women

Human rights defenders in Nicaragua subjected to criminalisation, defamation and harassment

A crackdown on protests in November 2019 has raised alarm in Nicaragua. On 14th November 2019, nine mothers of imprisoned opposition activists began a hunger strike in the San Miguel Church in Masaya, calling for the release of 130 people allegedly detained in the context of the protests. According to reports, the premises were quickly barricaded by police and pro-government groups, who cut off water and electricity. They were under siege for nine days. Activists who attempted to provide water and medicine to the strikers have been criminalised.

In addition, reports indicate the continuous harassment of human rights defenders and activists who have taken part in protests in the country. Finally, three Nicaraguan newspapers have decided to suspend publications due to the adverse environment in which they have had to operate. Read more

Human rights defenders in Nicaragua subjected to criminalisation, defamation and harassment

Concerns about freedom of expression in Nigeria: journalists arrested, protests repressed

According to the Amnesty International report 'Endangered Voices. Attack on Freedom of Expression in Nigeria', at least 19 journalists, bloggers and media practitioners have been subject to attacks between January and September 2019. These range from physical attacks, verbal assaults, death threats, surveillance, indiscriminate detention to pressure to reveal sources, mostly perpetrated by Nigerian security forces. Read more

Concerns about freedom of expression in Nigeria:  journalists arrested, protests repressed

Activists in Malaysia facing various forms of harassment from authorities

In past few months, human rights activists Sevan Doraisamy and Rama Ramanathan faced harassment, including being taken in for questioning for speaking up and criticising the authorities. Activist Maryam Lee is being investigated by the Islamic authorities because of her writing. The courts have also failed to protect women’s rights group Sisters in Islam from being deemed “deviant’ by the Islamic authorities. Read more

Activists in Malaysia facing various forms of harassment from authorities

Protesters march against gender based violence

Protesters in Cape town marched outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) where the World Economic Forum was happening to protest against gender based violence. In Johannesburg, women gathered and protested in the streets of Johannesburg following the release of the South African Police Service's (SAPS) crime statistics, which revealed that 2 771 women had been murdered in the past fiscal year. Residents of Henley Village in Pietermaritzburg took to the streets to protest against water scarcity, Read more

Protesters march against gender based violence

HRD detained without charge and journalist arrested for disobedience as Cuba increases repression

On 1 October 2019, security agents detained José Daniel Ferrer, leader of opposition group Unión Patriótica de Cuba (Patriotic Union of Cuba - UNPACU). Ferrer was with his four sons when the Cuban special forces detained him and four other activists. The UNPACU leader was held incommunicado for 72 hours, remaining in detention without charge.

On 11 September 2019, authorities arrested independent Cuban journalist Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces, after he was convicted of resistance and disobedience for attempting to cover a trial of religious pastors. On 7 October 2019, nineteen independent media outlets published a declaration reporting a wave of repression from the Díaz-Canel government. Since January 2018 to date, the signatory organisations have counted 183 aggressions against journalists, with a noticeable increase in recent months. Read more

HRD detained without charge and journalist arrested for disobedience as Cuba increases repression

Philippines human rights body launches national inquiry as attacks against activists persist

Over the last few months, critics of the President have been charged with sedition and other offences and journalists have been killed. Further, a anti-fake news bill has been tabled in the Senate which could restrict freedom of expression. Left and indigenous activists have also been killed and there are increasing attacks on lawyers. Read more

Philippines human rights body launches national inquiry as attacks against activists persist

Three sports journalists physically assaulted

On 8th September 2019, two female sports journalists, Frances Bernard-Bundor and Esther Maray Samoura, were physically assaulted by individuals identified as bodyguards of President Julius Maada Bio. The journalists, from the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), were covering the FIFA World Cup qualifier match between Sierra Leone and Liberia from the commentary box at the National Stadium when the bodyguards marched in the commentary box, demanding they leave the box as they were disturbing the President. Read more

Three sports journalists physically assaulted

Several arrested during protests

On 24th July 2019, a protest erupted at Serrekunda Market following the death of a vendor, Ousman Darboe, following what was perceived by protesters as due to police brutality. According to media reports, more than a thousand people gathered, with banners saying 'No to police brutality'. The protest turned violent, with protesters reportedly throwing stones at the deployed Police Intervention Unit (PIU), who responded with tear gas to disperse the protesters. The house belonging to the head of the police Anti-Crime Unit was reportedly burned down by angry protesters. A total of 37 people were arrested, including rapper Killa Ace, and were charged on 8 counts, including arson, rioting and unlawful assembly. Read more

Several arrested during protests

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reports persistent repression of dissent in Nicaragua

Despite the negotiations between Nicaragua’s government and the opposition coalition Alianza Cívica por la Justicia y la Democracia (Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy), and notwithstanding the release of 56 political prisoners earlier in 2019, the repression of dissent has persisted in Nicaragua. This is the conclusion of the latest report of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the country’s situation, published on 4th September 2019. At the same time, international writers’ association PEN International stated that the repression of freedom of expression in Nicaragua is becoming more acute. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reports persistent repression of dissent in Nicaragua

CSOs call for independent and credible investigations

On 23rd September 2019, the Sudanese Prime Minister announced the establishment of a national investigation committee to investigate the attacks against pro-democracy demonstrators on 3rd June 2019. As covered previously by the CIVICUS Monitor, the demonstration caused the death and injury of hundreds of protesters. Read more

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CSOs call for independent and credible investigations