restrictive law

Unrelenting harassment of activists and critics by police to stifle all forms of dissent in Malaysia

In recent months, the government continued to curtail fundamental freedoms and intimidate activists and journalists. Dozens have been hauled up by the police for peaceful protests critical of the government and its policies. Activists faced investigation for raising issues related to police brutality and the government handling of the pandemic, while journalists were also targeted for their reporting. Amidst a worsening COVID-19 crisis, the government continued to use the anti-fake news ordinance against individuals, a move criticised as detrimental to promoting access to information which is essential during a public health crisis. P
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Unrelenting harassment of activists and critics by police to stifle all forms of dissent in Malaysia

Antiterrorism laws further threaten civic space in Senegal

On 25th June 2021, Senegal’s National Assembly passed two draft laws, modifying the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, with the aim of “reinforcing the fight against terrorism”, but they contain problematic and overly broad provisions which could affect civic freedoms negatively. Opposition and civil society groups have denounced the adopted laws as an attempt to limit opposition and to restrict the right to protest Read more  |  Read in French

Antiterrorism laws further threaten civic space in Senegal

El Salvador: Step backward for transparency in proposal to reform Access to Public Information Law

On 7th July 2021, the Nayib Bukele government presented a bill which would make regressive reforms to El Salvador’s Access to Public Information Law (Ley de Acceso a la Información Pública), undermining government transparency. Read more

El Salvador: Step backward for transparency in proposal to reform Access to Public Information Law

Journalists questioned over report; concerns remain over draft law on whistleblowers’ protection

Since 20th May 2021, employees of the daily newspaper Libertatea and the weekly magazine Newsweek Romania have been questioned by prosecutors at the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) over their coverage of alleged corruption in public works contracting. According to experts, this is an attempt to silence journalists reporting critically on the use of public funds. In an independent development, the Ministry of Justice did not adopt most of the proposals submitted by APADOR-CH and other non-governmental organisations, which were aimed at improving the draft law on whistleblowers’ protection. Significant issues with the draft law which NGOs raised were disregarded. Read more

Journalists questioned over report; concerns remain over draft law on whistleblowers’ protection

Ecuador: criminalisation of environmental defenders and bills affecting freedom of expression

In May 2021, state oil company Petroecuador filed criminal proceedings against Kichwa leader Wilson Geovanni Quindinga Salazar and his legal advisor Luis Xavier Solís Tenesaca for “paralysing public services”. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Ecuador: criminalisation of environmental defenders and bills affecting freedom of expression

Attack on freedom of expression and 44 people arrested for attending LGBTQI engagement

The Constitutional Court delivered a judgement on 2nd July 2021 that stopped the military court from trying civilian suspects. The ruling deems it unconstitutional for civilians to be tried in the military court if they are not subject to the military system. The court ordered the transfer to the civil court of all civilian cases being tried in the military court, and for the transfer of all persons serving a sentence imposed by the military court to the High Court Criminal Division for retrial. On 15th July 2021, the Supreme Court granted an interim order suspending the implementation of the Constitutional Court order. The Supreme Court will decide on the case on 29th July 2021, when the temporary order lapses. Read more

Attack on freedom of expression and 44 people arrested for attending LGBTQI engagement

Protests persist across Myanmar despite ongoing arrests, torture and killings by junta

Over the last month, the junta has targeted artists, medical workers, lawyers, journalists, LGBTIQ activists and their families, youths and others. Some have been sentenced for ‘incitement’ (Section 505a) and ‘unlawful assembly’ (Section 145) and murder, while others have been tortured or killed by the junta with impunity. An investigation by the rights group Global Witness found that Facebook is promoting content that incites violence against Myanmar’s coup protesters and amplifies junta misinformation. Read more

Protests persist across Myanmar despite ongoing arrests, torture and killings by junta

Persecution of activists and journalists continues following rubber stamp elections in Vietnam

In recent months, the authorities have arrested a prominent human rights defender Nguyen Thuy Hanh who raised funds for the families of jailed prisoners of conscience, a book distributor Nguyen Bao Tien and a Khmer Krom activist. Land rights activist Can Thi Theu and her son have been sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. Journalists have continued to be targeted by the authorities including Tran Thi Tuyet Dieu who has been jailed for eight years. Individuals have also been criminalised in recent months for their social media posts. Read more

Persecution of activists and journalists continues following rubber stamp elections in Vietnam

Death of Fr Swamy and increasing online restrictions highlights risk facing activists in India

Ongoing calls for the authorities to release human rights defenders and activists detained under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) have escalated following the death in custody of Fr Stan Swamy, a Jesuit priest and human rights defender. UN experts have raised concerns about the arrest and detention of tribal rights activist Hidme Markam detained in February 2021. Social media companies, in particular Twitter, have been targeted by authorities to stifle dissent. Read more

Death of Fr Swamy and increasing online restrictions highlights risk facing activists in India

Restrictions on press freedom in Uruguay

Uruguay’s legislators are considering a new media law which would impose setbacks for media pluralism, transparency and public participation. Read more

Restrictions on press freedom in Uruguay