HRD killing

Three defenders and a journalist killed in early 2020 in Mexico

Environmental defender Homero Gómez González was reported missing on 13th January 2020 and his body was found on 29th January 2020, two weeks after his disappearance. He was a former logger who became one of Mexico's most prominent defenders of the monarch butterfly, whose natural habitat has been threatened by logging in the region. Read more

Three defenders and a journalist killed in early 2020 in Mexico

Three Honduran human rights defenders killed in one week

On 28th December 2019, Garífuna human rights defender Ignacia López Martínez was shot several times by unidentified attackers. She passed away on 11th January 2020 as a result of her severe injuries from this attack. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Three Honduran human rights defenders killed in one week

Government critic pardoned, journalists assaulted, detained

the government of South Sudan and the opposition postponed the creation of a unity government for the third time as the US imposes visa restrictions and recalls its ambassador; International Organization for Migration (IOM) killed during fighting between government forces and National Salvation Front (NAS) rebels; government critic Peter Biar Ajak pardoned and released from custody; Associated Press journalist Sam Mednick’s accreditation revoked and asked to leave the country, journalists attacked by senior army official while covering state event; Emmanuel Monychol Akop- managing editor of The Dawn newspaper,detained by the National Security Service (NSS) Read more

Government critic pardoned, journalists assaulted, detained

HRD Killed by Stray Bullet, journalists harassed and detained

Somali-Canadian activist Almaas Elman killed by a stray bullet in Mogadishu; new report by defendDefenders shows the role played by human rights lawyers in Somalia/Somaliland as they struggle to handle sensitive cases within a clashing cultural and religious context; journalists harassed and beaten by police officers. Read more

HRD Killed by Stray Bullet, journalists harassed and detained

Women human rights defenders are targets of threats and attacks in Honduras

On 12th October 2019, land rights defender María Digna Montero was murdered at her home in the indigenous and afro-descendent Garifuna community of Cuzuna, Colón department. According to reports, unidentified assailants shot her several times in her backyard and then fled on a motorcycle. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Women human rights defenders are targets of threats and attacks in Honduras

Indigenous communities in Colombia under attack

The Colombia National Indigenous Organisation reported that 115 Indigenous people have been assassinated so far in 2019. On 28th October 2019, rural workers association Asociación Nacional de Zonas de Reserva Campesina (National Association of Peasant Reserve Zones - ANZORC) reported that 16-year-old social leader Flower Jair Trompeta Pavi had been tortured and murdered. On 29th October 2019, an illegal armed group in the Cauca region attacked members of the Nasa people, killing indigenous authority Ne’h Wesx Cristina Taquinas Bautista and four Indigenous Guards. Six other people were wounded.

On 21st November 2019, over 200,000 protesters took to the streets of Colombia for a 12-hour nationwide strike. Initially called by unions, the strike was joined by pensioners, students, indigenous groups and other social sectors. The killing of 18-year-old Dylan Muricio Cruz during a protest for education on 23rd November 2019 in Bogotá has mobilised more protests. Read more

Indigenous communities in Colombia under attack

Guatemalan ombudsman warns about deterioration of freedom of expression

On 6th November 2019, unidentified men shot and killed human rights defender Manuel Pérez Hernández at his home in the community Agua Mecate de San Pedro Pínula, Jalapa department. Manuel Pérez was a community defender and social leader of Comité de Desarrollo Campesino (Peasant Development Committee - CODECA), which advocates for land reform.

On 2nd November 2019, Guatemala’s Ombudsman Jordán Rodas published a statement on the need to strengthen protection for reporters, creating a framework based on the United Nations Action Plan on the Safety of Journalists. Between May and August 2019, in the context of the country’s electoral campaign, there were 39 incidents where freedom of expression was violated. At the end of October, a group of union workers attacked reporters covering their meeting.

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Guatemalan ombudsman warns about deterioration of freedom of expression

South Africa issues warrants for two Rwandans in 2014 murder of ex spy chief

Australia's national broadcaster reported that a network of alleged Rwandan spies has been working to suppress dissident refugees in the country, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority issued arrest warrants for two Rwandans accused of murdering Rwandan critic Colonel Patrick Karegeya, who was found dead in his hotel room in Johannesburg in 2014, Syridio Dusabumuremyi, an official of the FDU-Inkingi party had been stabbed and murdered in an attack by two men at a shop where he worked, Rwanda voted in favour of extending the mandate of the United Nations LGBT rights watchdog for another three years at the U.N. Human Rights Council, Supreme Court in Rwanda rejected a challenge to the law created in 2018 which maintains that it is a crime to insult the president, Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, was banned from playing at the Kigali Jazz Fusion festival. Read more

South Africa issues warrants for two Rwandans in 2014 murder of ex spy chief

Philippines human rights body launches national inquiry as attacks against activists persist

Over the last few months, critics of the President have been charged with sedition and other offences and journalists have been killed. Further, a anti-fake news bill has been tabled in the Senate which could restrict freedom of expression. Left and indigenous activists have also been killed and there are increasing attacks on lawyers. Read more

Philippines human rights body launches national inquiry as attacks against activists persist

Brazil: defenders vilified and criminalised, censorship and attacks against media on the rise

In August 2019, fire outbreaks in the Amazon, the world's largest tropical rainforest, stirred global outrage. However, as outrage grew, Bolsonaro suggested that environmental NGOs could be setting the fires. When asked for evidence or names of the NGOs involved, Bolsonaro said there was no evidence but that it was just his feeling.

On 23rd August 2019, environmental movements organised protests in several cities to denounce the government’s environmental policies. Other countries in Latin America, including Argentina and Uruguay also held solidarity protests. Read more

Brazil: defenders vilified and criminalised, censorship and attacks against media on the rise