criminal defamation

Despite serious crimes probe, Myanmar continues to silence critics and block the internet

Over the last few months, the authorities convicted film maker Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi and the Peacock generation poetry troupe for criticism of the military, while a Kachin activist was jailed for insulting a judge. The internet shutdown in Rakhine state remains. Rohingya campaigners outside the country faced threats while protesters continue to be arrested and convicted. Read more

Despite serious crimes probe, Myanmar continues to silence critics and block the internet

Report on freedom of expression highlights criminal defamation

On 10th December 2019, Panama’s Fórum de Periodistas por la Libertades de Expresión e Información (Journalists’ Forum for Freedom of Expression and Information) published a report on freedom of expression between 1st December 2018 and 30th November 2019. In the report, the criminalisation of slander and libel is highlighted as a serious restriction. In addition, according to the report, lawsuits demanding millions in compensation from journalists for “crimes against honour” have multiplied. Read more

Report on freedom of expression highlights criminal defamation

Brunei authorities convict and sentence critic in absentia for sedition

In December 2019, the Brunei authorities convicted and sentenced a man in absentia to 18 months’ imprisonment for sedition. Shahiransheriffuddin bin Shahrani Muhammad was charged in 2017 after he published a Facebook post that criticised the certification regulation released by the Ministry of Religious Affairs Read more

Brunei authorities convict and sentence critic in absentia for sedition

Kazakhstan: A tightening grip on civil society: ongoing persecution of activists across the country

During the period covered by this report, Kazakhstan witnessed reinforced persecution of civil society activists, journalists and other citizens exercising their fundamental rights. This includes the prosecution of numerous civil society activists, journalists and other individuals in retaliation for expressing their opinion, engaging in online activities or participating in peaceful demonstrations on socio-economic and political issues. The reporting period also saw the continued denial of state registration for NGOs working on issues that are sensitive to the authorities. Read more

Kazakhstan: A tightening grip on civil society: ongoing persecution of activists across the country

Activists, lawyers and critics continue to face harassment and defamation charges in Thailand

In the last few months, there has been harassment against activists, lawyers and government critics from both the state as well businesses while the bones of a disappeared ethnic Karen activist were found. A new report by Human Rights Watch documented cases of peaceful critics who have been prosecuted by the government for the last five years and concerns have been raised about a new anti-fake news center established by the authorities. A study finds that SLAPP or strategic lawsuits against public participation are on the rise. Read more

Activists, lawyers and critics continue to face harassment and defamation charges in Thailand

Lack of accountability for police violence, attacks on journalists and activists in Indonesia

In the last few months, mass protests by students were met with excessive use of force and firearms by the police with impunity. Further, activists peacefully protesting on West Papua are facing “rebellion” charges while two journalists and an environmental activist have died. Police have also attacked journalists covering a protest while the authorities continue to pursue a human rights lawyer for her activism on West Papua. Read more

Lack of accountability for police violence, attacks on journalists and activists in Indonesia

Concerns about freedom of expression in Nigeria: journalists arrested, protests repressed

According to the Amnesty International report 'Endangered Voices. Attack on Freedom of Expression in Nigeria', at least 19 journalists, bloggers and media practitioners have been subject to attacks between January and September 2019. These range from physical attacks, verbal assaults, death threats, surveillance, indiscriminate detention to pressure to reveal sources, mostly perpetrated by Nigerian security forces. Read more

Concerns about freedom of expression in Nigeria:  journalists arrested, protests repressed

Activists in Malaysia facing various forms of harassment from authorities

In past few months, human rights activists Sevan Doraisamy and Rama Ramanathan faced harassment, including being taken in for questioning for speaking up and criticising the authorities. Activist Maryam Lee is being investigated by the Islamic authorities because of her writing. The courts have also failed to protect women’s rights group Sisters in Islam from being deemed “deviant’ by the Islamic authorities. Read more

Activists in Malaysia facing various forms of harassment from authorities

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