bureaucratic restriction

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

Civil society disappointed by Fiji’s rejection of UN recommendations to revise repressive laws

The government has rejected recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council to review restrictive laws. Journalists were reportedly barred from the trial of a real estate development company involved in a project which led to significant environmental destruction. There is still no accountability around the case of a teenager who was allegedly physically abused by security forces for a social media post. Read more

Civil society disappointed by Fiji’s rejection of UN recommendations to revise repressive laws

Unprecedented executive action and rhetoric harm press freedom in the U.S.

On 27th January 2020, the State Department barred an NPR reporter from accompanying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on an official trip, allegedly in retaliation for a dispute between Pompeo and another NPR reporter. NPR’s Michele Kelemen was removed from the list of reporters allowed to fly with Pompeo on a trip to Eastern Europe, only days after the secretary reportedly swore and yelled at another NPR reporter for asking questions about Ukraine. Read more

Unprecedented executive action and rhetoric harm press freedom in the U.S.

Evacuation of citizens from Wuhan sparks panic protests

Citizens stage mass protests in cities across the country as they oppose evacuation of compatriots from Wuhan, China over coronavirus fears, Crimean Tatar television channel ATR seeks fiancial support from the European Parliament and European commission Read more

Evacuation of citizens from Wuhan sparks panic protests

Tightening the screws on dissent: N1 under attack

N1 journalists have faced a wave of aggression from Serbia's President and other senior ruling party officials. In particular, the media smear campaign against TV N1 program director Jugoslav Cosic accused him of receiving illicit funding to work against Serbia's interests. Given the failure of Serbian authorities to condemn the smear campaign, Cosic's lawyer announced he would seek a security risk assessment to ensure his physical safety. Read more

Tightening the screws on dissent: N1 under attack

Smear campaign against green activists, anti-protest laws and media restrictions in Australia

In recent months the Prime Minister has vilified environmental groups while a law is being debated on political donations and election spending that could be used to silence civil society groups. Anti-protests laws have been passed in Queensland and may soon be enacted in Tasmania. Journalists continue to campaign against restrictions on press freedom while the authorities are urging Facebook to stop end-to-end encryption plans. Read more

Smear campaign against green activists, anti-protest laws and media restrictions in Australia

Investigative journalist sentenced to 18 months in prison

On 20th December 2019, investigative journalist and editor for the online news outlet Benin Web TV Ignace Sossou was arrested at his home in Cotonou by officers of the Central Office for the Suppression of Cybercrime (ORCR). The journalist was questioned at the ORCR offices about posts he published on Twitter and Facebook quoting the public prosecutor Mario Metonou at a media workshop on 18th December 2019 on the topic of fake news. A few days later, on 24th December 2019, a court in Benin sentenced Sossou to a prison sentence of 18 months and a fine of 200,000 CFA francs (335 USD) for 'harassment by means of electronic communication' under the 2017 Digital Code. Read more  |  Read in French

Investigative journalist sentenced to 18 months in prison

Government tightens reins on civic freedoms during the last year

over the last year, the experienced continued closing of civic space by introducing restrictive laws, abduction and detention of HRDs, while crackdown on press freedom continued Read more

Government tightens reins on civic freedoms during the last year