time,place restrictions

Several killed in protests, violence after President Ouattara announces third term bid

President Ouattara’s announcement to run for a third term in the upcoming October 2020 presidential elections sparked deadly protests and violence throughout the country, killing several. Authorities 'suspended' all protests on the public road and arrested one HRD and two of her colleagues who had called for protests . Read more  |  Read in French

Several killed in protests, violence after President Ouattara announces third term bid

Suppression of journalists and activists by Bangladesh ruling party and supporters intensifying

The Bangladesh authorities are intensifying their crackdown on the media and critics. The authorities are forcing all news portals to register with them, raising concerns about freedom of expression. A critical news website on Bangladesh, Amar Desh, has been blocked by the authorities. Journalists are facing attacks for their reporting as well as being criminalised under the draconian Digital Security Act. Ruling party supporters were mobilised to disrupt an event by Drik Gallery around extrajudicial killings in Dhaka in early September 2020. The family of human rights defender in exile Asad Noor is facing harassment while some activists are facing attacks or forcible disappearances. Read more

Suppression of journalists and activists by Bangladesh ruling party and supporters intensifying

Black Lives Matter protests continue despite escalating tensions as federal troops deployed

In July and August 2020, protests against police brutality and systemic racism that began after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis continued across the country, often with violent clashes between militarised police and protesters. Read more

Black Lives Matter protests continue despite escalating tensions as federal troops deployed

Offices of media outlet attacked and vandalised over a COVID-19 article

On 3rd August 2020, individuals claiming to be supporters of religious leader and politician Serigne Moustapha Sy, entered and ransacked the offices of the newspaper Les Echos in Dakar. The attack followed the publication of an article claiming that Moustapha Sy - leader of the religious movement Moustarchidine Wal Moustarchidate and president of the political party Parti de l'Unité et du Rassemblement (PUR) - had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been admitted to a hospital in Dakar. Read more  |  Read in French

Offices of media outlet attacked and vandalised over a COVID-19 article

Charges against HRD Madi Jobarteh dropped, Gambia closer to an access to information law

Country representative of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy Madi Jobarteh was summoned for questioning on 30th June to the Kairaba police station in Serrekunda, in relation to statements he made in an interview during a Black Lives Matter protest he organised on 27th June 2020 in front of the US embassy. That same day, Jobarteh was charged with 'false information and broadcasting' under the Criminal Code, which is punishable with a prison sentence of six months to five years or a fine of 500 to 50,000 dalasis (9.6 to 960 USD), before being released on bail. Read more

Charges against HRD Madi Jobarteh dropped, Gambia closer to an access to information law

Protest in Fada N’Gourma against insecurity and stigmatisation

According to RFI, between 700 and 1000 people marched in Fada N’Gourma, eastern Burkina Faso, on 13th June 2020, against abuses against the population, in particular the Fulani community, and insecurity in eastern Burkina Faso. Protesters say that the civilian 'homeland defense volunteers' units, set up by the government in the fight against terrorist attacks, were targeting and stigmatising mainly members of the Fulani community. Read more

Protest in Fada N’Gourma against insecurity and stigmatisation

Countrywide protests to end police brutality in the United States met by militarised law enforcement

Massive protests erupted in cities across the United States following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer on 25th May 2020. A harrowing video filmed by witnesses shows the officer pressing his knee into the handcuffed man's neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.” Outrage brimmed over, bringing hundreds of thousands to the streets to protest entrenched racism and the US’s long history of killings of Black and Brown people by law enforcement agents. Read more

Countrywide protests to end police brutality in the United States met by militarised law enforcement

Further attempts to curtail freedom of expression during COVID-19

As part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency measures, the Turkish government enacted strong general restrictions on assembly that especially relate to the work of CSOs. With a total ban on public gatherings, citizens have turned to online spaces for creative means of protest. During COVID-19 pandemic there was an increase in journalists being jailed on charges of “causing people to panic and publishing reports on coronavirus outside the knowledge of authorities”. Moreover, the Turkish government discriminated against journalists when it announced the release of approximately 90,000 prisoners in order to relieve overcrowded prisons during the pandemic, but excluded journalists, human rights defenders and all political prisoners. Read more

Further attempts to curtail freedom of expression during COVID-19

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

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