positive court ruling

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

April 2019 legislative elections marred by civic space violations

In the run-up to, during and following the legislative elections several civic space violations took place - including blanket bans on protests, the shutdown of the internet, excessive use of force by security forces, including lethal force, leading to the killing of several people, the shutdown of the internet on election day and arbitrary arrests. Read more

April 2019 legislative elections marred by civic space violations

Courts uphold protections for free expression and assembly

In September and October 2019, three court rulings upheld freedom of peaceful assembly and expression in Canada. On 27th September 2019, a ruling by Canada’s Supreme Court allowed reporter Marie-Maude Denis to maintain confidentiality of her journalistic sources. In a separate case, on 4th October 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that police cannot arrest lawful protesters for their own protection, in order to prevent violence by others. Also in October 2019, a court official determined that it was improper for an investigator to face legal liability for requesting public information.

This update also details a series of protests on climate, autism and labour, as well as some incidents related to freedom of expression. Read more

Courts uphold protections for free expression and assembly

Court upholds right to religious expression for students, protests dispersed

High Court in Nairobi ruled that Rastafarianism is a religion like any other and its followers including students have the right to expression in their mode of dressing, civil society organisations, submitted shadow reports for Kenya’s third Universal Periodic Review, Blogger charged with treason for publishing photos of police officers killed during an explosion by al-Shabab militants, , for the first time, Kenya’s new national census included a third gender - intersex - on the list of possible responses to the gender question, protests dispersed by police in Mombasa and Meru counties Read more

Court upholds right to religious expression for students, protests dispersed

Uzbekistan: Reforming or Redecorating?

This special issue prepared for the CIVICUS Monitor by the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) and International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), provides an overview reflecting some of the main developments in freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in Uzbekistan from April 2018 to October 2019. Read more

Uzbekistan: Reforming or Redecorating?

Constitutional amendment sparks concern about democratic institutions in the Dominican Republic

A proposed constitutional amendment that would allow President Danilo Medina to run for a third term sparked protests in the Dominican Republic in June and July 2019. One protest ended with a number of people injured, including a Congressman. On 23rd July 2019, President Danilo Medina announced that he would not go forward with the constitutional reform.

On 18th September 2019, a demonstration in the province of El Seibo ended in violence and police repression, leaving twelve people injured.

In a positive development, on 30th July 2019, the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court (TC) declared unconstitutional article 284 of the new electoral regime legislation Act 15-19 (Electoral System Organic Law) which established sentences of 3 to 10 years for those sharing false or denigrating campaigns, or defamatory propaganda, against candidates. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Constitutional amendment sparks concern about democratic institutions in the Dominican Republic

Puerto Rico protests lead to Governor’s resignation

This civic space update covers mass demonstrations against corruption in Puerto Rico in July 2019, federal immigration policies in the U.S. over July-September as well as protests and counter-protests on multiple issues. It also details a number of incidents related to freedom of expression, including a number of episodes indicating that harassment at border is becoming more common for journalists and activists. Read more

Puerto Rico protests lead to Governor’s resignation

Mexico: several demonstrations took people to the streets

Several demonstrations brought people to the streets in Mexico in August and September. Protests demanding justice for disappeared persons, sexual health rights , climate justice, and a change to government policies took place. Demonstrations against corruption by migrants on the border with the U.S. were allegedly repressed by security forces.

Three different attacks against reporters also took place in this period, with journalist Ricardo Martínez Pérez announcing his decision to stop covering political topics following threats and an assault on his sister. Read more

Mexico: several demonstrations took people to the streets

Political opponents and human rights activists still being targeted in Cambodia

The CIVICUS Monitor has continued to document judicial harassment and attacks against political opponents since May 2019. Peaceful gatherings around the anniversary of the killing of human rights defender Kem Ley were disrupted with restrictions and arrests while journalists continue to be criminalised for doing their work. Read more

Political opponents and human rights activists still being targeted in Cambodia

Victory in name only for environmental CSOs

In July 2019, four Kosovar CSO’s, namely Balkan Green Foundation, GAP institute, Group for Legal and Political Studies and the Institute for Development Policy, raised concerns over public access to information. More specifically, the four organisations became embroiled in a legal battle with the Ministry of Economic Development over access to documents relating to the planned construction of a new thermal power station named “New Kosovo”. Read more

Victory in name only for environmental CSOs