HRD detained

Teachers strike in Togo: over 100 teachers dismissed, trade unionists arrested

On 24th and 25th March 2022, the trade union Syndicat des enseignants du Togo (Teachers Union of Togo, SET) organised a strike in the education sector to demand a monthly housing allowance for any teacher without distinction in accordance with the 1975 education reform, a distance allowance and a transfer allowance, among others. The strike is considered illegal by the Togolese government, as SET is not considered by authorities as having been legally constituted, which is refuted by the trade union and civil society organisations.

Read more

Teachers strike in Togo: over 100 teachers dismissed, trade unionists arrested

Vietnamese activists face tax evasion charges, movement restrictions and increasing censorship

In recent months, civil society has documented the use of tax evasion laws to target activists, in particular those involved in a network of NGOs to monitor the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). New reports highlight the restrictions on movement for activists as well as increased arrests of media workers and environmental activists. The Vietnamese government plans to adopt new regulations to tighten control over social media platforms, while journalists have been arrested and convicted for exposing abuses or for criticism of the state. Police have also failed to prevent plainclothes thugs from attacking land rights protesters.
Read more

Vietnamese activists face tax evasion charges, movement restrictions and increasing censorship

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

Arrests of activists, journalists continue in Myanmar as military tribunals impose harsh sentences

In recent months, activists were arrested, faced fabricated charges - including of terrorism - and given harsh sentences including the death penalty, by secret military tribunals. According to reports, many activists had unfair trials and were tortured or ill-treated. Myanmar’s press freedom rankings dropped further according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and journalists continued to be criminalised on charges of “incitement, sedition and ‘terrorism’”. At least 26 writers were jailed in 2021. The junta also arrested dozens of activists for supporting the ‘silent strike’ around the one year anniversary of the coup. Read more

Arrests of activists, journalists continue in Myanmar as military tribunals impose harsh sentences

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

El Salvador: human rights defenders arbitrarily detained during state of emergency

On 24th April 2022, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly extended the state of emergency for another 30 days, following a request from President Nayib Bukele.

Since a state of emergency was established to address gang-related violence, about 16,000 people were detained for alleged connections with criminal groups. Amid the crackdown, there have been reports of arbitrary detentions and police officers being made to fulfil arrest quotas, encouraging further due process violations. Human rights groups and journalists speaking out about abuses have faced stigmatisation and public vilification.
Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: human rights defenders arbitrarily detained during state of emergency

Judicial harassment of pro-abortion activist & activists helping refugees at Poland/Belarus border

Poland is increasingly criminalising humanitarian work on the Poland/Belarus border. Activists who previously received small fines for helping refugees are now charged with “organising an illegal border crossing”, which is a criminal offence punishable by eight years in prison. While the Polish government announced that it was allocating funding to NGOs for Ukraine crisis support, the funding, some funding was allocated to the National Guard Association, a far-right organisation that has been advocating for push backs. Further concerning developments on abortion rights took place: the death of a pregnant woman who was denied abortion sparked protests and Justyna Wydrzyńska, a human rights defender from the Polish group Aborcyjny Dream Team, faces up to three years in prison for supporting a pregnant woman who needed a safe abortion. In a positive development, the President vetoed proposed amendments to the law on education (dubbed Lex Czarnek), which would have censored workshops on LGBTQI+ rights and civic education in schools.

Read more

Judicial harassment of pro-abortion activist & activists helping refugees at Poland/Belarus border

Kazakhstan: Civic space limited by continued fallout from January 2022 events

During the reporting period, the situation in Kazakhstan continued to be affected by the fallout from the January 2022 events, when mass protests for social and political change were met with excessive force by the authorities and parts of the crowd resorted to violence. Representatives of the international community have repeatedly expressed concerns about the human rights impact of these events and called for an effective and impartial investigation into them. Read more

Kazakhstan: Civic space limited by continued fallout from January 2022 events

Civic freedoms continue to deteriorate in the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Thousands arrested in anti-war protests in Russia; New law criminalises reporting on the war in Ukraine; CSOs denounce persecution of activist; Supreme Court affirms liquidation of Memorial International Read more

Civic freedoms continue to deteriorate in the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

WHRD Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returns home after years of prolonged arbitrary detention

British-Iranian citizens Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori finally returned home to the United Kingdom after serving lengthy and entirely arbitrary detentions in Iran; woman human rights defender Atena Daemi was freed from prison in Iran; crisis related to the state’s severe mismanagement of water resources sparks prolonged mass protests in the city of Isfahan since November 2021. Read more

WHRD Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returns home after years of prolonged arbitrary detention