positive court ruling, positive CS development - from 2020-11-01, to 2021-10-31

US Supreme Court issues rulings on freedom of expression and association

On 1st July 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down California’s law requiring non-profits to identify their large donors with the state. By a vote of 6-3, the court ruled that the law subjected donors to potential harassment, chilling their speech in violation of the First Amendment. Read more

US Supreme Court issues rulings on freedom of expression and association

Chile: Constitutional Convention begins its work

On 15th and 16th May 2021, over 6 million people in Chile voted in the election of 155 members of the Constitutional Convention, the body responsible for drafting a new Constitution for the country. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Chile: Constitutional Convention begins its work

Oslo Pride will be included in the state budget from 2022

The Oslo Pride will be included in the state budget from 2022. LGBTI groups have welcomed this decision calling it a "big celebration". It is hoped that this will aslo improve the participation of smalller, minority focused LGBTI associations. Read more

 Oslo Pride will be included in the state budget from 2022

Civil society alarmed by rise of lese majeste cases and proposed NGO law in Thailand

In recent months civil society have continued to raise concerns about charges against activists for lèse-majesté or insulting the monarchy including children, restrictions to freedom of expression online and attempts to restrict freedom of information. There are also concerns around a proposed NGO law which could be used to muzzle civil society and the use of excessive force during protests. A land rights activist was also killed. Read more

Civil society alarmed by rise of lese majeste cases and proposed NGO law in Thailand

Mass protests over Istanbul convention as women refuse to give up, LGBTI rights targeted again

On 19th June 2021, protesters gathered on the streets of Istanbul to voice their anger at the government’s decision to withdraw from the COE Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention. In a protest related to this, on 21st June 2021, six protesters were detained. In addition, women again took to the streets to protest on 1st July 2021. Police responded by setting up barricades to block protesters and used tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters. Despite Pride parades being banned for three years in a row, several civil society groups opposed the bans and gathered in Istanbul on 26th June 2021, under the motto “the streets are ours”. They have initiated legal proceedings against the ban and intend to continue planning their events for next year. However, authorities blocked streets, fired tear gas and arrested 25 people at the Pride march in Istanbul. Several journalist, especially women journalists, came under attack during the Pride march.
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Mass protests over Istanbul convention as women refuse to give up, LGBTI rights targeted again

Conviction of perpetrators in the killings of journalists Miroslava Breach and Javier Valdez

On 8th June 2021, a federal judge in Culiacán, Sinaloa, convicted Juan Francisco Picos Barrueta, known as “El Quillo,” for his role in the murder of journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas in 2017. Read more

Conviction of perpetrators in the killings of journalists Miroslava Breach and Javier Valdez

Twitter banned, proposed Press Council Act amendments further restrict freedom of expression

On 4th June 2021, Minister of Information and Culture in Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced an indefinite suspension of all operations of social media platform Twitter in the country on grounds of the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”. The suspension followed the platform’s deletion of a tweet by - and a 12-hour suspension of the Twitter account of - Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari days earlier Read more

Twitter banned, proposed Press Council Act amendments further restrict freedom of expression

More commitments to improve press freedom

During a meeting with editors of major Tanzanian media outlets, President Samia Suluhu Hassan requested Tanzanians to give her more time to improve the country’s economy before resuming the stalled new constitution process and allowing political rallies to begin. Political rallies have been banned since the announcement by former President John Magufuli of a blanket ban on such rallies. In practice, the measure has been selectively applied against opposition parties. Read more

More commitments to improve press freedom

Teenage pro-abortion protesters targeted for participation; “Hungary style takeover” of media

Several concerning developments were documented during this reporting period. Police continue to target women’s rights activists. In April 2021, well-known activist Katarzyna Augustynek was dragged to a police van for painting crosses and hearts in honour of COVID-19 victims in a square in Warsaw. In the most recent attempt to target protesters, charges have been brought against parents who allowed their children to participate in protests. Separately, thousands gathered in Warsaw for a gay pride parade to celebrate LGBTI persons. However, following concerning developments on LGBTI rights in Hungary, where the parliament adopted a law which bans schools from using materials seen as promoting homosexuality, Poland's education minister stated that the country may follow a similar approach to further limit LGBTI rights. In relation to developments in freedom of expression, Warsaw District court temporarily suspended approval for the takeover of Polska Press by PKN Orlen, pending review. However, this has not halted PKN Orlen in editorial interference. Eight editors-in-chief in total have been dismissed or pushed out since Orlen acquired the publishing house in March, with other editors resigning due to “ownership changes”. Read more

Teenage pro-abortion protesters targeted for participation; “Hungary style takeover” of media

Protests over gender-based violence; media banned from parliamentary sittings

In a major positive ruling, on 5th May 2021, Albania's Constitutional Court scrapped the provision in the penal code which deemed rallies held without police permission illegal. The Court found the obligation to request police permission to stage a protest unconstitutional and ordered parliament to revise the country's penal code. During this period, several protests were staged against gender based violence. Protests were also staged against the government’s new media regulation that restricts accredited journalists’ access to parliamentary sessions. Following protests and concerns raised journalists associations, the Assembly issued an explanation and invited journalists to discuss the decision to ban them from the assembly hall. Read more

Protests over gender-based violence; media banned from parliamentary sittings