censorship

Jailing and persecution of activists and journalists persists despite election of Vietnam to the UN Human Rights Council

In recent months, activists have continued to be arrested on trumped up charges and barred from leaving the country. Activists in detention have been moved to prisons far from their families and have also faced torture or ill-treatment. The authorities have imposed increasing restrictions and controls of social media while journalists, bloggers and writers continue to be criminalised and given long sentences. The state-run media censored news of nationwide protests in China and jailed protesters that opposed a road demolition. Read more

Jailing and persecution of activists and journalists persists despite election of Vietnam to the UN Human Rights Council

Venezuela: draconian NGO Law threatens civil society organisations

On 24th January 2023, Venezuela’s National Assembly approved on first reading a draft “NGO Law” which could be used to control, restrict and potentially criminalise and close civil society organisations working in the country. Read more

Venezuela: draconian NGO Law threatens civil society organisations

Cambodian authorities detain union leader, criminalise and threaten the opposition and block protest video

In recent months, the authorities have detained a union leader and denied her bail and have been accused of union busting during the pandemic. The Supreme Court upheld jail terms for five current and former NGO workers on politically motivated bribery charges. The jailing of opposition leaders and activists persisted as well as threats against opposition parties. Restrictions against journalists continued, while a music video that recounts a deadly government crackdown on a workers’ protest was blocked. Read more

Cambodian authorities detain union leader, criminalise and threaten the opposition and block protest video

USA: civil liberties endangered and defended in the courts

In December 2023, the Treasury Department announced plans to expand protections for a range of activities that provide life-saving aid and peacebuilding in places where civilians need assistance. The announcement identified a number of new or amended General Licenses designed to meet basic human needs, specifying the types of activities and financial transactions that are permitted in areas where sanctions exist. Read more

USA: civil liberties endangered and defended in the courts

Opposition MP’s immunity stripped for staging pro-abortion protest, restrictive education bill “Lex Czarnek 2.0" vetoed

On 4th November 2022, the Polish parliament voted to strip the legal immunity of opposition MP Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus (Left, Lewica). Zbigniew Ziobro, PiS justice minister, who is also prosecutor general, requested the parliament to lift Scheuring-Wielgus’ immunity so that she can face prosecution for ‘offending religious feelings.’ Scheuring-Wielgus allegedly entered a church during a Sunday mass in 2020, and held up signs expressing her view that abortion should be a decision of the woman carrying a foetus and not the state “in support of Catholic ideology”. On 2nd December 2022,the Sejm (lower house of the Polish Parliament, controlled by the PiS) passed new legislation, dubbed the “Lex Czarnek 2.0” after the opposition-controlled upper house, the Senate, vetoed the bill. A former, and only slightly different version had already been vetoed by President Andrzej Duda earlier in 2022. While Duda had until 23rd December 2022 to decide whether to sign or veto it again, on 15th December he announced that he would veto the bill, citing public pressure. Read more

Opposition MP’s immunity stripped for staging pro-abortion protest, restrictive education bill “Lex Czarnek 2.0" vetoed

Military transitional authorities tighten control of CSOs; activities of CSOs supported by France banned

On 21st November 2022, military transitional authorities banned, with immediate effect, the activities of non-profit organisations, including those operating in the humanitarian field, who are financially or technically supported by France. The ban does not apply only to French CSOs, but all CSOs receiving assistance from France. In December 2022, the transitional authorities announced measures to increase the control of CSOs: the Minister of Territorial Administration will now validate the sources of finances of NGOs, monthly for foreign organisations and annually for Malian CSOs. Besides the new reporting obligations that this measure entails, a new commission for the “coordination, evaluation, monitoring and control of associations and NGOs” was reportedly created Read more  |  Read in French

Military transitional authorities tighten control of CSOs; activities of CSOs supported by France banned

EU lawmakers raise concerns during Pegasus spyware hearing; journalists arrested and charged for covering climate action

As European lawmakers investigate the use of spyware in the European Union, Spain is proving to be the most difficult country to probe in the investigation. At least 65 people have been victims of state surveillance, including Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Defence Minister Margarita Robles. In Spain, the Pegasus spyware scandal has been called ‘Catalangate’ as the majority of the people targeted by the spyware in Spain were from Catalonia and were involved in the campaign for the independence of Catalonia. On 6th November 2022, journalist Joanna Giménez and a photojournalist were arrested as they attempted to cover a protest by environmental activists at the Prado Museum in Madrid. Read more

EU lawmakers raise concerns during Pegasus spyware hearing; journalists arrested and charged for covering climate action

KRIK investigative portal found “guilty” in a SLAPP; targeting of environmental defenders continues

The Basic Public Prosecutor's Office in Novi Sad launched an investigation against 12 people who participated in the protests against the adoption of the General Urban Plan, which took place in July 2022. The Crime and Corruption Research Network (KRIK) was found guilty in a SLAPP case initiated by the former Head of the Security Intelligence Agency, now Minister of Internal Affairs, Bratislav Gašić. There were several smear campaigns against journalists and obstruction of their work. Read more

KRIK investigative portal found “guilty” in a SLAPP; targeting of environmental defenders continues

Authorities in Pakistan continue harassment of journalists, persecution of activists and stifling of protests

Civil society has documented the criminalisation of journalists for their reporting and the ongoing persecution of human rights defenders. Further, the authorities have continued to arrest and use excessive force against opposition protests as well as around the Gwadar port protests. Read more

Authorities in Pakistan continue harassment of journalists, persecution of activists and stifling of protests

Police disrupt protest in Dhangadhi while attacks on press freedom persist in Nepal

In recent months, the police used excessive force to disperse a protest in Dhangadhi, while there were concerns around attacks on press freedom around the election and an increase in the number of journalists affected by press freedom violations in 2022. Read more

Police disrupt protest in Dhangadhi while attacks on press freedom persist in Nepal