private sector

Solomons government lacking transparency while groups concerned about mining and logging

The ongoing state of emergency has also resulted in calls by the media for the government to engage with the public. There is also the worry that due to the economic hardship faced by the country, destructive industries such as mining could be pushed forward without public consultation. Two environmental defenders opposing a logging company are also facing jail. Further, the ongoing dispute between the central government and the Malaita provincial government has resulted in protests over a push for a referendum by the province. Read more

Solomons government lacking transparency while groups concerned about mining and logging

Still no accountability for death of Kiribati fisheries observer

Human rights activists are calling for the United Nations to intervene in investigations into the death of a Kiribati fisheries observer. Eritara Aati Kaierua died on board a Taiwanese fishing boat in March 2020. Read more

Still no accountability for death of Kiribati fisheries observer

Mutual support centre faces eviction during pandemic; BLM and far-right protests take place

Dock workers have been struggling for many years at the hands of the owners of port facilities and there have been many attempts to hinder workers’ unions’ activities. In one attempt, FOZPOR, the company managing the port, failed in bringing charges against the president of SEAL (the dockers’ union), António Mariano, after the court of Coimbra in its pre-trial investigation found that there were no grounds for a trial. Thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate against racism at the beginning of June 2020 and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. In response to this, for the first time a considerable sized protest of far-right groups was staged three weeks later. Seara – Centro de Apoio Mútuo de Santa Bárbara, a mutual support centre in Lisbon faced eviction by private guards who were assisted by police. It is reported that the guards attacked and intimidated people who were protesting the eviction. Read more

Mutual support centre faces eviction during pandemic; BLM and far-right protests take place

Concerns over space for opposition and dissent ahead of 2020 presidential elections

On 4th August 2019, police offices arrested human rights defender and journalism student Konan Yao Hubert at a bus station in Djékanou, according to Front Line Defenders. Police officers also reportedly physically attacked him when Yao Hubert resisted the arrest when no arrest warrant was presented. Read more  |  Read in French

Concerns over space for opposition and dissent ahead of 2020 presidential elections

Activists, lawyers and critics continue to face harassment and defamation charges in Thailand

In the last few months, there has been harassment against activists, lawyers and government critics from both the state as well businesses while the bones of a disappeared ethnic Karen activist were found. A new report by Human Rights Watch documented cases of peaceful critics who have been prosecuted by the government for the last five years and concerns have been raised about a new anti-fake news center established by the authorities. A study finds that SLAPP or strategic lawsuits against public participation are on the rise. Read more

Activists, lawyers and critics continue to face harassment and defamation charges in Thailand

Concerns about freedom of expression in Nigeria: journalists arrested, protests repressed

According to the Amnesty International report 'Endangered Voices. Attack on Freedom of Expression in Nigeria', at least 19 journalists, bloggers and media practitioners have been subject to attacks between January and September 2019. These range from physical attacks, verbal assaults, death threats, surveillance, indiscriminate detention to pressure to reveal sources, mostly perpetrated by Nigerian security forces. Read more

Concerns about freedom of expression in Nigeria:  journalists arrested, protests repressed

‘Christchurch Call’ to combat online extremism fails to adequately engage civil society

The “Christchurch Call,” a voluntary pledge with commitments aimed at eliminating terrorist and violent extremist content online lacked adequate civil society consultation. Thousands of students around the country organised another protest to demand urgent action on climate change while teachers went on strike for better wages and working conditions. Read more

‘Christchurch Call’ to combat online extremism fails to adequately engage civil society

Right-wing coalition members threaten media independence and freedom of expression

Following the parliamentary elections on 3rd March 2019 and the formation of the coalition government including conservative and right-wing party members, the civic space has reportedly worsened. There have been attempts of political interference in media and verbal attacks against critical journalists. Several journalists quit their jobs citing censorship attempts; there have been also concerns that politically motivated smears against media will result in self-censorship. Protests and social media campaigns were launched to denounce the newly formed government coalition and the threat to basic freedoms. Read more

Right-wing coalition members threaten media independence and freedom of expression

Hungary continues its regressive course restricting civic space

The Parliament adopted new amendments to the laws on administrative courts despite concerns that these amendments still do not guarantee that the proposed administrative court system will be independent and impartial. Meanwhile, the authorities took further steps to restrict the freedom of peaceful assembly. Read more

Hungary continues its regressive course restricting civic space

Government poised to decriminalise libel

During a speech at the inaugural Media Cocktail, gathering over 120 journalists, editors and media owners, on 5th December 2018, President Julius Maada Bio said that his government was in 'an advanced stage' in the preparations to repeal part V of the 1965 Public Order Act that criminalises libel. Read more

Government poised to decriminalise libel