bureaucratic restriction

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

Media outlets face pressure as state innovates to silence criticism

As previously covered on the CIVICUS Monitor, the work of independent media in Serbia can face discrimination and threats from the government. A recent example is the "Kragujevacke" newspaper, the only printed media in Kragujevac, whose editor-in-chief recently spoke out about the two-fold discrimination that the outlet faces. Firstly, high officials avoid giving publication's reporters statements, which hampers their ability to report on critical issues and secondly, they are unable to access funding from the city budget, which threatens their financial sustainability. Read more

Media outlets face pressure as state innovates to silence criticism

Spread of coronavirus and emergency safety measures put pressure on civic freedoms

Across the country, workers deemed essential during the coronavirus emergency staged walk-outs and other protests over insufficient personal protection equipment and to demand benefits such as paid sick leave or healthcare. Read more

Spread of coronavirus and emergency safety measures put pressure on civic freedoms

El Salvador’s response to COVID-19 excessively restricts fundamental rights, say CSOs

On 22nd March 2020, security forces in El Salvador began enforcing a government-mandated lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the policy’s first night, 269 people across the country were reportedly detained for breaking the quarantine. Since emergency measures were implemented, local civil society organisations have urged public authorities to exercise exceptional powers responsibly, for instance by developing protocols to avoid illegal detentions. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador’s response to COVID-19 excessively restricts fundamental rights, say CSOs