enforced disappearance

Laos activist Od Sayavong still missing six months on, while critics continue to be silenced

Lao authorities are believed to have been involved in the enforced disappearance of activist Od Sayavong and Phetphouthon Philachane in 2019. Government critic Houayheuang Xayabouly has been convicted for criticising the authority’s slow response to floods. Villagers in Luang Namtha are resisting a land development project while there has been no progress around the case of disappeared human rights defender Sombath Somphone seven years on. Read more

Laos activist Od Sayavong still missing six months on, while critics continue to be silenced

Activists disappeared or arrested in Pakistan while media faces restrictions and threats

Over the last few months, Pakistani human rights defender Idris Khattak was forcibly disappeared, activist Muhammad Ismail was arbitrarily detained on trumped up charges, while his daughter and women rights activist Gulalai Ismail fled the country. The authorities also denied entry to a representative from the Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ), warned news anchors not to express their opinions, while journalists from the Dawn newspaper faced threats for their reporting. Student protesters including Alamgir Wazir were arrested and charged for their activism. Read more

Activists disappeared or arrested in Pakistan while media faces restrictions and threats

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

Civil society calls for accountability for killing of Maldives journalist and its cover-up

In recent months, a presidential commission revealed that missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan had been murdered, while an international NGO has raised concerns about ongoing threats on human rights defenders. The trial of murdered HRD is currently ongoing and the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights raised concerns about threats to those challenging fundamentalism. Read more

Civil society calls for accountability for killing of Maldives journalist and its cover-up

Laos increases controls on social media news sites while anti-land grab protesters jailed

In recent months, the authorities have tightened control of social media news sites, jailed anti-land grab protesters from two to six years and continue to persecute religious minorities. Read more

Laos increases controls on social media news sites while anti-land grab protesters jailed

Tajikistan: International bodies alarmed at pressure on media and civil society

This update covers developments relating to civic space and the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly in Tajikistan from April to July 2019. International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) prepared the report as part of its cooperation with the CIVICUS Monitor. Read more

Tajikistan: International bodies alarmed at pressure on media and civil society

Ongoing use of defamation laws raises questions of Malaysia’s reform credentials

In recent months, there has been the continue use of defamation laws by the police and courts to arrest, prosecute and uphold sentences. Revisions to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 still falls short of international laws and standards while the police intelligence unit has been linked to the enforced disappearance of two individuals. Read more

Ongoing use of defamation laws raises questions of Malaysia’s reform credentials

EU signs trade deal with Vietnam despite ongoing suppression of civic freedoms

Despite criticism from civil society, on 30th June 2019, the European Union and Vietnam on signed a free trade deal . In the last few months, civil society has documented arrests and prosecution of individuals for their peaceful expression in Vietnam, the disappearance of activists and long sentences handed down to protesters. Read more

EU signs trade deal with Vietnam despite ongoing suppression of civic freedoms

Civil society concerned about physical attacks and ongoing prosecution of Thai activists

In the last few months, there have been physical attacks against activists and human rights defenders or activists who have disappeared or placed under surveillance. Further, land rights activists from Sai Thong National Park have been prosecuted and jailed while pro-democracy student activists are facing sedition charges. Read more

Civil society concerned about physical attacks and ongoing prosecution of Thai activists

Hong Kong protests met with excessive force as activists suppressed around Tiananmen anniversary

Since March 2019, activists in China have been arrested for their work and human rights lawyers banned from leaving the country while peaceful protesters have been detained by the authorities. In Hong Kong there has been mass protests against an extradition bill which has been met with excessive force by the police while surveillance was ramped up around the Tiananmen anniversary. Read more

Hong Kong protests met with excessive force as activists suppressed around Tiananmen anniversary