excessive force

Widespread protests in China met with repression including restrictions, harassment and censorship

Unprecedented protests have erupted across China including in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Lanzhou, Guangzhou, and Chengdu due to widespread public frustration with the “zero-COVID” policy, lockdowns and other restrictions. The authorities have moved swiftly to stifle the mass protests by blocking protest sites, harassing and arresting protesters, and have stepped up surveillance and censorship of social media.
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Widespread protests in China met with repression including restrictions, harassment and censorship

Protests escalate in Afghanistan as frustration with Taliban rule and abuses grow

In recent months, protests by women activists have been met by restrictions and violence as well as arrests, torture and ill-treatment. Media outlets have been banned and journalists covering protests restricted. Books and social media apps are being banned while political parties have effectively been banned. Read more

Protests escalate in Afghanistan as frustration with Taliban rule and abuses grow

Government agencies used to silence dissent in India as its rights record is scrutinised at the UN

In recent months we have continued to see raids and investigation of NGOs, detention of human rights defenders, journalists and protesters, restrictions on journalists and disruption of protests Read more

Government agencies used to silence dissent in India as its rights record is scrutinised at the UN

Dominican Republic: anti-colonial demonstration attacked by ultra-nationalist group

On 27th July 2022, medical professionals protested in Santo Domingo to demand improvements in the country’s healthcare system. The peaceful protest organised by the Dominican Medical Association (Colegio Médico Dominicano - CMD) was joined by about 200 people, who marched from a maternity hospital toward the National Palace. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Dominican Republic: anti-colonial demonstration attacked by ultra-nationalist group

Protests demand release of activists detained over bank heist, journalists face rape threats and death threats

Several important protests took place during this period. Protesters who staged actions against the Higher Judicial Council’s decision to appoint an alternate investigative judge in the Beirut blast probe faced insults and harassment. Protesters demanding the release of two activists who were arrested for their participation in events at Blom Bank faced repressions. Concerningly, journalists continue to face intimidation and harassment, including rape and death threats. Read more

Protests demand release of activists detained over bank heist, journalists face rape threats and death threats

Environmental rights protests & activists continue to come under attack

On 23rd October 2022, environmental activists protested the planned construction of a new bridge in Novi Sad, claiming that it will devastate the last green oasis in this city. They gathered in Šodroš but were met with a strong police presence. Following clashes with police units, activists were detained and suffered serious injuries. Protesters were not only met with a large police presence but were also publicly vilified by politicians who discredited and insulted them. Additionally, environmental rights activists were also targeted during this period. On 21st September 2022, environmental activist Miroslav Perović from Kosjerić, Central Serbia, was beaten in front of his building. Read more

Environmental rights protests & activists continue to come under attack

"Black Thursday": at least 50 killed in protests against extension of military transitional period

On 20th October 2022, dozens of people were killed in protests across the country against the decision of the military junta to extend the transitional period by another two years. Civil society actors and opposition, including the platform Wakit Tama and opposition party Transformateurs, had called for the protests on 20th October 2022 - the day that would mark the end of the initially agreed 18-month transition to civilian rule. On 19th October 2022, authorities banned the protests saying organisers had not complied with legal provisions related to protests, adding that the protest "aims to create a popular and armed insurrection with the support of external forces in order to destabilise the country". Read more  |  Read in French

"Black Thursday": at least 50 killed in protests against extension of military transitional period

Macron secures second term, climate movement targeted via Separatism bill

While President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected for a second term in April 2022, the presidential coalition Ensemble lost the absolute majority in the National Assembly following legislative elections in June 2022. After the results of the presidential election were announced on 24th April 2022, far-left protesters took to the streets in Mayor-run French cities. In Paris, Rennes and Toulouse some incidents were reported as police clashed with protesters. Concerning developments that took place in relation to the so-called Separatism bill. On 13th September 2022, the prefect of the Vienne department sent letters to public authorities in the Poitiers area urging them to withdraw their funding of “Village des Alternatives”, a festival organised by Alternatiba, a grassroots movement fighting against climate change and social inequalities. According to the prefect, the scheduled activities would allegedly breach the “contract of republican commitment”. However, the mayor of Poitiers, one of the recipients of the letter, criticised the request of the prefect as disproportionate and offered her support to Alternatiba, refusing to defund the activities. Read more  |  Read in French

Macron secures second term, climate movement targeted via Separatism bill

Protesters continue to face arrest, excessive force in Sri Lanka as new UN resolution maintains international scrutiny

Over the last month, protesters have continued to face excessive force – including tear gas and water cannon - from security forces. Dozens have also been arrested. Activists such as Lahiru Weerasekara have also continued to be picked up. A regulation to restrict protest was introduced and then revoked after massive criticism from civil society groups. Tamil activists and journalists continue to face harassment. Read more

Protesters continue to face arrest, excessive force in Sri Lanka as new UN resolution maintains international scrutiny

Civic freedoms remain highly restricted as Karakalpakstan protests turn violent, bloggers and activists targeted

On 20th June 2022, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev outlined draft amendments to the Constitution and proposed holding a nation-wide referendum on the amendments. Observers and civil society activists voiced concern that the proposed amendments do not envisage any limitation of the President’s scope of power, and would allow President Mirziyoyev to potentially remain in power for two more seven-year terms – until 2040. The proposed amendments triggered an outcry in the Republic of Karakalpakstan in western Uzbekistan since they included amendments removing this region’s autonomous status and its constitutional right to secede from Uzbekistan. Authorities reportedly dispersed the demonstration using excessive force. Official figures indicate that 21 people died, including 17 citizens and four law enforcement officials. However, media reports stated that by the evening of 2nd July 2022 there were at least 77 bodies at the Republican Scientific Centre for Emergency Medical Care. The authorities have detained journalists, bloggers and activists whom they suspect of playing leading roles in the protests. Read more

Civic freedoms remain highly restricted as Karakalpakstan protests turn violent, bloggers and activists targeted