protest disruption

Ongoing persecution of unionists, media and opposition ahead of commune elections in Cambodia

In recent months, the harassment and persecution of NagaWorld unionists and workers has persisted. Licences were revoked for three digital media outlets while civil society groups remained concerned about the internet gateway sub-decree. Activists have been charged around land disputes while opposition activists continued to be criminalised or targeted ahead of the commune elections. Read more

Ongoing persecution of unionists, media and opposition ahead of commune elections in Cambodia

Indonesian authorities criminalise activists, violently suppress protests around Papua

In the last few months, human rights defenders have been arrested, criminalised and threatened, especially those speaking up on violations in the Papuan region. Those who organised or have been involved in protests against the creation of new provinces in Papua have also been arrested and ill-treated and some have faced excessive or deadly force from the security forces. Farmers and activists in Wadas were arrested for opposing a mining project. The press freedom ranking for Indonesia has dropped and digital repression continues to be reported. Read more

Indonesian authorities criminalise activists, violently suppress protests around Papua

Vietnamese activists face tax evasion charges, movement restrictions and increasing censorship

In recent months, civil society has documented the use of tax evasion laws to target activists, in particular those involved in a network of NGOs to monitor the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). New reports highlight the restrictions on movement for activists as well as increased arrests of media workers and environmental activists. The Vietnamese government plans to adopt new regulations to tighten control over social media platforms, while journalists have been arrested and convicted for exposing abuses or for criticism of the state. Police have also failed to prevent plainclothes thugs from attacking land rights protesters.
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Vietnamese activists face tax evasion charges, movement restrictions and increasing censorship

CSOs condemn murder of LGBTIQ+ member, protesters beaten

Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) banned an Indian film for promoting same sex marriage, LGBTIQ+ member Sheila Adhiambo Lumumba found dead after brutal attack; striking inmates at the Kamiti Maximum Prison in Nairobi County were badly beaten by officers; Magistrates’ Court in Mombasa findsd six activists guilty of gathering illegally and failing to maintain physical distances in a public place during a demonstration; police officers arrest and beat human rights defender Julius Kamau, for protesting the high cost of living outside the Treasury building; Mombasa citizens held the “NjaaRevolution” (translated to ‘hunger revolution’), protesting the high cost of living; Read more

CSOs condemn murder of LGBTIQ+ member, protesters beaten

15 activists sentenced to prison for peacefully protesting under State of Siege in Eastern DRC

Human rights organisations have highlighted civic space violations committed under the State of Siege, which imposed martial law in the conflict-ridden provinces of Ituri and North Kivu in May 2021. Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented a dozens of cases where police and the military have suppressed peaceful critics, used lethal force to stop peaceful protests, arbitrary arrested and prosecuted HRDs, journalists and members of the political opposition. Some of the civic space violations documented are included in this Monitor update. Read more  |  Read in French

15 activists sentenced to prison for peacefully protesting under State of Siege in Eastern DRC

Argentina: Buenos Aires' facial recognition system suspended

As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, in December 2021 and early months of 2022 protesters took to the streets in Argentina against negotiations between the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restructure the country’s debt. A new agreement was announced in January 2022, and demonstrations continued as the details of the deal were finalised. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Argentina: Buenos Aires' facial recognition system suspended

Judicial harassment of pro-abortion activist & activists helping refugees at Poland/Belarus border

Poland is increasingly criminalising humanitarian work on the Poland/Belarus border. Activists who previously received small fines for helping refugees are now charged with “organising an illegal border crossing”, which is a criminal offence punishable by eight years in prison. While the Polish government announced that it was allocating funding to NGOs for Ukraine crisis support, the funding, some funding was allocated to the National Guard Association, a far-right organisation that has been advocating for push backs. Further concerning developments on abortion rights took place: the death of a pregnant woman who was denied abortion sparked protests and Justyna Wydrzyńska, a human rights defender from the Polish group Aborcyjny Dream Team, faces up to three years in prison for supporting a pregnant woman who needed a safe abortion. In a positive development, the President vetoed proposed amendments to the law on education (dubbed Lex Czarnek), which would have censored workshops on LGBTQI+ rights and civic education in schools.

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Judicial harassment of pro-abortion activist & activists helping refugees at Poland/Belarus border

Panama: National Assembly debates bill to modify legislation on the right of reply

On 23rd March 2022, the National Assembly created a sub commission to analyse a bill (No.779) which seeks to modify the country’s law on the right of reply (Law 22 of 2005). If approved, the legislation would reduce the timeframe for media outlets to publish responses contemplated under this law and increase fines for non-compliance with this obligation. Read more

Panama: National Assembly debates bill to modify legislation on the right of reply

WHRD Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returns home after years of prolonged arbitrary detention

British-Iranian citizens Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori finally returned home to the United Kingdom after serving lengthy and entirely arbitrary detentions in Iran; woman human rights defender Atena Daemi was freed from prison in Iran; crisis related to the state’s severe mismanagement of water resources sparks prolonged mass protests in the city of Isfahan since November 2021. Read more

WHRD Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returns home after years of prolonged arbitrary detention

Paraguay: efforts to criminalise road blockades following protests

Over several days in March 2022, truck drivers in Paraguay protested and blocked roads to demand a reduction in fuel prices. On 17th March 2022, the fourth day of protests, police authorities threatened to intervene to clear out road blockades. Read more

Paraguay: efforts to criminalise road blockades following protests