restrictive law

Government tightens reins on civic freedoms during the last year

over the last year, the experienced continued closing of civic space by introducing restrictive laws, abduction and detention of HRDs, while crackdown on press freedom continued Read more

Government tightens reins on civic freedoms during the last year

People in the US turn to protest to demand changes to the status quo

As part of a campaign against University of California (UC)’s outsourcing of jobs, thousands of the school’s service and patient care workers held a strike on 13th November 2019. Read more

People in the US turn to protest to demand changes to the status quo

Activists disappeared or arrested in Pakistan while media faces restrictions and threats

Over the last few months, Pakistani human rights defender Idris Khattak was forcibly disappeared, activist Muhammad Ismail was arbitrarily detained on trumped up charges, while his daughter and women rights activist Gulalai Ismail fled the country. The authorities also denied entry to a representative from the Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ), warned news anchors not to express their opinions, while journalists from the Dawn newspaper faced threats for their reporting. Student protesters including Alamgir Wazir were arrested and charged for their activism. Read more

Activists disappeared or arrested in Pakistan while media faces restrictions and threats

Brunei authorities convict and sentence critic in absentia for sedition

In December 2019, the Brunei authorities convicted and sentenced a man in absentia to 18 months’ imprisonment for sedition. Shahiransheriffuddin bin Shahrani Muhammad was charged in 2017 after he published a Facebook post that criticised the certification regulation released by the Ministry of Religious Affairs Read more

Brunei authorities convict and sentence critic in absentia for sedition

Alarming number of activists being jailed in Vietnam for ‘anti-state’ Facebook posts

Over the last few months, activists, journalists and academics have been either arrested or jailed for their postings on Facebook critical of the regime. Many have faced politically motivated charges under Article 117 of the 2015 Penal Code for “making, storing, spreading or propagating information, materials or items for the purpose of opposing the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”. There is also concern about intimidation and harassment of a publishing house, the removal of anti-government postings by Facebook and the use of terrorism charges against political activists. Read more

Alarming number of activists being jailed in Vietnam for ‘anti-state’ Facebook posts

Activists, lawyers and critics continue to face harassment and defamation charges in Thailand

In the last few months, there has been harassment against activists, lawyers and government critics from both the state as well businesses while the bones of a disappeared ethnic Karen activist were found. A new report by Human Rights Watch documented cases of peaceful critics who have been prosecuted by the government for the last five years and concerns have been raised about a new anti-fake news center established by the authorities. A study finds that SLAPP or strategic lawsuits against public participation are on the rise. Read more

Activists, lawyers and critics continue to face harassment and defamation charges in Thailand

Indigenous communities in Colombia under attack

The Colombia National Indigenous Organisation reported that 115 Indigenous people have been assassinated so far in 2019. On 28th October 2019, rural workers association Asociación Nacional de Zonas de Reserva Campesina (National Association of Peasant Reserve Zones - ANZORC) reported that 16-year-old social leader Flower Jair Trompeta Pavi had been tortured and murdered. On 29th October 2019, an illegal armed group in the Cauca region attacked members of the Nasa people, killing indigenous authority Ne’h Wesx Cristina Taquinas Bautista and four Indigenous Guards. Six other people were wounded.

On 21st November 2019, over 200,000 protesters took to the streets of Colombia for a 12-hour nationwide strike. Initially called by unions, the strike was joined by pensioners, students, indigenous groups and other social sectors. The killing of 18-year-old Dylan Muricio Cruz during a protest for education on 23rd November 2019 in Bogotá has mobilised more protests. Read more

Indigenous communities in Colombia under attack

Freedoms under attack with legislation restricting protests and hostility toward journalists

In September and October 2019, there were protests across the U.S. calling on leaders to address climate change while some states have been considering legislation that would criminalise protests near certain infrastructure sites, including oil pipelines - which are often contested by climate and indigenous rights activists. This update also details protests on refugee & immigration policy, education, police brutality and pro- and against President Trump. In the 'Expression' section, incidents of harassment of journalists show an increasingly hostile environment for the press in the U.S. Read more

Freedoms under attack with legislation restricting protests and hostility toward journalists

Lack of accountability for police violence, attacks on journalists and activists in Indonesia

In the last few months, mass protests by students were met with excessive use of force and firearms by the police with impunity. Further, activists peacefully protesting on West Papua are facing “rebellion” charges while two journalists and an environmental activist have died. Police have also attacked journalists covering a protest while the authorities continue to pursue a human rights lawyer for her activism on West Papua. Read more

Lack of accountability for police violence, attacks on journalists and activists in Indonesia

Activists in Malaysia facing various forms of harassment from authorities

In past few months, human rights activists Sevan Doraisamy and Rama Ramanathan faced harassment, including being taken in for questioning for speaking up and criticising the authorities. Activist Maryam Lee is being investigated by the Islamic authorities because of her writing. The courts have also failed to protect women’s rights group Sisters in Islam from being deemed “deviant’ by the Islamic authorities. Read more

Activists in Malaysia facing various forms of harassment from authorities