protest disruption

Cuban government backtracks on talks with protesters and uses COVID-19 regulations to harass critics

As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, in November 2020 the arrest of musician Denis Solís González led artists and activists with Movimiento San Isidro to mobilise for his release. On 26th November 2020, the Cuban authorities raided the movement’s headquarters and detained 14 activists who had been on hunger strike for several days. Read more

Cuban government backtracks on talks with protesters and uses COVID-19 regulations to harass critics

Costa Rica: arbitrary detention of journalist and criminalisation of protests

On 29th October 2020 police in Ochomogo, Cartago, detained journalist Stella Chinchilla Mora when she was reporting from a demonstration against the government’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Read more

Costa Rica: arbitrary detention of journalist and criminalisation of protests

Two environmental defenders killed in Honduras

On 24th November 2020, Laura Carolina Valentín Dolmo, a young Garífuna defender and member of the Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH), was found dead in the river Danto in La Ceiba, in the northern Atlantida department. Read more

Two environmental defenders killed in Honduras

Canada: protests against COVID-19 restrictions as country struggles with new wave of infections

On 7th November 2020, about 2,000 people demonstrated in Aylmer, Ontario, to express their opposition to facial coverings and social distancing rules implemented by the provincial and federal governments in response to COVID-19. Read more

Canada: protests against COVID-19 restrictions as country struggles with new wave of infections

Persecution of activists, raids in Kashmir and increasing restrictions on foreign funding in India

In September 2020, the Indian Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2020 was adopted which would impose further restrictions on civil society. In October 2020, Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy was the latest activist to be arrested under the UAPA while the health of detained poet and social activist Varavara Rao continues to deteriorate. Also, in October, raids were conducted on human rights defenders, non-governmental organisations and newspapers in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Journalists and human rights lawyers continue to be targeted for exercising their freedom of speech while student activists and protesters remain in jail for their activism. Farmers continue to protest against new farm laws. Read more

Persecution of activists, raids in Kashmir and increasing restrictions on foreign funding in India

Authorities fail to protect anti-racism protesters; climate protests staged

Demonstrations by anti-racism group ‘Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP)’, who protested against the tradition of Black Pete (so called Black Face), have been met by large counter protests in several Dutch cities. However authorites failed to ensure the safety of KOZP members from counter protesters. Several climate protests were staged including one at Schiphol Airport where protesters blocked both entrances by forming human chains, glueing their hands to the ground and to the revolving glass doors at the entrance. Fourteen protesters were detained by police.
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Authorities fail to protect anti-racism protesters; climate protests staged

While insisting it’s COVID-19 free, Turkmenistan renews efforts to clamp down on dissent

Turkmenistan’s government continued its policy of COVID-19 denial, claiming that the global pandemic had not reached the country, although independent Turkmenistan-covering outlets reported about a growing number of coronavirus infections. The authorities continued to use national, state-controlled media for propaganda purposes, while restricting access to foreign sources of information. Amid growing criticism of Turkmenistan’s government both on- and offline in recent months, the authorities continued to put pressure on outspoken activists living abroad, their relatives in Turkmenistan, and local residents suspected of ties with such activists. The reporting period also saw several new spontaneous protests initiated by residents of Turkmenistan who expressed their resentment at the shortages of basic food items sold at state-subsidised prices, and the shortages of cash at ATMs. Read more

While insisting it’s COVID-19 free, Turkmenistan renews efforts to clamp down on dissent

Contested legislative elections in Venezuela amid pandemic

On 7th December 2020, Nicolas Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and allied parties won 67 percent of the seats in the National Assembly, in legislative elections boycotted by most of the opposition. Read more

Contested legislative elections in Venezuela amid pandemic

Criminal sanctions for organising gatherings remain, critical social media posts surveilled

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) had continuously questioned the necessity and proportionality of the use of criminal sanctions to enforce public health guidelines on restricting gatherings, especially given the high levels of public compliance, and the lack of evidence that criminalisation and prosecution are justified or likely to be effective. It has opposed the extension of the Emergency Health Legislation without substantial review and debate, which was due to expire in November. In a concerning development, organisers of the Black Lives Matter protest which took place on 6th June 2020 were being investigated under COVID-19 regulations. Anti-mask protests
which took place from August 2020 to October 2020, in which counter-protesters were attacked, have also been a matter of concern. It emerged that the Department of Justice has been carrying out extensive social media monitoring on posts commenting on issues concerning the department during the crisis, such as on the impact of COVID-19 on those living in the direct provision system.

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Criminal sanctions for organising gatherings remain, critical social media posts surveilled

Election drives people to the streets in the US

Protests swept across the United States as people waited for the results of the 3rd November 2020 election, which had the highest voter turnout in over a hundred years. Read more

Election drives people to the streets in the US