political interference

Brazil: Anger at government inaction after Indigenous advocate and international correspondent are killed in the Amazon

After a ten-day search, the bodies of Indigenous advocate Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips were found in the Itaquaí river, in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest near Brazil’s border with Peru. Pereira and Phillips went missing on 5th June 2022 as they returned from a reporting trip in the region where they were documenting Indigenous rights defenders’ efforts to monitor predatory criminal activities such as illegal fishing and logging. Read more

Brazil: Anger at government inaction after Indigenous advocate and international correspondent are killed in the Amazon

International Cooperation bill threatens to further reduce civic space in Venezuela

In May 2022, a new bill on International Cooperation under discussion in the National Assembly prompted concern by civil society organisations. If approved, the bill would repeal the current legislation on the topic and replace it with a more restrictive law, excluding human rights from modalities of international cooperation. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

International Cooperation bill threatens to further reduce civic space in Venezuela

Violations on civic freedoms continue amid President Saïed’s power grab

Following the freezing of parliament and the dismissal of the head of government on 25th July 2021 (see previous update), President Kaïs Saïed decided to dissolve the Superior Council of the Judiciary and replace it with a provisional mechanism and took further steps to concentrate his power. On 1st June 2022, judicial independence was further severely hampered with the decision of President Kais Saied, via a Presidential decree, granting himself absolute power to fire judges summarily, and by promptly dismissing 57 judges. As a result, anti-government protests have been staged, including against the upcoming July Constitutional referendum. Read more

Violations on civic freedoms continue amid President Saïed’s power grab

Peru: serious decline in freedom of expression and the press

The mayor of Chiclayo and president of the Association of Peruvian Municipalities (AMPE) used notarised letters to intimidate the newspaper Correo in Lambayeque, demanding that they rectify reports linking him to corruption and public administration irregularities. Read more

Peru: serious decline in freedom of expression and the press

Uruguay: decline in freedom of expression; restrictive law maintained after referendum

Uruguay fell from 18th to 44th place in Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, despite the organisation’s analysis that the country’s “political climate encourages constructive and inclusive dialogue on the media’s role in national life.” Read more

Uruguay: decline in freedom of expression; restrictive law maintained after referendum

Surge in violence threatens implementation of the peace deal

Surge of violence reported across the country and in particular in Upper Nile and Unity State, as well as the Equatorias; Government security forces surrounded the house of Lam Akol, an opposition leader; Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released its annual World Press Freedom Index, ranking South Sudan 128 out of 180 countries; Police arrest four activists for protesting outside Freedom Hall, where Members of Parliament had gathered to receive a bill on the constitution-making process Read more

Surge in violence threatens implementation of the peace deal

Proposed law threatens CSO space, opposition faces brutal repression ahead of elections

Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill Poses Serious Threats to Human Rights and Civic Space; President Mnangagwa Issues Stern Warning to Civil Society Actors; Police arrest Opposition Political Party Members for Election Campaigning; Popular CCC Supporter Arrested for ‘Improper Dressing’; Judiciary Overturns Several CCC political rally bans; Teachers Strike over Wage Increase; Opposition Political Party Rally attacked; Zimbabwe National Students Union Protest over Fee Hikes ; Trial of Clapaton Redi begins over insult charges Read more

Proposed law threatens CSO space, opposition faces brutal repression ahead of elections

Far-right leader Janez Janša loses election, sparking new hope for civic space

The parliamentary elections held in Slovenia on 24th April 2022 marked a change of political regime: newcomer Robert Golob and his Freedom Movement (launched in January 2022) won with nearly 35% of the votes., resulting in the ousting of the current far-right Prime Minister Janez Janša and his SDS party. Prior to the elections, concerning developments took place. The NGO 8 March Institute (Inštitut 8. marec) which ran a "Let’s go vote" campaign (Gremo volit) to encourage voter turnout and repared a draft law to overturn the decisions of the incumbent government was accused “leading an undeclared electoral campaign” and received a notice from the Inspectorate of Internal Affairs. Separately, prominent protester Jaša Jenull received a third claim amounting to approximately 34,340 EUR for a June 2020 protest. Concerning developments also unfolded at RTVSLO, which has been subjected to ongoing political interference. Read more

Far-right leader Janez Janša loses election, sparking new hope for civic space

President Aleksandar Vucic secures second term, amid growing pressure on civil society and journalists

On 3rd April 2022, presidential elections took place in Serbia. President Aleksandar Vucic secured a second term, with his party, the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), securing the most votes in Parliament, 43.5 per cent. However, the pre-election period was marred by violations against opposition parties, some of which were unable to hold pre-election events, and there were also cases of physical and verbal attacks. Concerning developments were also documented on environmental activism and rights. Several concerning incidents were documented against journalists. Read more

President Aleksandar Vucic secures second term, amid growing pressure on civil society and journalists

Civic freedoms continue to deteriorate in the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Thousands arrested in anti-war protests in Russia; New law criminalises reporting on the war in Ukraine; CSOs denounce persecution of activist; Supreme Court affirms liquidation of Memorial International Read more

Civic freedoms continue to deteriorate in the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine