public vilification

USA: Frustration over power outages drives thousands to protest in Puerto Rico

On 15th October 2021, about 4,000 people marched in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to protest the island’s recurrent power blackouts. Many criticised power company Luma for failing to provide adequate electricity to residents and demanded its ouster. Read more

USA: Frustration over power outages drives thousands to protest in Puerto Rico

Journalists barred from press conference and attacked by outgoing Prime Minister

Legislative elections in Czech Republic were held on 8th and 9th October 2021, resulting in a positive outcome for the centre-right SPOLU (Together) coalition, with 27.79% of the vote. The ruling party, ANO, led by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, obtained 27.12% of the vote, coming in second place. On 11th November 2021, Andrej Babiš and his cabinet tendered their resignation. Babiš will continue to serve until the new coalition government is formed. However, prior to and during the election campaign, the PM continued to attack journalists. On 29th September 2021, a number of international and Czech journalists were not admitted to a joint press conference held in Ústí nad Labem by Prime Minister Babiš and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Additionally, Babiš targeted Jaroslav Kmenta, an investigative journalist at Reporter Magazine during an election campaign rally in Poděbrady. Kmenta, who previously wrote a critical book about the PM. On another occasion, his security guards also attacked two journalists and prevented them from posing questions. Read more

Journalists barred from press conference and attacked by outgoing Prime Minister

Social and political divisions lead to tension in Bolivia

In early September 2021, human rights defender Franco Albarracin was threatened with prosecution by ruling party militants speaking on a radio programme. Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) supporters have accused Albarracin of participating in the political crisis which led to former president Evo Morales’ resignation after contested elections in 2019. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Social and political divisions lead to tension in Bolivia

Attempts to ban LGBTI pride march unsuccessful; President makes homophobic statements

Despite challenges in the preceding months, the Kaunas Pride march took place at the beginning of September 2021, involving more than 2,000 demonstrators. The Kaunas municipality had used all available legal means to prevent the march from happening, but the court ruled against the municipality, allowing the peaceful demonstration to occur. Counter-protesters tried to block the path of the march, threw eggs, hurled insults and clashed with the police. The event resulted in 22 individuals being detained and five pre-trial investigations The attempt to halt the pride event came shortly after homophobic statements were made by the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda. Another rally was held in Vilnius on 10th September 2021, organised by the Lithuanian Family Movement, gathering more than 4,500 people, with the purpose of protesting against LGBTQI+ rights - including the ratification of the Istanbul Convention - and against COVID-19 measures. Read more

Attempts to ban LGBTI pride march unsuccessful; President makes homophobic statements

Appeal court upholds HRD’s unfair conviction

the Court of Appeal in Ngozi upholds the conviction and sentence of Burundian lawyer Tony Germain Nkina; President Evariste Ndayishimiye publicly vilifies RFI journalist Esdras Ndikumana Read more  |  Read in French

Appeal court upholds HRD’s unfair conviction

Peaceful march prohibited by Cuban authorities while its supporters face harassment

In September 2021, activist group Archipiélago announced they would organise a peaceful “Marcha Cívica por el Cambio” (“Civic March for Change”) in Havana, initially scheduled for 20th November 2021. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Peaceful march prohibited by Cuban authorities while its supporters face harassment

Association suspended after alleged sex education scandal; journalists targeted at local elections

A sex education scandal about an alleged scout “sex camp” hosted by civic association First Skopje Scout Squad garnered media attention for weeks and resulted in suspension from the Scouts Association. Subsequently it lost funding as the City of Skopje terminated their contract. Protests were organised in Tetovo after a modular COVID-19 hospital in the city caught fire on 8th September 2021, killing 14 patients. Residents of Tetovo demanded responsibility from the authorities, emphasising that the investigation has been dragging on too long without any result. Five people were detained during protests. During the local elections, several journalists faced insults, verbal attacks and attempts at public discrediting. Read more

Association suspended after alleged sex education scandal; journalists targeted at local elections

El Salvador: anti-government protests against authoritarian measures and Bitcoin implementation

On 3rd September 2021, the newly installed judges in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court published a resolution stating that presidents can serve two consecutive terms. The decision, taken by the magistrates appointed after lawmakers allied with President Nayib Bukele replaced five of the Court’s former judges, paves the way for Bukele to run for re-election in 2024. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: anti-government protests against authoritarian measures and Bitcoin implementation

A victory for LGBTI Pride parade organisers; concerns over DDoS attacks

The LGBT Pride parade took place for the second time in Sarajevo, under tight security measures to avoid incidents which potentially involve counter protesters from conservative organisations. According to the Sarajevo Open Center, the decision of the Sarajevo Canton, Municipality of Centar, and the City of Sarajevo to cover the costs of additional security measures at the pride march, which were ordered by the Ministry of the Interior of Sarajevo Canton, is a remarkable victory when it comes to the right to freedom of peaceful assembly of LGBTI people. Protests were also staged by coal miners and by the "Justice for David" group. A series of hacker attacks on the news portal nezavisne.com, which lasted for several days from 10th August has been deemed a violation of journalist rights and media freedom by the Association of Bosnian Journalists. Read more

A victory for LGBTI Pride parade organisers; concerns over DDoS attacks

Colombia: four months since the beginning of National Strike

As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, at the end of April 2021, a tax reform bill sparked nationwide anti-government protests in Colombia. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 68 people had died during the protests by the beginning of June. Over a thousand were injured and detained, and hundreds were reported missing. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Colombia: four months since the beginning of National Strike