refugees and migrants

Protests by LGBTQI+ activists, migrant network and railway union in Taiwan

In recent months, there have been protests by LGBTQI+ activists against the marriage law, migrant workers’ rights advocates in support of protections for caregivers and a railways union protesting plans to corporatise the agency. While there is press freedom, there is a very polarised media environment. Read more

Protests by LGBTQI+ activists, migrant network and railway union in Taiwan

HRDs face life sentences & death penalty for their peaceful human rights work

HRD Abdullah Al-Maliki at risk of death sentence for his peaceful human rights work; Amnesty International published a 74-page report documenting the forced labour and other abuses of migrant workers in Qatar’s private security sector ahead of the FIFA World Cup; Court hands down a life sentence to lawyer Dr Hazzaa bin Ali Abu Shraydeh Al-Marri and his brother and fellow lawyer Rashid bin Ali Abu Shraydeh Al-Marri for their participation in peaceful protests in August 2021, others Read more

HRDs face life sentences & death penalty for their peaceful human rights work

Mexico: vicious attacks against women, journalists and HRDs continue

At the end of April 2022, thousands of people protested in multiple cities to demand justice for the murder of 18-year-old student Debanhi Escobar in Nuevo León, and for the killings and disappearances of other women and girls across the country. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Mexico: vicious attacks against women, journalists and HRDs continue

Judicial harassment of pro-abortion activist & activists helping refugees at Poland/Belarus border

Poland is increasingly criminalising humanitarian work on the Poland/Belarus border. Activists who previously received small fines for helping refugees are now charged with “organising an illegal border crossing”, which is a criminal offence punishable by eight years in prison. While the Polish government announced that it was allocating funding to NGOs for Ukraine crisis support, the funding, some funding was allocated to the National Guard Association, a far-right organisation that has been advocating for push backs. Further concerning developments on abortion rights took place: the death of a pregnant woman who was denied abortion sparked protests and Justyna Wydrzyńska, a human rights defender from the Polish group Aborcyjny Dream Team, faces up to three years in prison for supporting a pregnant woman who needed a safe abortion. In a positive development, the President vetoed proposed amendments to the law on education (dubbed Lex Czarnek), which would have censored workshops on LGBTQI+ rights and civic education in schools.

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Judicial harassment of pro-abortion activist & activists helping refugees at Poland/Belarus border

Brazil: shocking violence on HRDs and journalists continues

On 10th February 2022, nine-year-old Jonatas de Oliveira dos Santos was shot and killed in an attack in Engenho Roncadorzinho, a community in the town of Barreiros, Pernambuco state. According to the local police, the boy was killed in retaliation against his father, Geovane da Silva Santos, a community leader and president of the local smallholder farmers’ association. Read more

Brazil: shocking violence on HRDs and journalists continues

Associations push back as Separatism law comes into effect; CSO tackling Islamophobia dissolved

Several concerning developments took place during this reporting period. On 1st January 2022, the so-called Separatism law came into force after the Constitutional Council validated most of the provisions contained in the draft bill, despite major concerns raised by a broad coalition of civil society organisations. However CSOs are fighing back by submitting an appeal to the Council of State. The Collective against Islamophobia in France (Collectif Contre l'Islamophobie en France – CCIF), an association whose purpose was to fight by legal means discrimination against Muslim people was dissolved by a decree on 2nd December 2020 and at the end of September 2021, the Council of State approved the dissolution. The administrative dissolution of the Coordination against racism and Islamophobia (Coordination contre le racisme et l'islamophobie - CRI) was pronounced by a decree of 20th October 2021 on a similar basis. Read more

Associations push back as Separatism law comes into effect; CSO tackling Islamophobia dissolved

USA: Amazon workers vote for unionisation; courts hold police liable for excessive force

On 19th February 2022, one person was killed and five wounded in Portland at a march to protest police violence. The woman killed was a long-time activist involved in racial justice protests and LGBTQIA+ organising. Read more

USA: Amazon workers vote for unionisation; courts hold police liable for excessive force

Increased legal attacks on journalists through SLAPPs

Further concerning developents related to the migrant crisis occured during this period. On 8th February 2022, protesters on Lesbos tried to halt construction work on a new refugee shelter in a remote location at Plati, about 30 kilometres north of the island capital Mytilene. Police prevented about 500 protesters from getting to the site, but a small group managed to break through the barriers and set fire to a truck and some machinery owned by the construction company. Authorities arrested and charged five people with, among other things, arson, property damage, attempted assault and violence against officials. Protests against the construction of new refugee shelters have been taking place on multiple Greek islands for the past several months. Separately, in December 2021, women’s rights activists staged a protest outside the parliament building in Athens after two women were murdered within five days of one another. Femicide in Greece has become an increasingly urgent issue for activists. In January 2022, women’s rights activists staged another protest, this time in support of a 24-year-old woman named Georgia Bika, who told the police that she had been gang-raped by three men at a luxury hotel in Thessaloniki on New Year’s Eve. Additionally, in recent months, several journalists and media outlets in Greece have been subjected to Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs). Read more

Increased legal attacks on journalists through SLAPPs

Mexico: governing party introduces bill restricting civil society work

A bill being considered in the Chamber of Deputies would restrict the work of civil society groups by prohibiting organisations from trying to influence or change laws through lobbying or strategic litigation if they receive funding from foreign sources. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Mexico: governing party introduces bill restricting civil society work

Chile: same-sex marriage legalised; Gabriel Boric sworn in as President

On 11th March 2022, Gabriel Boric of Social Convergence was sworn in, becoming Chile’s youngest ever president. Boric is a former student union leader who had a key role in 2011 mass protests for free public education. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Chile: same-sex marriage legalised; Gabriel Boric sworn in as President