women

Fear and self-censorship in Cuba following mass anti-government protests

After anti-government protests flared up across Cuba on 11th July 2021, rights group Cubalex reported that over 500 people had been detained or were reported missing in the context of the demonstrations. Read more

Fear and self-censorship in Cuba following mass anti-government protests

Protests over gender-based violence, office of LGBTI rights organisation vandalised

On 3rd May 2021, the headquarters of Cogam, a non-profit organisation that has been fighting for the equality of LGBTI people in Madrid was vandalised with transphobic graffiti messages opposing the Law on Sexual Diversity. On 11th June 2021, spontaneous protests were held across the country against gender-based violence after the body of a six-year-old girl named Olivia was found on the seabed of the Canary Island, Tenerife. Related to LGBTI rights, on , on 29th June 2021, the government however approved a draft bill that would have allowed legal gender recognition based on self-determination. Read more

Protests over gender-based violence, office of LGBTI rights organisation vandalised

Unrelenting harassment of activists and critics by police to stifle all forms of dissent in Malaysia

In recent months, the government continued to curtail fundamental freedoms and intimidate activists and journalists. Dozens have been hauled up by the police for peaceful protests critical of the government and its policies. Activists faced investigation for raising issues related to police brutality and the government handling of the pandemic, while journalists were also targeted for their reporting. Amidst a worsening COVID-19 crisis, the government continued to use the anti-fake news ordinance against individuals, a move criticised as detrimental to promoting access to information which is essential during a public health crisis. P
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Unrelenting harassment of activists and critics by police to stifle all forms of dissent in Malaysia

Antiterrorism laws further threaten civic space in Senegal

On 25th June 2021, Senegal’s National Assembly passed two draft laws, modifying the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, with the aim of “reinforcing the fight against terrorism”, but they contain problematic and overly broad provisions which could affect civic freedoms negatively. Opposition and civil society groups have denounced the adopted laws as an attempt to limit opposition and to restrict the right to protest Read more  |  Read in French

Antiterrorism laws further threaten civic space in Senegal

El Salvador: Step backward for transparency in proposal to reform Access to Public Information Law

On 7th July 2021, the Nayib Bukele government presented a bill which would make regressive reforms to El Salvador’s Access to Public Information Law (Ley de Acceso a la Información Pública), undermining government transparency. Read more

El Salvador: Step backward for transparency in proposal to reform Access to Public Information Law

Haiti: President Moïse assassinated, launching country into further uncertainty

Overnight on 7th July 2021, a group of armed assassins gunned down President Jovenel Moïse after breaking into his residence in Port-au-Prince. Read more  |  Read in French

Haiti: President Moïse assassinated, launching country into further uncertainty

Flawed elections and deterioration of media freedom

On 11th June 2021, ahead of the HRC47, a group of NGOs led by DefendDefenders wrote a letter urging the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution on the ongoing human rights crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia. The letter urged the HRC to “take urgent action to address the crisis and fulfil its mandate to address and prevent violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations and abuses, and to respond promptly to emergencies.”. On 21st June 2021, Ethiopia held its general elections amidst the conflict in Tigray and other regions including the Benishangul-Gumuz region. Officials announced that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had won 410 out of 436 seats on 10th July 2021. International observers and political opposition groups claimed the elections were undemocratic and unfair. On 26th June 2021, five opposition parties that took part in the election alleged that the ruling party had interfered with the general elections. The European Union did not send observers, and the United States criticised the electoral process, claiming it had too many obstacles for it to be perceived as credible. Multiple opposition parties boycotted the elections, as previously reported by the Monitor, and 18 percent of parliamentary seats from the Tigray, Somali, Harari, Afar,and Benishangul-Gumuz regions did not vote. Read more

Flawed elections and deterioration of media freedom

Ecuador: criminalisation of environmental defenders and bills affecting freedom of expression

In May 2021, state oil company Petroecuador filed criminal proceedings against Kichwa leader Wilson Geovanni Quindinga Salazar and his legal advisor Luis Xavier Solís Tenesaca for “paralysing public services”. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Ecuador: criminalisation of environmental defenders and bills affecting freedom of expression

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

Obstruction of journalistic work in Bolivia

On 2nd June 2021, security agents at the La Paz Departmental Court of Justice (TDJ) prevented a journalist from entering an inauguration event. Read more

Obstruction of journalistic work in Bolivia