women

Cuban government backtracks on talks with protesters and uses COVID-19 regulations to harass critics

As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, in November 2020 the arrest of musician Denis Solís González led artists and activists with Movimiento San Isidro to mobilise for his release. On 26th November 2020, the Cuban authorities raided the movement’s headquarters and detained 14 activists who had been on hunger strike for several days. Read more

Cuban government backtracks on talks with protesters and uses COVID-19 regulations to harass critics

Censoring critical voices: Social media giants fined; journalists, women HRDs behind bars

On 2nd October 2020, the Ministry of Interior announced as part of COVID-19 measures that activities held by NGOs, unions and cooperatives were required to be postponed until 1st December 2020. The Turkish President ordered the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) to be outlawed and its leadership prosecuted, accusing the association of terrorism after it criticised governments response to COVID-19. Several protests were staged by the association over this. In a separate development, after three waves of operations against it, eight women affiliated with Rosa Women’s Association were arrested while eight others were released on probation due to their work on womens rights. The imprisonment of journalist remains a concern with four journalists being detained following their repeated reports on an incident where two Kurdish villagers were allegedly tortured and thrown from a helicopter. In addition, journalist Ayşegül Doğan was convicted for "establishing an armed organisation" and sentenced to six years and three months in prison due to her reporting. In another act of censorship, Turkish authorities imposed fines of 10 million Turkish lira (one million Euros) to social media giants, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, for failing to comply with the new social media law. Read more

Censoring critical voices: Social media giants fined; journalists, women HRDs behind bars

Costa Rica: arbitrary detention of journalist and criminalisation of protests

On 29th October 2020 police in Ochomogo, Cartago, detained journalist Stella Chinchilla Mora when she was reporting from a demonstration against the government’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Read more

Costa Rica: arbitrary detention of journalist and criminalisation of protests

Two environmental defenders killed in Honduras

On 24th November 2020, Laura Carolina Valentín Dolmo, a young Garífuna defender and member of the Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH), was found dead in the river Danto in La Ceiba, in the northern Atlantida department. Read more

Two environmental defenders killed in Honduras

Academic freedom at risk, barriers for transgender women as NGOs submit reports to UN on Japan

In recent months, there have been attempts by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to suppress academic freedom while Japan’s legal gender recognition law creates significant discriminatory barriers for transgender women to enroll in all public women’s universities in the country. There have also been ongoing protests against the Olympics and abuses in China. Read more

Academic freedom at risk, barriers for transgender women as NGOs submit reports to UN on Japan

Canada: protests against COVID-19 restrictions as country struggles with new wave of infections

On 7th November 2020, about 2,000 people demonstrated in Aylmer, Ontario, to express their opposition to facial coverings and social distancing rules implemented by the provincial and federal governments in response to COVID-19. Read more

Canada: protests against COVID-19 restrictions as country struggles with new wave of infections

President and deputies of the ruling majority in parliament verbally attack journalists

With the formation of the new government and the establishment of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society ceased to exist. A significant part of the competencies in the field of work of the Office will be transferred to the Ministry. The abolition of the Office marks the end of its role to ensure the participation of citizens in the preparation of legal regulations by ministries and local governments. In addition, the entire process was conducted in a non-transparent manner. As reported previously, the phantom portal of “Prismotra” continues to discredit the work of CSOs and individuals working on the protection and promotion of human rights. Journalists continue to face threats and harassment. In the latest cases documented, during a tour of the construction work of a COVID-19 Hospital, the President of Serbia attacked the independence and objectivity of the media. In addition, deputies of the ruling party in Parliament also verbally attacked journalists, branding them as "anti-Serbian". Read more

President and deputies of the ruling majority in parliament verbally attack journalists

Protests staged in support of Polish Women and against COVID-19 measures

On 11th and 25th October 2020, Lithuania held parliamentary elections that ultimately led to the creation of a new conservative government. Like many other European countries, Lithuania had to adopt restrictive measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus. On 2nd December 2020, the government further tightened the measures in relation to gatherings between private citizens in public spaces by reducing the number of people allowed to gather from five to two. On 17th and 18th November 2020, during the visit of Polish President Andrzej Duda to Lithuania, women rights activists protested, in support of Polish women, against the very restrictive near total ban on abortion imposed by a Constitutional Tribunal ruling in October 2020. On 21st November 2020, about 40 people protested against the mandatory requirement to wear a face mask in public places. Read more

Protests staged in support of Polish Women and against COVID-19 measures

Closing civic space in Brazil: censorship, harassment and attacks on journalists and activists

In November 2020, Brazil held countrywide local elections to elect city councillors and mayors. Politically-motivated attacks and assassinations increased by nearly 200 percent in 2020 in comparison to previous years. Read more

Closing civic space in Brazil: censorship, harassment and attacks on journalists and activists

Contested legislative elections in Venezuela amid pandemic

On 7th December 2020, Nicolas Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and allied parties won 67 percent of the seats in the National Assembly, in legislative elections boycotted by most of the opposition. Read more

Contested legislative elections in Venezuela amid pandemic