positive CS development

Reports and monitoring missions document extreme repression and violence against activists

In response to mounting pressure from human rights defenders in Iraq, the Ministry of Interior arrested Lieutenant-Colonel Omar Nizar, who was affiliated with the Rapid Response Division, on charges of killing protesters during a 2019 crackdown; Protesters summoned for their participation in protests on 25th October 2019; Body of civil society activist Haider Sabri found in Basra city with a bullet wound to the head; Read more

Reports and monitoring missions document extreme repression and violence against activists

Haiti: journalist released after 20 days in captivity

On 16th July 2022, the UN human rights office warned of worsening violence in and around the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and an increase in abuse against vulnerable local communities at the hands of heavily armed gangs. Read more

Haiti: journalist released after 20 days in captivity

CSOs raise concerns over lack of consultations during parliamentary process

Irish civil society is becoming increasingly alarmed by the government’s abuse of the legislative process in the Irish Parliament. Recent controversies have emerged regarding the adding of extensive last-minute amendments to important legislation, with no time for scrutiny, and the guillotining of debates. For example, in late March 2022, the revised Electoral Reform Bill was published by the Irish parliament. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) was disappointed to note that the recommendations which the organisation fought to have included in the pre-legislative scrutiny report on civil society freedom haven’t been included in the revised Bill. Read more

CSOs raise concerns over lack of consultations during parliamentary process

Paraguay: Violent evictions affect land rights defenders

On 15th June 2022, campesino farmers and police clashed in Edelira, Itapúa department in a violent confrontation that ended with the killing of campesino Édgar Emiliano Centurión Almirón. Read more

Paraguay: Violent evictions affect land rights defenders

Honduras: CSOs say more effort is needed to guarantee safety of human rights defenders and journalists

On 26th May 2022, social communicator and camera operator Ricardo Ávila was shot in the head in the south of Honduras. He was transferred to a hospital in Tegucigalpa but died from his wounds on 29th May. The attack took place as Ávila was travelling on his motorcycle from the town of Marcovia, where he lived, to Choluteca, where he worked at Metro TV. Read more

Honduras: CSOs say more effort is needed to guarantee safety of human rights defenders and journalists

Protests for migrant rights; positive move in press freedom index

On 15th June 2022, around a dozen demonstrators staged a protest outside the Lithuanian government’s office in Vilnius over the country’s policies on migrants and asylum seekers. The demonstrators called on the government to reconsider its current policy and provide opportunities for integration into Lithuania. Separately, a protest against sexual violence in Ukraine was held outside the Russian Embassy in Vilnius. The protest came after reports that Ukrainian women and children were being raped and tortured by Russian troops. Relates to Russia's war on Ukraine, the Lithuanian government submitted legal amendments to the parliament on 23rd March 2022, which aimed to extend the powers to restrict online content that incites hatred and violence or contains war propaganda. Read more

Protests for migrant rights; positive move in press freedom index

PNG government commits to reforms at UN review but press freedom concerns remain

In April 2022, it was reported that human rights defenders had been invited for a three-day consultation on the development of a Human Rights Defenders’ Protection bill. On 9th May 2022, global press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reported that PNG has been ranked in 62nd place in RSF's 2022 World Press Freedom Index. The country slipped by 15 places compared to its 2021 rankings, when it was placed 47th out of 180 nations. Read more

PNG government commits to reforms at UN review but press freedom concerns remain

Protests for academic freedom met with excessive force, journalist under surveillance

A series of demonstrations which have taken place at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki over the past few months have been met with repressions. The protests began after the Council of the State, Greece’s highest administrative court, ruled that the legislation which provides for the creation of a new police corps, permanently stationed on university campuses, does not violate academic freedom. The ruling was handed down in early 2021 and entered into force in June 2022, with university police being stationed at two of Greece’s largest campuses in Athens and Thessaloniki. On 11th April 2022, it was first revealed that Greek journalist Thanasis Koukakis had been under surveillance for approximately ten weeks when his cell phone was hacked and infected with surveillance software, known as Predator. Additionally several cases of detention, harassment and intimidation against journalists were documented. Read more

Protests for academic freedom met with excessive force, journalist under surveillance

Prominent human rights organisation ceases operation as violations continue

Amid growning repression, on 10th January 2022, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) issued a statement saying that it had decided to suspend its activities as a result of increasing disregard for the rule of law, the growing violations of human rights and police harassment. Separately, civil society organisations criticised a bill which aims to amend several articles of the law regulating religious preaching and lessons. The proposed amendments seek to expand the scope of the law to include the prohibition of “talking about religious matters on visual, audio or electronic media” except with an official licence from Al-Azhar or the Ministry of Endowments, and increases penalties for violating the law, in some cases amounting to life imprisonment with hard labour. Meanwhile, authorities continued to use charges of joining a terrorist group, inciting a crime, and spreading false news against journalists. Read more

 Prominent human rights organisation ceases operation as violations continue

Chile: journalist Francisca Sandoval dies after being shot when covering protest

On 1st May 2022, during the Workers’ Day march in Santiago, shooters opened fire following an alleged altercation with protesters. Four people were injured, three of them journalists covering the march. Francisca Sandoval, a 29-year-old journalist with La Victoria's Señal 3, was critically wounded and died from her injuries on 12th May 2022. Read more

Chile: journalist Francisca Sandoval dies after being shot when covering protest