. Read more

Calls for justice after journalist Shireen Abu-Akleh killed in ‘targeted attack’ by Israeli forces

The Taliban continues to target activists, journalists and stifle protests by women with impunity

In recent months, there have been reports of the growing pattern of arbitrary arrests, unlawful detentions and enforced disappearances by the Taliban. Detained women’s rights activists have been forced to make video confessions saying they had been incited to protest by foreign activists. There have been ongoing restrictions, detention and attacks on journalists by the Taliban, the banning of international broadcasts and forcing of female news presenters to cover up. Despite harassment and threats, women’s rights activists have continued to protest for their rights to education and employment. Read more

The Taliban continues to target activists, journalists and stifle protests by women with impunity

Mass arrests of activists; HRDs and journalists hacked with Pegasus Spyware

The Law on Cybercrime Prevention has been used as a tool to detain activists and thus continues to restrict civic space. According to Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) at least 150 activists were arrested during March 2022. Separately, in April 2022, Citizen Lab and FrontLine Defenders revealed that Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and journalists in Jordan had been hacked with Pegasus spyware. The key finding of the investigation revealed that between August 2019 and December 2021, Pegasus spyware was used to hack the phones of four HRDs, journalists and lawyers. Read more

Mass arrests of activists; HRDs and journalists hacked with Pegasus Spyware

Crackdown and arrests reported by the Fact-Finding Mission

A report published by the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya in March 2022 cites multiple violations affecting the transition to democracy and the integrity of the electoral process in Libya, including the intimidation and harassment of activists, attacks on the judiciary as a protector of human rights, and mass violations affecting vulnerable groups including migrants, women, peace activists and detainees.
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Crackdown and arrests reported by the Fact-Finding Mission