criminal defamation

Harassment of activists, critics persist in Malaysia as new Prime Minister comes to power

In recent months, the government has continued to use repressive laws against peaceful protesters and activists. These include the ongoing use of the Penal Code, Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA). #Lawan activists have continued to face judicial harassment while peaceful protesters involved in a candlelight vigil were dragged to police cars and restricted access to lawyers. Some were also threatened. Opposition parliamentarians were blocked by police from marching to parliament, activist Fahmi Reza was arrested for his artwork critical of the Prime Minister, while the CMA has also been used against those criticising politicians and royalty. Read more

Harassment of activists, critics persist in Malaysia as new Prime Minister comes to power

Uruguay: civil society pushes back against regressive legislation

In June 2021, the government proposed changes to the Access to Public Information Law (No. 18.381) using Article 29 of the “Accountability and Budget Execution Balance for the financial year 2020” bill. The legislation would modify the information that public agencies must make permanently available on their websites and other media, also imposing limitations to the right of access to public information. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Uruguay: civil society pushes back against regressive legislation

54 NGOs suspended, concern over repeated attacks against journalists covering curfew enforcement

Government suspends the operations of 54 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) due to “non-compliance” with the NGO Act 2016; Augustine Ojobile, the electoral commission secretary of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) was arrested for involvement in a “coffin protest”, where several activists demonstrated against the alleged embezzlement of COVID-19 funds; Several incidents reported concerning police officers using violence and force on journalists while enforcing a 7 PM to 5.30 AM curfew imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Read more

54 NGOs suspended, concern over repeated attacks against journalists covering curfew enforcement

Human rights defenders, critics targeted in Indonesia while protests on Papua repressed

In recent months, activists have been targeted for comments they made during an online talk or for reporting on corruption. An academic has been jailed for defamation while street artists are being silenced for a mural and graffiti critical of the state. A West Papuan activist facing trial has been hospitalised while there has been a lack of accountability for excessive force and other violations by the security forces during several protests related to Papua. Read more

Human rights defenders, critics targeted in Indonesia while protests on Papua repressed

Journalists covering Bangladesh face criminalisation, vilification and false copyright claims

In recent months, there have been reports of journalists being arrested under the draconian Digital Security Act for their reporting or facing harassment and vilification. One tactic that has been increasingly exposed to silence journalists is the use of false copyright claims. New reports highlight how the Digital Security Act has been used to target journalists, cartoonists, musicians, activists, entrepreneurs, students and other critics and how Bangladesh security forces routinely carry out enforced disappearances. Read more

Journalists covering Bangladesh face criminalisation, vilification and false copyright claims

More than a thousand killed in Myanmar as repression of activists continues unabated

Over the last month, concerns have been raised by the UN around the situation of human rights defenders as arrests and attacks on activists continue. A new report shows the systematic targeting of healthcare workers. The crackdown on the media has continued with arrests and sentencing of journalists. Civil society groups criticise the exit of Norwegian telco, Telenor. Protests continued, including in prisons by political prisoners. Read more

More than a thousand killed in Myanmar as repression of activists continues unabated

Singapore PM listed as press freedom ‘predator’ as journalists continue to be targeted

In recent months, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was included in a list of violators of press freedom. Journalists have continued to face defamation and other charges for their reporting, there are reports of increasing surveillance and an individual has been charged under the Official Secrets Act. Read more

Singapore PM listed as press freedom ‘predator’ as journalists continue to be targeted

Brazil’s civic space in dispute amid democratic backsliding

Brazil’s institutional crisis has expanded as President Jair Bolsonaro seeks to undermine trust in the electoral system and embarks on disputes with the Federal Supreme Court. Read more

Brazil’s civic space in dispute amid democratic backsliding

Unrelenting harassment of activists and critics by police to stifle all forms of dissent in Malaysia

In recent months, the government continued to curtail fundamental freedoms and intimidate activists and journalists. Dozens have been hauled up by the police for peaceful protests critical of the government and its policies. Activists faced investigation for raising issues related to police brutality and the government handling of the pandemic, while journalists were also targeted for their reporting. Amidst a worsening COVID-19 crisis, the government continued to use the anti-fake news ordinance against individuals, a move criticised as detrimental to promoting access to information which is essential during a public health crisis. P
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Unrelenting harassment of activists and critics by police to stifle all forms of dissent in Malaysia

Civil society alarmed by rise of lese majeste cases and proposed NGO law in Thailand

In recent months civil society have continued to raise concerns about charges against activists for lèse-majesté or insulting the monarchy including children, restrictions to freedom of expression online and attempts to restrict freedom of information. There are also concerns around a proposed NGO law which could be used to muzzle civil society and the use of excessive force during protests. A land rights activist was also killed. Read more

Civil society alarmed by rise of lese majeste cases and proposed NGO law in Thailand