non state actors

Myanmar activists protesting internet ban criminalised while attacks against Rohingya continue

In recent months, activists and students have been charged or convicted for protesting against the year-long internet ban in the Rakhine and Chin states. A news editor has been jailed for two years for an error in reporting on the coronavirus (COVID-19). The pandemic is also being used as a pretext to harass Rohingyas as attacks against them persist. Read more

Myanmar activists protesting internet ban criminalised while attacks against Rohingya continue

Judicial harassment of FNDC activists; 6 people killed in protest against COVID-19 police roadblocks

On 17th July 2020 - three days before a planned FNDC protest (see under Peaceful Assembly) - armed and hooded police officers arrived at the residence of Ibrahima Diallo, coordinator of Tournons la Page Guinea and in charge of operations for FNDC. As Diallo was not at home, officers left a summons with his wife, calling for Diallo to present himself to the Central Direction of the Judicial Police for 'disturbance to the State'. Read more

Judicial harassment of FNDC activists; 6 people killed in protest against COVID-19 police roadblocks

Dominican Republic: elections and arbitrary detention of anti-racism demonstrators

Opposition candidate Luís Abinader was elected president of the Dominican Republic on 5th July 2020, ousting the Dominican Liberation Party after 16 years in power. These were the first presidential elections held in the region since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

Dominican Republic: elections and arbitrary detention of anti-racism demonstrators

Bolivian Ombudsperson accused of political bias by government

On 13th July 2020, Bolivia’s interim government published a statement claiming Ombudsperson Nadia Cruz was occupying this office illegally and that, as a result, they would not recognise any actions undertaken by her after April 2019. Read more

Bolivian Ombudsperson accused of political bias by government

Militarised police continue to use excessive force against protesters

Massive protests to condemn police brutality, overwhelmingly peaceful, have continued across the U.S. Enduring pressure from demonstrations has brought important results, including charges brought against officers involved in George Floyd’s killing and commitment to reforming police practices from some authorities. Read more

Militarised police continue to use excessive force against protesters

Honduras enacts new Criminal Code enabling criminalisation of protesters and journalists

On 25th June 2020, Honduras’ new Criminal Code entered into force despite warnings from civil society that some of its provisions threaten freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly. As previously reported on the Monitor, human rights organisations have said that the code enables criminalisation of protests. Read more

Honduras enacts new Criminal Code enabling criminalisation of protesters and journalists

Police watchdog raises concerns over abusive policing practices at Black Lives Matter protests

Despite restrictions on public gatherings due to the pandemic, people gathered during May and June 2020 in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter mass protests in the US over the death of George Floyd, a Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. Protesters were arrested on several occasions and charged with breaching regulation 7 of the coronavirus regulations, but it remains unclear how these individuals were detained while hundreds of others were not. Police watchdog, Netpol and other organisations wrote a letter to the Met Police to express their concerns on policing protests under regulation 7. Netpol campaigners also reported abusive police practices, such as the use of the controversial containment tactic called “kettling” on four separate occasions during protests in the month of June. Netpol also reports that protesters face masks were pulled down by the police to make sure faces were captured and names and addresses of the protestors were demanded, using section 50 of the Police Reform Act. Press freedom has also come under serious threat from UK officials during the reporting period. Read more

Police watchdog raises concerns over abusive policing practices at Black Lives Matter protests

Indigenous defender killed and others threatened and attacked in Guatemala

On 15th June 2020, Indigenous land defender Medardo Alonzo Lucero was found dead with signs of torture in Olopa, Chiquimula department. Read more

Indigenous defender killed and others threatened and attacked in Guatemala

Enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions increase in Venezuela during pandemic

On 8th May 2020, civil society organisation Foro Penal reported that arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances increased in Venezuela since the beginning of COVID-19 containment measures in March 2020. Read more

Enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions increase in Venezuela during pandemic

Austerity measures during COVID-19 lead to protests in Ecuador

On 16th March 2020, Ecuador’s government published a decree declaring a "state of exception" in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This suspended some individual rights related to freedom of association and assembly, and provided government with authority to use digital tools to monitor individuals under mandatory isolation or quarantine. Read more

Austerity measures during COVID-19 lead to protests in Ecuador