bureaucratic restriction

Lack of accountability for ‘’Bloody January’’ events & persecution of critics undermine pledged modernisation

The lack of justice and accountability for the ‘’Bloody January’’ 2022 events remained a key concern due to the failure of the authorities to impartially, thoroughly and effectively investigate allegations of excessive force, torture and ill-treatment, and other violations related to these events. For example, while 70 percent of those surveyed by KIBHR reported torture and ill-treatment in detention during the January events, only 15 law enforcement officials were under investigation for torture as of mid-August 2022. The first court proceedings against police officers facing such charges began in early September 2022. Hundreds of criminal cases related to the January events had been submitted to court as of August 2022, while other cases were pending trial. These cases include those of at least 30 civil society and opposition activists . The most high-profile activist case related to the January events is that of opposition Democratic Party leader Zhanbolat Mamai, who remained in pre-trial detention on multiple charges initiated in retaliation for his opposition activities Read more

Lack of accountability for ‘’Bloody January’’ events & persecution of critics undermine pledged modernisation

Costa Rica: concerns over stigmatisation of media and government actions to limit access to information

On 8th July 2022, Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health suspended the operating permit of Parque Viva, an event venue in Alajuela owned by Grupo La Nación, the parent company of newspaper La Nación. Read more

Costa Rica: concerns over stigmatisation of media and government actions to limit access to information

Escalating tensions & crackdown on human rights defenders & journalists

The reporting period saw a serious deterioration in the protection of fundamental freedoms due to a violent crackdown, mainly on protesters, by security forces in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) (an autonomous region in eastern Tajikistan) in November 2021 and, again, in May 2022. Read more

Escalating tensions & crackdown on human rights defenders & journalists

Belize: opposition party denied permit for protest against rising cost of living

In August 2022, the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) announced they would go ahead with a protest which was twice denied an official permit by the police department. Read more

Belize: opposition party denied permit for protest against rising cost of living

Increasing restrictions and control of the press in the Solomon Islands

In May 2022, journalists in the Solomons faced numerous restrictions while trying to report on the visit of China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the region. The government is seeking tighter control over the nation's state-owned broadcaster, a move that opponents say is aimed at controlling and censoring the news. The authorities have threated to ban or deport foreign journalists deemed disrespectful of the country’s relationship with China. Read more

Increasing restrictions and control of the press in the Solomon Islands

Journalists visiting foreign media under surveillance

On 24th May 2022, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declared a state of emergency in Hungary due to the war in Ukraine, thus extending his emergency powers. The state of emergency allows the government to suspend the application of some laws with no oversight. Human rights organisations raised concerns that this will further threaten fundamental rights. In mid-May 2022, the State Audit Office sent electronic letters to around 1000's CSOs regarding launching the audits on the financial status of NGOs that “influence the public and whose annual balance sheet in a given year amounts to at least 20 million HUF (50,000 Euros). Separately, on 9th June 2022, investigative media outlet Direkt36 revealed that Hungarian diplomats working in EU countries have been monitoring Hungarian journalists visiting foreign media outlets abroad. Read more

Journalists visiting foreign media under surveillance

El Salvador: three years of Bukele government marked by human rights crisis

Monitoring by national and international human rights groups has reported mass human rights violations taking place in El Salvador under the state of exception. As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, President Nayib Bukele first declared a state of exception on 27th March 2022, following a surge in gang-related killings. This measure has been extended three times since then. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: three years of Bukele government marked by human rights crisis

Media restrictions and vilification of activists intensifies climate of fear in Fiji

In recent months, the press freedom ranking for Fiji dropped drastically while the press was heavily restricted during the visit to the region of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Further, two human rights defenders came under attack from the prime minister for proposing a caretaker government, while a UN report showed that human rights defenders did not feel safe when criticising the government or discussing political issues in Fiji. Read more

Media restrictions and vilification of activists intensifies climate of fear in Fiji

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

Surge in violence threatens implementation of the peace deal

Surge of violence reported across the country and in particular in Upper Nile and Unity State, as well as the Equatorias; Government security forces surrounded the house of Lam Akol, an opposition leader; Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released its annual World Press Freedom Index, ranking South Sudan 128 out of 180 countries; Police arrest four activists for protesting outside Freedom Hall, where Members of Parliament had gathered to receive a bill on the constitution-making process Read more

Surge in violence threatens implementation of the peace deal