LGBTI

Protesters arrested, journalists beaten and detained

Thousands protest in support of ousted Governor, several arrested and fined; Activists detained for protesting Constitutional reforms; Youtube channel host Dmitri Nizovtsev beaten for filming protests; Journalist Mila Zemtsova detained while covering pickets, pickets follow in support; Public hearing held for draft order on reporting requirements for non-profit organisations; State funded financial support extended to creative NGOs Read more

Protesters arrested, journalists beaten and detained

New law seeks to threaten media freedom as journalists face attacks

Post-election celebrations in Montenegro, following the victory of three opposition coalitions, have caused several incidents in Budva, Niksic, Herceg Novi, Podgorica, Pljevlja and Bar. According to the police, during the celebrations there were cases of attacks on police officers, physical attacks on other persons, insults on nationalistic grounds and mass fights. Just before the elections, hundreds of people staged the largest protest so far against the proposed controversial Law on Religion which makes provision for a list of religious sites in the country. However following a ban on religious gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Serbian Orthodox Church found new ways to mobilise its supporters, through online or “automobile gatherings” on the streets. In a concerning development for media freedom, in late July 2020, the Parliament of Montenegro adopted a new Media Law which states that a journalist must reveal their sources at the request of the Prosecutor's Office if it is "necessary to protect the interests of national security, territorial integrity and health". Read more

New law seeks to threaten media freedom as journalists face attacks

Authorities embark on major crackdown on expression amid COVID-19 and ahead of elections

Opposition members power-through as elections approach; and HRDs stifled by overly stringent laws, raids and prosecution; Targeting of LGBTIQ+ community continues; Journalists, critics face backlash for reporting and speaking out about COVID-19 measures in the country; Journalists, media outlets and artists targeted for criticising president, politicians Read more

Authorities embark on major crackdown on expression amid COVID-19 and ahead of elections

Continued rights violations reported throughout COVID-19 lockdown and run up to national elections

Reports have continued to emerge from Uganda concerning rights violations as a result of the measures imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19., and as the country gears up for the next general elections. Protesters have been forcefully dispersed while demonstrating over loss of livelihood during the lockdown. Opposition members arrested and attacked for mobilising food assistance in light of COVID-19, while journalists, comedians and musicians have been charged for content touching on politicians. Read more

Continued rights violations reported throughout COVID-19 lockdown and run up to national elections

Activist groups in Japan call for end to racism, police abuse and passage of equality law

In July 2020, thousands joined protests in Japan against protest against racism and police brutality. Numerous civil society groups have launched a campaign calling for the passage of the Equality Act which would protect LGBT people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more

Activist groups in Japan call for end to racism, police abuse and passage of equality law

Pandemic in Brazil aggravates democratic backslide

Even as coronavirus cases increased in Brazil, President Bolsonaro and government authorities encouraged and attended pro-government demonstrations between April and July 2020. In many cases, protests by government supporters turned anti-democratic, with signs calling for a military coup, the closure of the National Congress and the dissolution of the Federal Supreme Court. Read more

Pandemic in Brazil aggravates democratic backslide

Honduran defenders at high risk: two defenders killed and five Garifuna leaders missing

On 10th July 2020, 22-year-old LGBTI+ rights defender Scarleth Cáceres was shot and killed in Tegucigalpa. Cáceres was a member of civil society organisation Asociación LGBT Arcoíris de Honduras, which defends sexual diversity rights. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Honduran defenders at high risk: two defenders killed and five Garifuna leaders missing

LGBTI activist attacked; female journalists face rape and death threats on social media

LGBTI activist and president of LGBTI United from Tetovo, Bekim Asani, has been a victim of a physical attack near his office. The attack was carried out by two people who inflicted injuries on his face. The ruling party, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), strongly condemned the physical attack on the activist and called on institutions to find and punish the attackers. However, no one has been detained yet. In the meantime, Asani has been receiving death threats which state that he should drop the charges connected to the attack. During the reporting period, two female journalists received threats because of their journalistic work.On 11th July 2020 journalist and correspondent in MIA (Media Information Agency), Tanja Milevska, received dozens of messages containing verbal abuses, hate speech, death and rape threats on Twitter and Facebook. Later in July 2020, journalist for Sloboden Pecat (Free Press), Miroslava Burns, received a series of threats on her personal Facebook profile.

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LGBTI activist attacked; female journalists face rape and death threats on social media

Same sex relations decriminalised; amended Penal Code denounced as 'repressive'

On 23rd June 2020, members of the National Assembly adopted amendments to the Penal Code, which also removed the provision that criminalised same sex relations. A year earlier, in July 2019, the Senate approved an amendment, in which same sex relations were considered as 'a violation of morals' and punishable with a prison sentence of six months and a fine of 5 million CFA francs (9,000 USD). Prior to July 2019, there was no law on same sex relations. Read more  |  Read in French

Same sex relations decriminalised; amended  Penal Code denounced as 'repressive'

Protests over government plans to withdraw from Istanbul Convention

There have been recent debates about Turkey’s withdrawal from what is commonly known as İstanbul Convention, formally the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence. Experts say that this decision is related to Turkey’s “inability to accept gender equality”. This news comes at a time when Turkey faces even more violence against women due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Namely, digital violence as a form of harassment against women has become more present. The government’s intention to withdraw from the Convention has sparked protests, which saw a number of protesters being detained. In a separate development, lawyers protested a proposed bill that would "split bar associations" and silence critical institutions. Despite protests, parliament has passed the contested law. In addition, parliament also passed the social media bill which aims to further stifle freedom of expression on social media in Turkey.
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Protests over government plans to withdraw from Istanbul Convention