criminal defamation

Samoan authorities use defamation laws against critics as press freedom rankings drop

In recent months, there have been cases of defamation charges reported, including against the opposition leader, an Australian based Samoan radio station, and a radio presenter. Press freedom rankings for Samoa have dropped as access to state information has become more challenging to obtain. Read more

Samoan authorities use defamation laws against critics as press freedom rankings drop

Arrests, jailing of activists and silencing of dissent in Hong Kong persists despite UN review

Since March 2022, the authorities have continued to target activists under the national security law, including trustees of a fund that assisted protesters. National security trials began for 47 pro-democracy activists, while the judicial persecution of human rights lawyer Chow Hang Tung continued. The authorities arrested six activists for sedition as well as a veteran journalist. An activist was jailed for 40 months for sedition. An investigative news platform and hospital union were disbanded due to pressure from the authorities, while a pro-democracy group was forced to delete its posts online. Around the anniversary of the Tianenmen Square massacre, police banned all gatherings, patrolled parks, and arrested six people. Two veteran activists were convicted for protesting. Read more

Arrests, jailing of activists and silencing of dissent in Hong Kong persists despite UN review

Paraguay: Violent evictions affect land rights defenders

On 15th June 2022, campesino farmers and police clashed in Edelira, Itapúa department in a violent confrontation that ended with the killing of campesino Édgar Emiliano Centurión Almirón. Read more

Paraguay: Violent evictions affect land rights defenders

Brazil: Anger at government inaction after Indigenous advocate and international correspondent are killed in the Amazon

After a ten-day search, the bodies of Indigenous advocate Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips were found in the Itaquaí river, in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest near Brazil’s border with Peru. Pereira and Phillips went missing on 5th June 2022 as they returned from a reporting trip in the region where they were documenting Indigenous rights defenders’ efforts to monitor predatory criminal activities such as illegal fishing and logging. Read more

Brazil: Anger at government inaction after Indigenous advocate and international correspondent are killed in the Amazon

Dominican Republic: HRD detained for filming raid on migrants; new bills impacting free expression

On 24th May 2022, human rights defender Roudy Joseph was detained by agents of the Directorate-General for Migration (DGM) after refusing to hand over his mobile phone. Joseph is a member of the Colectivo Haitianos RD, a collective that defends the rights of people of the Haitian diaspora in the Dominican Republic. Read more

Dominican Republic: HRD detained for filming raid on migrants; new bills impacting free expression

International Cooperation bill threatens to further reduce civic space in Venezuela

In May 2022, a new bill on International Cooperation under discussion in the National Assembly prompted concern by civil society organisations. If approved, the bill would repeal the current legislation on the topic and replace it with a more restrictive law, excluding human rights from modalities of international cooperation. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

International Cooperation bill threatens to further reduce civic space in Venezuela

Panamá: 19 people detained in protests in the Colón province

Between 9th and 29th May 2022, protesters across the Colón province mobilised against the rise in fuel and living costs and to denounce the lack of government investment in the region. Read more

Panamá: 19 people detained in protests in the Colón province

Peru: serious decline in freedom of expression and the press

The mayor of Chiclayo and president of the Association of Peruvian Municipalities (AMPE) used notarised letters to intimidate the newspaper Correo in Lambayeque, demanding that they rectify reports linking him to corruption and public administration irregularities. Read more

Peru: serious decline in freedom of expression and the press

Malaysian police continue to harass protesters and activists and criminalise online expression

In recent months the police have hauled up scores of protesters to be questioned for demonstrations related to the war in Ukraine, police accountability, the death penalty, workers’ rights and judicial independence. The government has also continued to use the Sedition Act, Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) and other legal provisions to arrest individuals for online speech including an environmentalist, graphic artist and writer. The government has also failed to take effective action to protect Rohingya activists from threats and has detained activists for blocking a forced eviction. Read more

Malaysian police continue to harass protesters and activists and criminalise online expression

Six members and supporters of Wakit Tama arrested, charged following protest

Between 14th and 17th May 2022, six Wakit Tama members and supporters, including protest organisers, were arrested: secretary-general of the Trade Unions of Chad, Gounoung Vaima Ganfare; lawyer at the Chadian Bar Association Koudé Mbaïnaïssem; President of the Group of Civil Society Executives Hissène Massar Hissène, former ambassador Allamine Adoudou, secretary-general of the Union of Chadian Supplier Traders Youssouf Korom and spokesperson for Wakit Tama Max Loalngar, the former head of human rights organisation Chadian Human Rights League (Ligue Tchadienne de droits de l’homme). The six were charged with gathering to cause public disturbance, harm to property, and physical assault. The trial of the six is set to start on 6th June 2022. Read more

Six members and supporters of Wakit Tama arrested, charged following  protest