bureaucratic restriction

Argentina’s former government accused of spying on journalists, civil society leaders and others

In early June 2020, a federal prosecutor conducting an audit of Argentina’s Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) presented evidence to the Eleventh Federal Criminal and Correctional Court, which indicated that the agency had conducted illegal espionage during the administration of former president Mauricio Macri. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Argentina’s former government accused of spying on journalists, civil society leaders and others

CSOs and journalists probed for links to money laundering and terrorism

In a concerning development, the Directorate for the Prevention of Money Laundering at the Ministry of Finance has compiled a list of organisations and individuals and has asked banks to inspect all their transactions in the last year. In this way, the Administration activated the mechanism provided by law in order to investigate these organisations’ possible participation in "money laundering" or terrorist financing. The list includes 20 individuals and 37 organisations or associations who are known for doing work which is critical of the current regime. More than 270 organisations and individuals in a joint statement demanded that the Ministry and the Administration without delay present to the public the grounds on which they have started such investigations, emphasising that such grounds are an attempt at political abuse and point to the further collapse of democracy in Serbia.
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CSOs and journalists probed for links to money laundering and terrorism

Human rights group submits report on Nauru to the UN ahead of its 2021 review

In July 2020, human rights group Amnesty International submitted a report to the UN ahead of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Nauru to be held in January-February 2021. Amnesty International evaluated the implementation of recommendations made to Nauru in its previous UPR and makes recommendations in relation to improving the national human rights framework, strengthening the right to a fair trial, protecting rights to freedom of expression and ending harmful refugee policies.
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Human rights group submits report on Nauru to the UN ahead of its 2021 review

Venezuela stifles dissent with political interference in opposition parties and detentions

At the 44th session of the Human Rights Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, presented a new report on the situation in Venezuela between June 2019 and May 2020. Read more

Venezuela stifles dissent with political interference in opposition parties and detentions

Journalists bear the brunt of repression of expression in Somalia

Journalists detained for reporting on COVID-19 related issues, local radio station banned from broadcasting in local Brawanese dialect, Journalists harassed and assaulted by police officers while covering protest, journalist Said Yusuf Ali stabbed to death in Mogadishu Read more

Journalists bear the brunt of repression of expression in Somalia

Vanuatu emergency extension questioned, journalists blocked from taking photos at airport

The Opposition has raised concerns about the constitutionality of the extension as this was made possible by an amendment when the Opposition was suspended from Parliament after it boycotted the first sitting due to a breach of COVID-19 restrictions by a government minister. Since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, journalists had been banned from taking photos at the airport when Vanuatu nationals were being repatriated.
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Vanuatu emergency extension questioned, journalists blocked from taking photos at airport

Activists, journalists face smear campaigns, harassment and censorship during COVID-19

Restrictions on the movement of citizens have greatly hindered the normal functioning of CSOs engaged in activities of general interest, especially the ones which provide citizens with certain services that can help them during the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, CSOs were not eligible for permits which allow for movement during curfew hours. The Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) has been the constant target of individual smear campaigns for many years. The most recent attacks, from GONGO association National Avant-Garde, aim to discredit the BCSP’s work through public statements, announcements and videos. The introduction of the state of emergency has raised concerns of censorship. For example, the government adopted a conclusion authorising only Crisis Staff to inform the public about the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthermore, it adopted a measure that prevents journalists from attending Crisis Staff press conferences. In addition, journalists were harassed, detained for their reporting or subject to smear campaigns during the reporting period.
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Activists, journalists face smear campaigns, harassment and censorship during COVID-19

Militarised police continue to use excessive force against protesters

Massive protests to condemn police brutality, overwhelmingly peaceful, have continued across the U.S. Enduring pressure from demonstrations has brought important results, including charges brought against officers involved in George Floyd’s killing and commitment to reforming police practices from some authorities. Read more

Militarised police continue to use excessive force against protesters

Civic space concerns reinforced by COVID-19 response

Emergency measures were introduced in Kyrgyzstan in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including a state of emergency in the capital Bishkek and several other cities and regions. These measures affected the protection of the freedoms of expression, association and assembly. For several weeks, journalists were not accredited or granted special permission to move around in the capital and other areas where the state of emergency was in place, which prevented them from effectively carrying out their work. Lawyers were also not exempted from the restrictions on movement that applied, which obstructed their efforts to provide legal assistance to clients. Rallies, pickets and all other assemblies were fully banned during the state of emergency and social media users were detained, threatened with criminal prosecution and forced to “publicly apologise” for spreading alleged false information about the pandemic.
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Civic space concerns reinforced by COVID-19 response

Poor resilience to misinformation sparks concern amid COVID-19

According to the Media Literacy Index 2019, Albania has one of the “lowest resilience potential to deal with misinformation and its effects as they are trailing behind with problems in media freedom”. Low level of media literacy raises concerns especially after the declaration of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and misinformation surrounding the spread of the virus. Read more

Poor resilience to misinformation sparks concern amid COVID-19