religious groups

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

Farmers stage several protests at The Hague, proposed Dutch law threatens civic space

Farmers staged a number of protests around The Hague area due to the recommendations of a government commission which was set up to look at the problem of nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. The committee recommended a reduction in livestock numbers in order to protect the environment from excessive nitrogen emissions. In a separate protest, police forcefully removed climate protestors from a demonstration held at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. NGOs are concerned about the proposal of a new law that intends to make it easier to ban anti-democratic, racial and extremist organisations which pose a threat to public order. They fear that the proposed law might have negative consequences for civic space. Read more

Farmers stage several protests at The Hague, proposed Dutch law threatens civic space

Courts nullify elections, order government to allow dreadlocks in schools, in landmark cases

In a landmark ruling delivered on Monday 3rd February 2020, the Constitutional Court ordered the nullification of the May 2019 elections and ordered fresh elections, the high court in Zomba ordered the ministry of education to allow Rastafarian children with dreadlocks to enrol in public schools,
Since the May 2019 elections, Malawians engaged in sustained popular protests against the government which have been met with police reprisals, Human Rights Defenders Coalition organized a protest against the rape of women, three journalists detained for two hours at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, female journalist Patricia Kayuni was physically assaulted by protesters in Chitipa district Read more

Courts nullify elections, order government to allow dreadlocks in schools, in landmark cases

Carnival branded anti-Semitic; police use excessive force against climate protesters

Belgium’s governing coalition fell apart in December 2018 due to a dispute over the UN pact on migration. Following a political stalemate during the May 2019 elections, the Prime Minister’s office is currently occupied by a caretaker government. UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has removed the Aalst carnival from its heritage list due to its display of anti- semitic floats. Over 400 climate protesters were detained by police who used water cannon, batons and pepper spray to disperse the protesters, followed by arrests.

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Carnival branded anti-Semitic; police use excessive force against climate protesters

President Kagame Denies Spying on Opponents Abroad

American pastor deported on accusation of hate speech, President Kagame denies spying on dissidents abroad, while outspoken government critic confirms being a victim of surveillance while in exile Read more

President Kagame Denies Spying on Opponents Abroad

Activists, journalists and dissidents detained to prevent protests on International Human Rights Day

On 9th and 10th December 2019, several human rights defenders, intellectuals, leaders of opposition groups and journalists were placed under house arrest without a judicial order. Many reported that security officers were guarding their homes, threatening to arrest them if they went out into the street. This wave of repression took place around the celebrations for International Human Rights Day on 10th December. According to reports, the detentions were conducted to prevent protests. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Activists, journalists and dissidents detained to prevent protests on International Human Rights Day

Synagogue attack leads to protest and debate on hate speech laws

On 9th October 2019 a gunman tried to enter a Synagogue in the city of Halle during a celebration of Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day. After he was unable to enter the synagogue, the man opened fire on a woman in the street and a man in a nearby kebab shop, killing them both. The attacks were streamed through an online video streaming platform. The incident has led to protests around Germany. The German government reacted by proposing a new hate speech law which forces social media platforms to report illegal content to law enforcement. Read more

Synagogue attack leads to protest and debate on hate speech laws

Neo-Nazi’s damage Jewish grave sites, young women call for removal of government’s “Ghetto List”

On 9th November 2019, 84 graves in a historical Jewish graveyard in Jutland, Denmark were vandalised with green paint. The incident happened on the 81st anniversary of the Nazi Anti-Jewish Kristallnacht violence. In another incident on the same day, a yellow Star of David sticker - a badge worn by Jewish people under Nazi dictatorship, was plastered onto the mailbox of a couple. And, four young Danish women are urging their government to put an end to the annual ‘ghetto list’- which names underprivileged neighbourhoods. Read more

Neo-Nazi’s damage Jewish grave sites, young women call for removal of government’s “Ghetto List”