protest

Police brutality during protests and targeting of journalists a huge concern

On 17th November 2020, hundreds of people gathered in Athens to remember the 1973 student uprising. Every year on this day, thousands gather in front of the Athens Polytechnic to remember the protesters who died there. In order to prevent this year’s march from happening, the government tightened the restrictions on gatherings to a maximum of three people between 15th and 18th November 2020 citing the strain on the healthcare system. Human rights groups raised concerns about the blanket ban on the right to protest. Several other protests were staged which saw police using excessive force and detaining protesters. Concerns have been raised over the increase in police brutality during protests. Journalists were also targeted through detentions and harassment from police at protests.
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Police brutality during protests and targeting of journalists a huge concern

Police brutality during student-led protest in Panama

On 16th December 2020, police in Panama City repressed a student-led protest against legislation excluding some people under 25 from receiving pandemic aid. Read more

Police brutality during student-led protest in Panama

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

Democracy in peril in the United States as rioters storm Capitol

At least five people died, including a police officer, and over 50 people were arrested after thousands of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on 6th January 2020 to disrupt a joint session of Congress and attempt to overturn the recent presidential election. Read more

Democracy in peril in the United States as rioters storm Capitol

Cuban government backtracks on talks with protesters and uses COVID-19 regulations to harass critics

As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, in November 2020 the arrest of musician Denis Solís González led artists and activists with Movimiento San Isidro to mobilise for his release. On 26th November 2020, the Cuban authorities raided the movement’s headquarters and detained 14 activists who had been on hunger strike for several days. Read more

Cuban government backtracks on talks with protesters and uses COVID-19 regulations to harass critics

Censoring critical voices: Social media giants fined; journalists, women HRDs behind bars

On 2nd October 2020, the Ministry of Interior announced as part of COVID-19 measures that activities held by NGOs, unions and cooperatives were required to be postponed until 1st December 2020. The Turkish President ordered the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) to be outlawed and its leadership prosecuted, accusing the association of terrorism after it criticised governments response to COVID-19. Several protests were staged by the association over this. In a separate development, after three waves of operations against it, eight women affiliated with Rosa Women’s Association were arrested while eight others were released on probation due to their work on womens rights. The imprisonment of journalist remains a concern with four journalists being detained following their repeated reports on an incident where two Kurdish villagers were allegedly tortured and thrown from a helicopter. In addition, journalist Ayşegül Doğan was convicted for "establishing an armed organisation" and sentenced to six years and three months in prison due to her reporting. In another act of censorship, Turkish authorities imposed fines of 10 million Turkish lira (one million Euros) to social media giants, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, for failing to comply with the new social media law. Read more

Censoring critical voices: Social media giants fined; journalists, women HRDs behind bars

Costa Rica: arbitrary detention of journalist and criminalisation of protests

On 29th October 2020 police in Ochomogo, Cartago, detained journalist Stella Chinchilla Mora when she was reporting from a demonstration against the government’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Read more

Costa Rica: arbitrary detention of journalist and criminalisation of protests

Two environmental defenders killed in Honduras

On 24th November 2020, Laura Carolina Valentín Dolmo, a young Garífuna defender and member of the Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH), was found dead in the river Danto in La Ceiba, in the northern Atlantida department. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Two environmental defenders killed in Honduras

Media outlets and journalists face a wave of SLAPP suits and hateful attacks

Several protests were staged in relation to the governments COVID-19 response which included protests by restaurant and cafe owners as well as for medium sized businesses. In a concerning development, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) warned of an upcoming wave of lawsuits against journalists and media workers filed by high-ranking politicians and public personalities. Sites such as Telegram, Index.hr and Virovitica.net are facing several SLAPP suits. In addition, Croatian journalist Anja Kožul was subject to a hate campaign. Read more

Media outlets and journalists face a wave of SLAPP suits and hateful attacks

Academic freedom at risk, barriers for transgender women as NGOs submit reports to UN on Japan

In recent months, there have been attempts by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to suppress academic freedom while Japan’s legal gender recognition law creates significant discriminatory barriers for transgender women to enroll in all public women’s universities in the country. There have also been ongoing protests against the Olympics and abuses in China. Read more

Academic freedom at risk, barriers for transgender women as NGOs submit reports to UN on Japan