torture/ill-treatment

El Salvador: human rights defenders arbitrarily detained during state of emergency

On 24th April 2022, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly extended the state of emergency for another 30 days, following a request from President Nayib Bukele.

Since a state of emergency was established to address gang-related violence, about 16,000 people were detained for alleged connections with criminal groups. Amid the crackdown, there have been reports of arbitrary detentions and police officers being made to fulfil arrest quotas, encouraging further due process violations. Human rights groups and journalists speaking out about abuses have faced stigmatisation and public vilification.
Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: human rights defenders arbitrarily detained during state of emergency

Kazakhstan: Civic space limited by continued fallout from January 2022 events

During the reporting period, the situation in Kazakhstan continued to be affected by the fallout from the January 2022 events, when mass protests for social and political change were met with excessive force by the authorities and parts of the crowd resorted to violence. Representatives of the international community have repeatedly expressed concerns about the human rights impact of these events and called for an effective and impartial investigation into them. Read more

Kazakhstan: Civic space limited by continued fallout from January 2022 events

Cuba: prosecutions against protesters continue; more restrictions are proposed in Penal Code reform

In January 2022, Cuba’s Supreme Tribunal proposed a bill modifying several articles of the Penal Code, in a broad reform set to be discussed by legislators in April 2022. Article 143 of the reform sparked concern by human rights groups, who highlighted that the draft uses vague language to criminalise any individual or organisation who “supports, encourages, finances, provides, receives or holds funds, material or financial resources, for the purpose of funding activities against the State and its constitutional order.” Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Cuba: prosecutions against protesters continue; more restrictions are proposed in Penal Code reform

Despite UN review, Thai government continues to silence dissent, push restrictive NGO bill

In recent months the royal defamation law was used to jail a protester for two years while a UN body found the detention of a woman jailed for 43 years to be arbitrary. There were also reports of protesters being arrested, charged and tortured by the police. Civil society continues to push back against a restrictive NGO bill while the government seeks to expel an international human rights group and there are concerns of the use of tax audits to target NGOs. Read more

Despite UN review, Thai government continues to silence dissent, push restrictive NGO  bill

Assault on civic freedoms continue in Sri Lanka as an economic crisis hits the country

In recent months activists have been arrested or faced threats and intimidation from the authorities, while journalists have been attacked or faced harassment. The authorities also disrupted gatherings and protests in the North and North Eastern parts of the country. Read more

Assault on civic freedoms continue in Sri Lanka as an economic crisis hits the country

Excessive force used against protesters while journalists at risk in Nepal

In recent months there have been concerns about the use of excessive force by the police against protesters demonstrating against an aid grant. There have been ongoing reports of obstruction, harassment and attacks against journalists while civil society groups have raised concerns about draft internet regulations that could affect freedom of expression and right to privacy. A woman human rights defender ended her hunger strike protest after the authorities agreed to some of the demands. Read more

Excessive force used against protesters while journalists at risk in Nepal

Nicaragua: Sandinista hero and political prisoner Hugo Torres dies in police custody

Trials of political prisoners detained after May 2021 continued throughout February 2022. On 12th February 2022, authorities confirmed that former rebel leader and Sandinist dissident Hugo Torres, who was 73, had died in prison eight months after being detained on treason charges. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Nicaragua: Sandinista hero and political prisoner Hugo Torres dies in police custody

On the Watchlist: Widespread violations reported during ‘’Bloody January’’

At the beginning of January 2022, thousands of people across Kazakhstan took to the streets in peaceful protests to call for social and political change. The protests turned bloody as the authorities used force to put an end to them, and some parts of the crowd resorted to violence . The circumstances under which the protests evolved into unrest, riots and clashes between protesters and security forces, as well as the role of different actors in these developments, have yet to be fully clarified. However, there are serious concerns about the manner in which the authorities responded to the crisis, in particular their failure to make a distinction between non-peaceful and peaceful protest participants, both of whom were indiscriminately branded ‘’terrorists’’; arbitrary mass detentions of protesters; reports of the excessive use of force, including the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters and passers-by; widespread allegations of torture and ill-treatment, due process violations and disappearances of detained protesters; as well as the prosecution of people for merely peacefully exercising their freedoms of peaceful assembly, association and expression. These events, which constitute the most serious crisis experienced by Kazakhstan during its 30 years of independence, seriously affected civic space in the country. Due to a rapid decline in civic freedoms, Kazakhstan is currently featured on the CIVICUS Monitor Watchlist. Read more

On the Watchlist: Widespread violations reported during ‘’Bloody January’’

Iraqi Kurdistan: Ongoing retaliation against anyone who criticises the governing authorities

protesters arrested; political activists arrested, cleric baneed for criticising authorities. Read more

Iraqi Kurdistan: Ongoing retaliation against anyone who criticises the governing authorities

North Korean citizens punished severely for using mobile phones and watching foreign films

In recent months, the authorities have sentenced to death and executed individuals for smuggling, watching and distributing South Korean films. Hundreds have been arrested for using Chinese mobile phones and there are severe punishments for international callers in the China-North Korea border region Read more

North Korean citizens punished severely for using mobile phones and watching foreign films