public vilification

El Salvador: HRDs face increased risks under the state of exception

On 14th September 2022, the National Assembly of El Salvador approved a sixth extension of its ongoing state of exception. The country will complete its seventh month under the measure, which was first declared following a wave of gang violence in late March 2022. Between July 2022 and early September 2022, human rights defenders (HRDs) in El Salvador continued to face increased risk as a result of the state of exception. Read more

El Salvador: HRDs face increased risks under the state of exception

On the watchlist: LGBTQI+ EuroPride goes ahead at the last minute as journalists and LGBTQI+ activists attacked

On 22nd September Serbia was added to the CIVICUS Monitor watchlist due to a rapid decline in civic freedoms, with concerns about the government’s attempts to ban the LGBTQI+ EuroPride march event. The government’s last-minute decisions regarding the march have prevented LGBTQI+ persons from fully exercising their right to peaceful assembly and created an environment for further hateful rhetoric and violence. Additionally, there are concerns over the ongoing targeting of environmental defenders during protests, and attacks against journalists.

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On the watchlist: LGBTQI+ EuroPride goes ahead at the last minute as journalists and LGBTQI+ activists attacked

Government declines cooperation with UN mechanism, official vilifies CSOs

Burundian UN representative says that Burundi would reject any mechanism or “political attempts” to “interfere with the domestic affairs” of Burundi, in relation to cooperation with the UN Special Rapporteur's request to allow him access to the country; Government official publicly  attacks  international human rights organisations documenting abuses in Burundi, including those committed by members of the ruling party's notorious youth league, Read more  |  Read in French

Government declines cooperation with UN mechanism, official vilifies CSOs

Worrying trends: Vilification of CSOs and killings of HRDs

CSOs jointly condemned the public vilification of the Helen Suzman Foundation by the Home Affairs Minister; non-profit law firm vilified for representing local community in court; grassroots movement Abahlali baseMjondolo's members killed in targeted attacks; Land Rights and Woman Human Rights Defender Gunned down; High Court declares protest levy fees unconstitutional ; Read more

Worrying trends: Vilification of CSOs and killings of HRDs

Mexico: President vilifies civil society activists

In July 2022, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made recurring statements vilifying activists who have campaigned to halt the construction of a section of the Maya train project until environmental concerns are addressed. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Mexico: President vilifies civil society activists

Journalists visiting foreign media under surveillance

On 24th May 2022, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declared a state of emergency in Hungary due to the war in Ukraine, thus extending his emergency powers. The state of emergency allows the government to suspend the application of some laws with no oversight. Human rights organisations raised concerns that this will further threaten fundamental rights. In mid-May 2022, the State Audit Office sent electronic letters to around 1000's CSOs regarding launching the audits on the financial status of NGOs that “influence the public and whose annual balance sheet in a given year amounts to at least 20 million HUF (50,000 Euros). Separately, on 9th June 2022, investigative media outlet Direkt36 revealed that Hungarian diplomats working in EU countries have been monitoring Hungarian journalists visiting foreign media outlets abroad. Read more

Journalists visiting foreign media under surveillance

Labour unions face pressure; mounting attacks on journalists and activists

Several associations were targeted including the non-profit organisation "Women for Peace", the “Kreni-promeni” campaign and Women in Black. Separately, labour rights unions have come under threat. Several activists and journalists face intimidation and harassment during this period. Read more

Labour unions face pressure; mounting attacks on journalists and activists

Fight for reproductive justice continues; independent media continue to face SLAPPs

On 1st July 2022, Polish authorities lifted the state of emergency along the border with Belarus. The announcement comes after the completion of a new steel wall along the border on 26th June 2022 to keep out people fleeing from conflict and poverty. On 23rd June 2022, Poland’s Parliament rejected a bill that would liberalise the abortion law in the country by allowing termination within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The bill proposed to allow women to obtain a state-funded abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy without needing to provide any justification. Later in July 2022, the second hearing for the abortion rights activist Justyna Wydrzyńska, who is charged with “aiding and abetting abortion”, took place. She faces up to three years in prison for supporting a pregnant woman who needed a safe abortion. Meanwhile, independent media continue to face SLAPPs. Read more

Fight for reproductive justice continues; independent media continue to face SLAPPs

CSOs raise concerns over lack of consultations during parliamentary process

Irish civil society is becoming increasingly alarmed by the government’s abuse of the legislative process in the Irish Parliament. Recent controversies have emerged regarding the adding of extensive last-minute amendments to important legislation, with no time for scrutiny, and the guillotining of debates. For example, in late March 2022, the revised Electoral Reform Bill was published by the Irish parliament. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) was disappointed to note that the recommendations which the organisation fought to have included in the pre-legislative scrutiny report on civil society freedom haven’t been included in the revised Bill. Read more

CSOs raise concerns over lack of consultations during parliamentary process

El Salvador: Thousands join LGBTQIA+ Pride March

On 25th June 2022, thousands of people joined the LGBTQIA+ Pride March in San Salvador. A key demand of the demonstration was the approval of a Gender Identity Law that would create an institutionalised mechanism for legal recognition of gender identity for transgender persons. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: Thousands join LGBTQIA+ Pride March