attack on journalist

Public vilification of Indigenous peoples and criminalisation of environmental defenders

On 16th July 2020, Maya Q’eqchi Indigenous leader Bernardo Caal Xol was declared a prisoner of conscience by human rights organisation Amnesty International. Bernardo Caal Xol has defended the rights of communities in Santa María de Cahabón, department of Alta Verapáz, which have resisted the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the region. Read more

Public vilification of Indigenous peoples and criminalisation of environmental defenders

Opposition candidates and supporters persecuted, detained ahead of elections

Presidential candidates and opposition protesters arrested and detained, Journalists attacked an arrested while covering protests Read more

Opposition candidates and supporters persecuted, detained ahead of elections

Popular Protests: Demonstrators, journalists and human rights defenders killed, attacked & silenced

Protesters continue with the popular protests which began in October 2019 calling for an end to corruption and improved social services. Protesters face attacks, violent dispersal and arrests, as activists are assassinated and attacked for participating in protests, and for supporting the movement on social media Read more

Popular Protests: Demonstrators, journalists and human rights defenders killed, attacked & silenced

Journalists bear the brunt of repression of expression in Somalia

Journalists detained for reporting on COVID-19 related issues, local radio station banned from broadcasting in local Brawanese dialect, Journalists harassed and assaulted by police officers while covering protest, journalist Said Yusuf Ali stabbed to death in Mogadishu Read more

Journalists bear the brunt of repression of expression in Somalia

Disinformation and fake news on the rise during COVID-19

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak the the State Electoral Commission decided not to allow people who are infected with the coronavirus to vote from home, but it has allowed this for people in self-isolation. However, shortly before the election took place the Constitutional Court ruled that the Electoral Commission must ensure that COVID-19 patients have the right to vote. Following this, the commission announced that coronavirus patients would be allowed to vote by proxy. Allegations against Croatian police of torturing migrants have continued to emerge, but the Interior Ministry dismissed these allegations, while NGOs state that there is evidence and testimonies from eyewitnesses. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, an increase in the spread of disinformation and fake news regarding the virus has been noted in Croatia. Due to this, the Croatian police have filed dozens of reports against citizens who were spreading fake news. Read more

Disinformation and fake news on the rise during COVID-19

Enforced disappearance during Guadalajara protest and two journalists at severe risk

In the beginning of June 2020, hundreds of people joined protests against police brutality and demanded justice for Giovanni López, a man who was detained and died the next day from a head injury. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Enforced disappearance during Guadalajara protest and two journalists at severe risk

Bolivian Ombudsperson accused of political bias by government

On 13th July 2020, Bolivia’s interim government published a statement claiming Ombudsperson Nadia Cruz was occupying this office illegally and that, as a result, they would not recognise any actions undertaken by her after April 2019. Read more

Bolivian Ombudsperson accused of political bias by government

Activists, journalists face smear campaigns, harassment and censorship during COVID-19

Restrictions on the movement of citizens have greatly hindered the normal functioning of CSOs engaged in activities of general interest, especially the ones which provide citizens with certain services that can help them during the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, CSOs were not eligible for permits which allow for movement during curfew hours. The Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) has been the constant target of individual smear campaigns for many years. The most recent attacks, from GONGO association National Avant-Garde, aim to discredit the BCSP’s work through public statements, announcements and videos. The introduction of the state of emergency has raised concerns of censorship. For example, the government adopted a conclusion authorising only Crisis Staff to inform the public about the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthermore, it adopted a measure that prevents journalists from attending Crisis Staff press conferences. In addition, journalists were harassed, detained for their reporting or subject to smear campaigns during the reporting period.
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Activists, journalists face smear campaigns, harassment and censorship during COVID-19

Excessive police force used against citizens, journalists during anti-government COVID-19 protests

Following the announcement of the re-introduction of a curfew due to the worsening COVID-19 epidemiological situation announced by President Aleksandar Vučić, citizens spontaneously gathered in front of the National Assembly building on 7th July 2020 in Belgrade to express dissatisfaction with the new ban. Protests, which continued over a number of days around the country, saw police using excessive force, through the use of batons, rubber bullets, tear gas, cavalry and police dogs against protesters. Several cases police using excessive violence against protesters were documented on the ground. Journalists who covered the protests also faced physical attacks from the police despite identifying themselves as from the media. Despite many cases of excessive force being documented, the government has stated that such force, like the use of tear gas, was neccessary. Read more

Excessive police force used against citizens, journalists during anti-government COVID-19 protests

Militarised police continue to use excessive force against protesters

Massive protests to condemn police brutality, overwhelmingly peaceful, have continued across the U.S. Enduring pressure from demonstrations has brought important results, including charges brought against officers involved in George Floyd’s killing and commitment to reforming police practices from some authorities. Read more

Militarised police continue to use excessive force against protesters