prevention of protest

Several killed, injured, arrested in protest against the military junta’s “unilateral management of the transition”

Front National pour la Défence de la Constitution (FNDC), a coalition of political parties, civil society groups and trade unions, called for protests on 28th and 29th July 2022 in Conakry to demand more transparency in Guinea’s transition, as coordinated by the military junta. Protests also called for the establishment of an inclusive framework for dialogue. According to news reports, the military junta deployed the armed forces to maintain public order during the demonstrations, and security forces reportedly used tear gas to disperse protesters, while protesters responded by throwing stones and burning tyres. Some of the protests turned into violent clashes between protesters and security forces, particularly in the neighbourhoods of Bambèto, Sonfonia and on the route Le Prince, and which led to casualties, injuries,and dozens of arrests. Read more  |  Read in French

Several killed, injured, arrested in protest against the military junta’s “unilateral management of the transition”

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

New decree mandates NGOs to align their activities to governmental development priorities

On 5th January 2022, following a joint report by the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Payadowa Boukpessi, and the Minister of Development Planning and Cooperation, the Council of Ministers approved decree 2022-002/PR, regulating the conditions of cooperation between Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the Government. The decree, which will come into force in April 2023, mandates NGOs to align their activities to governmental development priorities. At the risk of suspension, NGOs will be obligated to notify prefects, mayors and regional directors of Development Planning of their activities. Read more  |  Read in French

New decree mandates NGOs to align their activities to governmental development priorities

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

Calls for justice after journalist Shireen Abu-Akleh killed in ‘targeted attack’ by Israeli forces

On 11 May 2022, Shireen Abu Akleh, a prominent 51-year-old Palestinian-American journalist from Jerusalem, was killed while she was covering the aggression in Jenin Refugee Camp in the occupied West Bank, despite her wearing her press uniform. An investigation by CNN suggests that Abu Akleh was killed in a targeted attack by Israeli occupation forces with a direct bullet in the head. Restrictions on representatives of civil society organisations have continued. For instance, on 1st June 2022, Israeli authorities prevented Ubai Al-Aboudi, the Executive Director of the Bisan Center for Research and Development, from traveling to Amman, Jordan to attend a two-day expert meeting with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. Separately, in an open letter to the President of the European Parliament, civil society representatives raised their concerns after Israeli authorities denied the entry of European Members of Parliament into Palestine. Read more

Calls for justice after journalist Shireen Abu-Akleh killed in ‘targeted attack’ by Israeli forces

Mass arrests of activists; HRDs and journalists hacked with Pegasus Spyware

The Law on Cybercrime Prevention has been used as a tool to detain activists and thus continues to restrict civic space. According to Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) at least 150 activists were arrested during March 2022. Separately, in April 2022, Citizen Lab and FrontLine Defenders revealed that Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and journalists in Jordan had been hacked with Pegasus spyware. The key finding of the investigation revealed that between August 2019 and December 2021, Pegasus spyware was used to hack the phones of four HRDs, journalists and lawyers. Read more

Mass arrests of activists; HRDs and journalists hacked with Pegasus Spyware

USA: Massive protests erupt over leaked Supreme Court opinion affecting legal abortion rights

Sparked by a leaked Supreme Court opinion that indicated the court would end access to legal and safe abortions, thousands demonstrated in several cities in May 2022 to demand that their right to access healthcare not be infringed. Outside the Supreme Court in D.C. and in other cities, people took to the streets on 3rd May 2022 to protest the potential decision by the country’s highest court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Read more

USA: Massive protests erupt over leaked Supreme Court opinion affecting legal abortion rights

Protesters in Sri Lanka face excessive force, arbitrary arrests and attacks with impunity

Over the last two months, human rights groups have documented the use of excessive force by the police against protesters in Sri Lanka, including the use of water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets. Hundreds have been arbitrarily arrested and there have also been incidents of torture or ill-treatment in detention, including denial of access to medical care and lawyers. Journalists have also been targeted and some are facing charges. The authorities also used state of emergency regulations to curtail protests and also shut down social media networks. Pro-government mobs were also unleashed to attack protesters and protest sites with impunity. Read more

Protesters in Sri Lanka face excessive force, arbitrary arrests and attacks with impunity

Blanket ban on protests until the election campaign starts

On 13th May 2022, Comité National du Rassemblement pour le Développement (CNRD), the military transitional authorities, announced that all public protests “likely to compromise social tranquillity and the proper implementation of the activities contained in the timetable, (…)” are banned until the start of the electoral campaign period.

The decision follows the announcement on 11th May 2022 by the National Transitional Council (CNT), the legislative-like body of the military transitional authorities, that the transitional period would take 36 months. Previously, on 30th April 2022, the leader of the CNRD, Mamady Doumbouya, said in an address on television that the military transition period could last 39 months.
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Blanket ban on protests until the election campaign starts

Restrictive legislation, criminal cases against the media & bans on protests on Ukraine

The government pushed ahead with the implementation of a law claimed to be aimed at countering the spread of ‘’false’’ information on the internet and put forward a draft anti-extremism law containing vague wording. Critics fear that both of these laws might be used to unduly restrict freedom of expression. Decision makers and pro-government activists made new calls for designating foreign funded NGOs and media as ‘’foreign agents’’ and proposed to renew consideration of controversial draft legislation on this topic previously rejected by parliament. The implementation of a new widely criticised reporting scheme for NGOs began with technical difficulties, as a result of which NGOs were unable to submit reports online -- as required by law -- within the first deadline. Parliament passed new legislation that media organisations have warned will result in public TV and radio channels becoming mouthpieces of the authorities. In an alarming development, several criminal cases were opened against media outlets and journalists in apparent retaliation for their work. While residents continued to actively exercise their right to peacefully assemble on issues of concern to them, local authorities in the capital Bishkek imposed excessive and unlawful restrictions on protests relating to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Read more

Restrictive legislation, criminal cases against the media & bans on protests on  Ukraine