censorship

Human rights defenders, critics targeted in Indonesia while protests on Papua repressed

In recent months, activists have been targeted for comments they made during an online talk or for reporting on corruption. An academic has been jailed for defamation while street artists are being silenced for a mural and graffiti critical of the state. A West Papuan activist facing trial has been hospitalised while there has been a lack of accountability for excessive force and other violations by the security forces during several protests related to Papua. Read more

Human rights defenders, critics targeted in Indonesia while protests on Papua repressed

Attacks, pressure on dissent and opposition unrelenting

Members of the country’s main opposition party, Chadema, arrested just hours ahead of planned conference in Mwanza; Authorities in Mwanza ban “unnecessary gatherings” as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19, a day before the Chadema party’s planned conference; protesters demanding the release of Chadema party leader arrested; publication and distribution of Raia Mwema, a weekly tabloid, suspended for 30 days Read more

Attacks, pressure on dissent and opposition unrelenting

Highest number of protests recorded, whistle blower and trade unionist killed

increasing waves of protest action recorded as country reaches all time high; residents of Middleburg take to the streets to denounce new tariff hikes; protesters gather outside the East London Magistrate’s Court where the bail hearing of Alutha Pasile, a man believed to have brutally murdered 23 year old Nosicelo Mtebeni, was being held; protesters under the #CodeRed Feminist movement took to the streets in various cities across the country and gathered in key national buildings including Constitution Hill and the Union Buildings to demand a Universal Basic Income Grant among other demands; Malibongwe Mdazo, an organiser of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), publicly gunned down; Read more

Highest number of protests recorded, whistle blower and trade unionist killed

Closure of 45 civil society organisations within one month in Nicaragua

As reported in the CIVICUS Monitor in previous updates, an unprecedented crackdown against civil society and political opposition has been ongoing in Nicaragua since the end of May 2021. Dozens of human rights defenders and members of the political opposition have been arrested on trumped-up charges. Business leaders, journalists and former allies of President Ortega have also been targeted. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Closure of 45 civil society organisations within one month in Nicaragua

Conviction of whistleblower, new NGO regulation another blow to civic freedoms in Australia

In recent months, a whistleblower was convicted for disclosing information about the government bugging of Timor-Leste government buildings. The government has also put forward new regulation that allows harsh sanctions to be taken against NGOs for minor offences. Anti-lockdown protests have persisted across the country. Read more

Conviction of whistleblower, new NGO regulation another blow to civic freedoms in Australia

Government attempts to muzzle independent media by controversial anti-TVN law

Several concerning developments occurred during this period. The founders of The Atlas of Hate, a website that maps local municipalities that passed anti-LGBTI resolutions or adopted a charter written by the ultra-conservative Catholic organisation Ordo Iuris Institute, are being sued by the so-called “LGBT-free” municipalities. Related to the right to peaceful assembly, in early July 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that the government’s ban on public assemblies introduced on 9th October 2020 was illegal and contrary to Article 57 and Article 31 (3) of the Constitution. On 9th July 2021, an indictment against Marta Lempart, Klementyna Suchanow and Agnieszka Czerederecka was announced by the spokesman of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw. The three activists from the Polish Women’s Strike (StrajkKobiet) are accused of causing an epidemiological threat for organising protests during the pandemic in October, November and December 2020 against the government’s near-total abortion ban. In a concerning development for media independence, a highly controversial draft amendment to the Broadcasting Act was adopted in the Sejm on 11th August 2020. The amendment limits media ownership of organisations from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to no more than a 49% stake in any Polish media firm. Known as the ‘Lex TVN’ bill, the amendment will directly affect private broadcaster TVN from the Discovery: American media group, which is extremely critical of the government. Read more

Government attempts to muzzle independent media by controversial anti-TVN law

Political developments raise concerns for civic space

On 25th July 2021, Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed announced that he was dismissing Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, suspending parliament for 30 days, lifting parliamentary immunity and taking over supervision of public prosecution. The state of emergency was extended to 19th January 2022. Following this, police raided the Tunis headquarters of Al Jazeera TV, evicting its staff and closing down the office. Several other concerning developments unfolded including over 50 Tunisians have been placed under arbitrary house arrest, including former officials, a judge and three lawmakers. Additionally, the arbitrary use of a travel ban is another critical concern, with over 50 cases documented. Read more

Political developments raise concerns for civic space

Journalists covering Bangladesh face criminalisation, vilification and false copyright claims

In recent months, there have been reports of journalists being arrested under the draconian Digital Security Act for their reporting or facing harassment and vilification. One tactic that has been increasingly exposed to silence journalists is the use of false copyright claims. New reports highlight how the Digital Security Act has been used to target journalists, cartoonists, musicians, activists, entrepreneurs, students and other critics and how Bangladesh security forces routinely carry out enforced disappearances. Read more

Journalists covering Bangladesh face criminalisation, vilification and false copyright claims

July 2021: Black weeks for Belarusian Civil Society

CSOs targeted for inspection by authorities; Criminal cases against protesters and political prisoners continued; Human rights defenders and journalists targeted by authorities Read more

July 2021: Black weeks for Belarusian Civil Society

Online Activists and Protesters Subjected to Arrests, Raids and Judicial Harassment in Oman

authorities release five peaceful protesters after detaining them for several weeks after they held protests calling for reform, job opportunities, improved living conditions and the eradication of corruption ; internet activist Ghaith Al-Shibli was arrested ; Read more

Online Activists and Protesters Subjected to Arrests, Raids and Judicial Harassment in Oman