religious groups

Protests over Serbian Orthodox bishops’ detention; worst rating for press freedom in Western Balkans

In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, there was no coordination between CSOs and the government, which is reflected in the fact that CSO representatives were not included in any of the established crisis bodies. During the pandemic, police detained a priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church for holding a prayer gathering in a monastery and thus defying the ban on social gatherings. In reaction to the arrest of the Serbian Orthodox bishop, several hundred citizens held protests in several Montenegrin towns. The protests became violent, with police using tear gas and shock bombs to disperse the crowds and some protesters were detained. Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) 2020 World Press Freedom Index finds that Montenegro's press freedom is in decline as it is the worst rated county in the Western Balkan region. Read more

Protests over Serbian Orthodox bishops’ detention; worst rating for press freedom in Western Balkans

Peaceful Assembly affected by COVID-19 restrictions

Gatherings restricted due to Covid-19; Individual fined for establishing religious association; New report documents incidents of attack against journalists; MPs prepare to vote on new media Bill Read more

Peaceful Assembly affected by COVID-19 restrictions

Clampdown on expression online persists as Laos slips further down the press freedom rankings

There have been reports of human rights violations occurring during the lockdown in Laos. Individuals circulating a video of a land grab were detained and there were arrests for ‘fake news’ or ‘spreading rumours aimed at causing public panic’ related to COVID-19. Laos press freedom rankings dropped further, while concerns were raised around the lack of information on another proposed dam, amid a near-total lack of space for free speech. Read more

Clampdown on expression online persists as Laos slips further down the press freedom rankings

Spread of coronavirus and emergency safety measures put pressure on civic freedoms

Across the country, workers deemed essential during the coronavirus emergency staged walk-outs and other protests over insufficient personal protection equipment and to demand benefits such as paid sick leave or healthcare. Read more

Spread of coronavirus and emergency safety measures put pressure on civic freedoms

Attacks on journalists on the rise as religious groups clash with police

As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, there have been persistent concerns over media freedom in Montenegro. On 23rd January 2020 for Journalist's Day, Montenegrin media workers reminded authorities that there are still many unresolved cases of violence against journalists. This period was marked by protests over the “Church-state confrontation” where supporters of the Serbian Orthodox Church continued protesting against the controversial new Law on Freedom of Religion. Read more

Attacks on journalists on the rise as religious groups clash with police

Peru: Awajun leader killed as community resists mining in their territory

On 10th and 11th February 2020, members of Peru’s Awajun and Wampis communities protested outside the main offices of the Amazonas regional government to denounce alleged action by the government to enable mining in their territories. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Peru: Awajun leader killed as community resists mining in their territory

Activists, journalists and protesters facing continued restrictions by parties to the conflict

Newspaper distribution suspended in the wake of COVID-19; Death sentence upheld for prisoner of conscience; HRDs and journalists detained; Journalist temporarily barred from travelling; Protesters facing arbitrary arrests Read more

Activists, journalists and protesters facing continued restrictions by parties to the conflict

Attacks on religion as anti-Muslim group burns Quran and gunman attacks mosque

Following a mosque attack where a gunman opened fire in Bærum, close to Oslo, the Norweigan government has declared hate speech a priority. The gunman previously expressed far right and anti-immigrant views. Far right anti-Islam group, Stop Islamisation of Norway (SIAN), held two demonstrations but one turned violent when the groups leader burned a copy of the Quran. Read more

Attacks on religion as anti-Muslim group burns Quran and gunman attacks mosque

Civil society calls on authorities to address police inaction and hate speech around Delhi violence

Civil society groups have called on both the Central and Delhi governments to take all necessary measures to prevent further violence, address police inaction and denounce hate speech by political leaders after violence broke out on 23rd February 2020 in New Delhi. Read more

Civil society calls on authorities to address police inaction and hate speech around Delhi violence

Measures to combat "fake news" used to silence journalists

At the end of 2019 and start of 2020, several journalists were accused of spreading fake news. In early January 2020 police arrested and detained the chief-editor of FOS Media, Angela Djikanovic, on suspicion of causing panic and disorder for allegedly distributing fake news. The incident started after she published an article stating that the government may use security forces in neighbouring Kosovo to help quell Serbian Orthodox Church supporters’ protests. Read more

Measures to combat "fake news" used to silence journalists