CSO closure

Associations push back as Separatism law comes into effect; CSO tackling Islamophobia dissolved

Several concerning developments took place during this reporting period. On 1st January 2022, the so-called Separatism law came into force after the Constitutional Council validated most of the provisions contained in the draft bill, despite major concerns raised by a broad coalition of civil society organisations. However CSOs are fighing back by submitting an appeal to the Council of State. The Collective against Islamophobia in France (Collectif Contre l'Islamophobie en France – CCIF), an association whose purpose was to fight by legal means discrimination against Muslim people was dissolved by a decree on 2nd December 2020 and at the end of September 2021, the Council of State approved the dissolution. The administrative dissolution of the Coordination against racism and Islamophobia (Coordination contre le racisme et l'islamophobie - CRI) was pronounced by a decree of 20th October 2021 on a similar basis. Read more

Associations push back as Separatism law comes into effect; CSO tackling Islamophobia dissolved

Nicaragua: Sandinista hero and political prisoner Hugo Torres dies in police custody

Trials of political prisoners detained after May 2021 continued throughout February 2022. On 12th February 2022, authorities confirmed that former rebel leader and Sandinist dissident Hugo Torres, who was 73, had died in prison eight months after being detained on treason charges. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Nicaragua: Sandinista hero and political prisoner Hugo Torres dies in police custody

Journalists and media outlets targeted amidst state of emergency

Ethiopian authorities detain 16 United Nations staff members and their dependants in Addis Ababa; Journalists arrested in relation to broadcast reports; TV and radio stations banned from airing foreign news reports, Awlo media announces its closure citing confiscation of the company’s assets and the arrest of its employees Read more

Journalists and media outlets targeted amidst state of emergency

Mass anti-war protests, censorship, as population denounces Ukraine invasion

As the war began in Ukraine, Russian authorities embarked on a severe crackdown on civic freedoms after authorities embarked on a brutal crackdown on nationwide anti-war protests, threatened media outlets to get them to delete publications about the war in Ukraine, interfered with access to social media and blocked access to media websites - as described in the update below. Read more

Mass anti-war protests, censorship, as population denounces Ukraine invasion

Nicaragua: prosecution and conviction of several political prisoners

In January and February 2022, Nicaraguan authorities resumed the prosecution of political prisoners, holding “express” trials marred by procedural irregularities. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Nicaragua: prosecution and conviction of several political prisoners

Concern as authorities continue systematic retaliation against civil society

Retaliation of civil society groups which began after the disputed 2020 election related protests, has continued to date, as NGOs and media outlets are liquidated, new restrictive laws imposed, while protesters, journalists and bloggers are jailed for protest related offences. Read more

Concern as authorities continue systematic retaliation against civil society

Crackdown on civic activists and media workers on the rise

NSS arrests Kuel Aguer Kuel, a member of the pressure group People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA); The NSS and the police cautioned citizens against participating in planned protest against the government after the PCCA planned to hold nationwide protests on 30th August 2021; HRDs and activists arrested for planning protests; Journalists arrested for broadcasting planned protests; Several separate incidents of harassment of journalists by the NSS reported. Read more

Crackdown on civic activists and media workers on the rise

Nicaragua: reports of torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners

Civil society group “Nicaragua Nunca Más” (“Never Again Nicaragua”) reported that there were at least 167 political prisoners under detention in Nicaragua in December 2021. Gonzalo Carrión, a spokesperson for the group, also said that they had information of 115 cases of torture or ill-treatment of political detainees in 2021. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Nicaragua: reports of torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners

Human rights defenders and journalists arrested, prosecuted and tortured in China

In recent months there have been reports of activists and journalists being arrested under vague charges, detained, convicted and tortured or ill-treated. A journalist who reported on the pandemic is at risk of dying in detention while an LGBTQI+ activist group shut down due to ongoing repression. Read more

Human rights defenders and journalists arrested, prosecuted and  tortured in China

Civil society groups forced to disband as activists and critics prosecuted in Hong Kong

Since July 2021, civil society groups, protest movements and unions have been forced to disband for fear of being targeted under the national security law. Around 150 people have been arrested under the law, with the first two convictions in July and October 2021. The archaic sedition law has been deployed against activists and critics, while journalists continue to face judicial harassment as well the denial of visas. Activists have been sentenced for their involvement in 2020 protests. Read more

Civil society groups forced to disband as activists and critics prosecuted in Hong Kong