violent protest

Calls for political accountability after Beirut explosion: protesters, journalists face violence

On 4th August 2020, a huge explosion took place in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, causing more than 220 deaths. Reports indicate that 7,000 people were injured, dozens are missing, at least 300,000 people have been left homeless and these numbers continue to rise. The massive explosion was caused by ammonium nitrate which had been stored since 2014 despite warnings that it was dangerous. It destroyed Beirut’s harbour (in a country whose economy relies heavily on imports) and its neighbouring areas. Human rights experts have called for an independant investigation. Following the explosion, thousands took to the streets to demand political accountability and to protest against the worsening economic situation that the country is now facing. Protesters were met with excessive force as police fired tear gas and shot them with rubber bullets and live ammunition. Over 700 people were injured. What is particularly concerning is that security forces fired from close range, indicating that they were shooting to harm. In addition, 14 journalists covering protests were also met with excessive force, thus resulting in injury and hospitalisation for some.
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Calls for political accountability after Beirut explosion: protesters, journalists face violence

Mass protests follow disputed election results

Protests erupt across the country over disputed results; denounce electoral irregularities; Opposition candidates intimidated after results announcement; Workers down tools to protest disputed results and brutality; Internet and websites blocked; Journalists assaulted, detained; Journalists quit jobs to protest brutality and censorship Read more

Mass protests follow disputed election results

Judicial harassment of FNDC activists; 6 people killed in protest against COVID-19 police roadblocks

On 17th July 2020 - three days before a planned FNDC protest (see under Peaceful Assembly) - armed and hooded police officers arrived at the residence of Ibrahima Diallo, coordinator of Tournons la Page Guinea and in charge of operations for FNDC. As Diallo was not at home, officers left a summons with his wife, calling for Diallo to present himself to the Central Direction of the Judicial Police for 'disturbance to the State'. Read more  |  Read in French

Judicial harassment of FNDC activists; 6 people killed in protest against COVID-19 police roadblocks

Activists denounce police excesses in enforcing COVID-19 restrictions

human rights activists protest killings by Kenyan police officers while enforcing virus-related restrictions and also accused officers of using the situation to extort bribes; at least a dozen officers had been interdicted after public uproar over police brutality in curfew enforcement; Hundreds protest over demolitions in Nairobi's Kariobangi poor informal settlement; Blogger Robert Alai arrested over COVID-19 post Read more

Activists denounce police excesses in enforcing COVID-19 restrictions

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

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

New laws pose a threat to NGO’s working on asylum issues and restrict the right to protest

During the first half of 2020, several laws which seek to further curtail NGOs working in areas of asylum, migration and social inclusion were introduced by the Greek government. The regulations make provision for an NGO registry which contains details on the organisation, members, employees and associates. Several civil society organisations, international organisations and legal experts believe that the law is yet another politicised attempt to curtail asylum. In addition to the above, the Greek Minister for Immigration and Asylum in April 2020 introduced a bill titled “Improvement of Migration Law” which makes provision for the systematic detention of asylum seekers whose appeals have been rejected. In addition, it allows the substitution of open refugee camps on the islands with ‘closed controlled centres’. In another concerning development, the Greek parliment passed a law which seeks to restrict the right to protest. Following this, ten thousand people gathered outside parliament, with banners stating, “hands off demonstrations”. Read more

New laws pose a threat to NGO’s working on asylum issues and restrict the right to protest

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