restrictive law

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

Hong Kong protesters face arrests, excessive force and torture while journalists ill-treated

Over the last two months there have been continued reports of arbitrary arrests, brutal beatings and torture by the police, a ban on face masks and attacks on protest leaders and journalists. Further, protesters have been targeted by trolls on social media and Apple deleted a protest app. Read more

Hong Kong protesters face arrests, excessive force and torture while journalists ill-treated

Former Torture Centre Reopened to Public and Former Inmates

Maekelawi, the infamous police station in the heart of Addis Ababa, was opened for the first time to the public and former detainees, Ethiopia’s parliament passed a new election law ahead of elections scheduled for May 2020- opposition parties however said the changes make it more difficult for them, protests which began against prime minister Abiy Ahmed erupted into chaos and ethnic violence in Addis Ababa and the Oromia region leaving at least 78 people dead, 400 arrested, popular political satire show, Min Litazez was taken off the air. Read more

Former Torture Centre Reopened to Public and Former Inmates

Court upholds right to religious expression for students, protests dispersed

High Court in Nairobi ruled that Rastafarianism is a religion like any other and its followers including students have the right to expression in their mode of dressing, civil society organisations, submitted shadow reports for Kenya’s third Universal Periodic Review, Blogger charged with treason for publishing photos of police officers killed during an explosion by al-Shabab militants, , for the first time, Kenya’s new national census included a third gender - intersex - on the list of possible responses to the gender question, protests dispersed by police in Mombasa and Meru counties Read more

Court upholds right to religious expression for students, protests dispersed

Proposed legislation on workers’ strikes could limit Freedom of Peaceful Assembly in Costa Rica

On 3rd September 2019, several Costa Rican unions marched in San José to protest a draft bill (No. 21.049) proposing new regulations for strikes. Proponents of the regulation argue that current practices generate an insecure economic environment. But, as previously reported on the Monitor, opponents believe this new law to be overly authoritarian, limiting the right to peaceful assembly.

In a separate development, on 21st September 2019, senior citizen Norman del Valle was forcibly removed from the San Ramón Regional Museum after expressing critical views about Cuba’s regime during an event at the museum. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Proposed legislation on workers’ strikes could limit Freedom of Peaceful Assembly in Costa Rica

Protesters face brutal violations as widespread protests escalate, internet shut down

Protests which began in July 2018, have continued to escalate throughout the year, as police use lethal force to disperse protesters, at least 100 reported dead, thousands injured. internet shut down as protests continue, journalists continue to face threats to their lives, arbitrary arrests and detention, regional broadcaster suspended. Read more

Protesters face brutal violations as widespread protests escalate, internet shut down