access to info. law

Colombia: human rights defenders and local leaders impacted by violence in rural areas

On 26th July 2022, the UN Human Rights Office published a report on the rising violence in rural areas of Colombia. According to the study, violence fell dramatically after the signing of the Peace Agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016, but increased again as non-state armed groups and criminal organisations expanded their presence, particularly over the past two years. Read more

Colombia: human rights defenders and local leaders impacted by violence in rural areas

Brazil: Anger at government inaction after Indigenous advocate and international correspondent are killed in the Amazon

After a ten-day search, the bodies of Indigenous advocate Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips were found in the Itaquaí river, in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest near Brazil’s border with Peru. Pereira and Phillips went missing on 5th June 2022 as they returned from a reporting trip in the region where they were documenting Indigenous rights defenders’ efforts to monitor predatory criminal activities such as illegal fishing and logging. Read more

Brazil: Anger at government inaction after Indigenous advocate and international correspondent are killed in the Amazon

Ecuador: another crackdown on Indigenous-led protests

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Ecuador since 13th June 2022, when the Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de Ecuador (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador – CONAIE) and other Indigenous organisations convened a national strike against the government’s economic and social policies. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Ecuador: another crackdown on Indigenous-led protests

Costa Rica: partial veto of new Access to Information Law

In April and May 2022, violence against Indigenous peoples in China Kichá continued to take place with impunity. On 27th April 2022, the Legislative Assembly approved Bill 20.799, the “General Law of Access to Public Information and Transparency.” The bill was nicknamed the “Gag Law” by the Costa Rican press because its Article 8 established a series of limits on access to information. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Costa Rica: partial veto of new Access to Information Law

Brazil: shocking violence on HRDs and journalists continues

On 10th February 2022, nine-year-old Jonatas de Oliveira dos Santos was shot and killed in an attack in Engenho Roncadorzinho, a community in the town of Barreiros, Pernambuco state. According to the local police, the boy was killed in retaliation against his father, Geovane da Silva Santos, a community leader and president of the local smallholder farmers’ association. Read more

Brazil: shocking violence on HRDs and journalists continues

Ongoing violations on civic freedoms at Poland/Belarus border; further threats to LGBTQI+ rights

On 1st December 2021, the one-month-long state of emergency introduced in September 2021 along the Polish-Belarusian border expired after having been extended for a further 60 days. Following this, the Polish government installed several replacement measures which maintained restrictions on access to the area of the Poland-Belarus border. There have been concerning civic space developments as a result of the border situation. A police raid was carried out to investigate the activities of a humanitarian aid group, the Club of Catholic Intelligentsia, operating near the border. On 15th December 2021, four of their volunteers were interviewed by the police and the group’s phones and laptops were confiscated. Additionally, journalists reporting on the border crisis continue to face arbitrary detentions. New regulations which came into effect state that the local Border Guard Commander has the right to arbitrarily select media workers admitted to the border zone, who will be granted a permit. The regulations in effect raised international concern over transparency and the respect of human rights and media freedom. Additionally, the government has continued to attack LGBTQI+ rights through restrictive legislation. Read more  |  Read in Polish

Ongoing violations on civic freedoms at Poland/Belarus border; further threats to LGBTQI+ rights

International Criminal Court opens investigation on crimes against humanity in Venezuela

On 4th November 2021, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced the opening of a formal investigation into allegations of torture and extrajudicial killings committed by Venezuelan security forces under President Nicolás Maduro. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

International Criminal Court opens investigation on crimes against humanity in Venezuela

Social and political divisions lead to tension in Bolivia

In early September 2021, human rights defender Franco Albarracin was threatened with prosecution by ruling party militants speaking on a radio programme. Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) supporters have accused Albarracin of participating in the political crisis which led to former president Evo Morales’ resignation after contested elections in 2019. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Social and political divisions lead to tension in Bolivia

Uruguay: civil society pushes back against regressive legislation

In June 2021, the government proposed changes to the Access to Public Information Law (No. 18.381) using Article 29 of the “Accountability and Budget Execution Balance for the financial year 2020” bill. The legislation would modify the information that public agencies must make permanently available on their websites and other media, also imposing limitations to the right of access to public information. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Uruguay: civil society pushes back against regressive legislation

Consultation on freedom of information policy in PNG, protests against mandatory vaccinations

Civil society has reported that a consultation on a freedom of information policy has been initiated by the government. There have been protests against a vaccination policy for workers being implemented by companies in Lae. Read more

Consultation on freedom of information policy in PNG, protests against mandatory vaccinations