release of HRDs

Restrictions in response to the exercise of fundamental freedoms continue

Restricted civic space and the worsening situation for human rights defenders continue in Egypt. While the three EIPR staff members, namely Gasser Abdel-Razek, Karim Ennarah and Mohamed Bashee were released, 7th February 2020 marks one year since the arrest of EIPR researcher and Bologna University student Patrick George Zaki. Graduate student Ahmed Samir Santawy was arrested on 1st February 2021, in relation to his research on women’s rights. In addition, the crackdown on freedom of expression continues. According to Reporters Without Borders, the number of journalists and bloggers detained in Egypt now stands at 33. In one case documented, freelance journalist Solafa Magdy was physically and sexually assaulted in police custody. Solafa and her husband were first arrested on 26th November 2019. Read more

Restrictions in response to the exercise of fundamental freedoms continue

CoI mandate extended; Iwacu four are released

the HRC extended the CoI’s mandate for 12 months; Burundian MP Fabien Banciryanino, a vocal critic of the late President Pierre Nkurunziza, detained for an alleged attempt to overthrow the government; former president Pierre Buyoya was given a life sentence for his part in the assassination of his successor Melchior Ndadaye, dies from COVID19 before starting his sentence; Amnesty International called for the unconditional release of Germain Rukuki; Burundian government informs the UN Secretary-General that the office of the UN Special Envoy to Burundi would close by the end of 2020; Imprisoned Iwacu journalists released after pardon Read more

CoI mandate extended; Iwacu four are released

Rights groups: increase in violations in 2020

Rights organisations have raised concern at the increase of human rights violations in the country in 2020. In its annual report, titled 'The return of the predators' and published on 2nd November 2020, Congolese press freedom organisation Journaliste en Danger (JED) said they had documented 116 press freedom violations, up from 85 the previous year. The majority of violations, which includes one journalist killed and tens of journalists detained, were perpetrated by state actors (authorities and security forces), followed by members and supporters of political parties and armed groups. Read more  |  Read in French

Rights groups: increase in violations in 2020

Turbulent election period sees attacks on opposition, internet shutdown and police violence.

Opposition leaders face attacks, arbitrary arrests and detention, ahead of and after January 2021 elections; Civil society efforts to monitor elections stifled by authorities; Election-related protests and rallies violently dispersed; Journalists targeted with violence by authorities; Internet, social media accounts shut down ahead of elections Read more

Turbulent election period sees attacks on opposition, internet shutdown and police violence.

Journalists in Yemen continue to face severe threats in carrying out their work

Journalist Adeeb Al-Janani hit by shrapnel and killed while on duty; Journalist Tawfiq Mohammed Al-Mansouri, who is appealing a death sentence handed down in April 2020, is suffering a serious deterioration of his health in prison in Sana’a; journalist Mohammed Ali Al-Maqri released from the Political Security prison in Ma’rib. Read more

Journalists in Yemen continue to face severe threats in carrying out their work

Journalists assassinated and detained incommunicado, peaceful protesters arrested

Several protesters arrested following peaceful protests which began on 7th June 2020 in the predominantly Druze city of Sweida; journalist Hussain Khattab assassinated by unidentified masked gunmen; civil society activist and journalist Nour Al-Shilo released after she was arrested and detained incommunicado; On 9th December 2020, Syrian civil society organisations marked the anniversary of the kidnapping of four activists in Douma in 2013; Read more

Journalists assassinated and detained incommunicado, peaceful protesters arrested

Human rights organisations criticise civic space restrictions ahead of UPR review

Joint CSO UPR report on Oman finds that the government of Oman has failed to implement the recommendations relating to civic space since its last UPR review in 2015; Human Rights Watch publishes a letter sent to the Oman Human Rights Commission expressing their deep concern at the arrests and convictions of several individuals under a provision of Oman’s 2018 Penal Code that criminalises “imitating the opposite sex;" Internet activist Ghazi Al-Awlaki released after a period of detention by the Internal Security Service (ISS) in retaliation against his social media activities; Sultan bin Tariq issues decree No. 64 of 2020 establishing the Cyber Defence Centre grants absolute control for regulating internet services devices and data to the ISS Read more

Human rights organisations criticise civic space restrictions ahead of UPR review

While insisting it’s COVID-19 free, Turkmenistan renews efforts to clamp down on dissent

Turkmenistan’s government continued its policy of COVID-19 denial, claiming that the global pandemic had not reached the country, although independent Turkmenistan-covering outlets reported about a growing number of coronavirus infections. The authorities continued to use national, state-controlled media for propaganda purposes, while restricting access to foreign sources of information. Amid growing criticism of Turkmenistan’s government both on- and offline in recent months, the authorities continued to put pressure on outspoken activists living abroad, their relatives in Turkmenistan, and local residents suspected of ties with such activists. The reporting period also saw several new spontaneous protests initiated by residents of Turkmenistan who expressed their resentment at the shortages of basic food items sold at state-subsidised prices, and the shortages of cash at ATMs. Read more

While insisting it’s COVID-19 free, Turkmenistan renews efforts to clamp down on dissent

Thousands attend demonstrations marking the one-year anniversary of the popular movement

October 2020 marked the one-year anniversary of the start of the popular movement in Iraq, with demonstrations attended by thousands of people across various cities in the central and southern provinces of Iraq; As the protests continue, activists continue to pay with their lives; In November 2020, the Presidency of the Nineveh Federal Court of Appeal in Mosul issued arrest warrants against four civil society activists: Rayan Jasim Mohammed, Sahar Mohammaed Mustafa, Mohannad Qasim Ismail and Saqr Maan Abdulqadir Al Zakaria. Read more

Thousands attend demonstrations marking the one-year anniversary of the popular movement

Controversial presidential elections: at least 21 killed in post electoral protests and violence

Controversial and disputed presidential elections took place in Guinea on 18th October 2020, after a constitutional referendum in March 2020 and a new Constitution, allowing incumbent president Alpha Condé run for a third term Read more  |  Read in French

Controversial presidential elections: at least 21 killed in post electoral protests and violence