restrictive law

Cuban authorities harassing journalists and activists to force them to renounce their work

On 9th September 2022, human rights defender Raúl Soublett López announced the decision to shut down the Afro-Cuban Alliance, a project focused on LGBTQIA+ rights and racial justice. The activist also publicly renounced any socio-political activism, saying he would concentrate on his physical and mental health. Read more

Cuban authorities harassing journalists and activists to force them to renounce their work

Journalists barred from entering parliament to cover election of the President

Iraqi Parliament’s media department prevented a group of journalists from entering the parliament building to cover the election of the President of the Republic; The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) launched a report entitled “Patterns of Torture in Iraq” which focuses on the main patterns of torture in Iraq since the beginning of the widespread peaceful demonstrations that erupted across the country on 1st October 2019; Human Rights Watch reported on the push to silence LGBTIQ+ rights in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Read more

Journalists barred from entering parliament to cover election of the President

Concerns about free expression in South Korea with security law, restrictions on press freedom and anti-North activism

In recent months, there has been a legal challenge to the National Security Act, which is vague and overbroad and has been used to criminalise positive comments made about North Korea. Journalists have been blocked by the President, who has also cut funding to a critical media outlet. The police have continued to block the launch of anti-North Korean balloons on the border. Protests against the authorities were carried out with any restrictions reported. Read more

Concerns about free expression in South Korea with security law, restrictions on press freedom and anti-North activism

Conviction of lawyer and recent legal changes further erodes civic space in Fiji ahead of elections

In recent months, ambiguous amendments to media laws have been passed that could affect the independence of the media, while electoral law amendments have raised concerns about privacy rights. Further, a senior lawyer was found guilty of contempt for correcting a spelling error, violating the right to freedom of expression. Read more

Conviction of lawyer and recent legal changes further erodes civic space in Fiji ahead of elections

Honduras: attacks on Garífuna human rights defenders continue

Alfredo López Álvarez, a Garífuna human rights defender and member of the Triunfo de la Cruz Land Defence Committee, was threatened during the Central America Donors Forum 2022 in October 2022. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Honduras: attacks on Garífuna human rights defenders continue

Maldives elected to UN Human Rights Council despite press freedom concerns, restrictions on protests and impunity

In recent months, there continues to be concern about restrictions to press freedom following the passage of the Evidence Act and ongoing restrictions on protests and arrests of protesters by the authorities. There is still a lack of accountability for the disappearance of journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdullah. Read more

Maldives elected to UN Human Rights Council despite press freedom concerns, restrictions on protests and impunity

Protesters face judicial harassment while restrictions to freedom of expression persist in Malaysia

In recent months, the police continued to harass organisers and participants of protests, including activists and politicians, related to the rising prices of goods and the cost of living, around a combat ship scandal, the situation in Iran and around the election date. At least four people have been charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. The authorities have also criminalised politicians and a comedian for their expression and are investigating a book by the former Attorney General. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) found a company to have violated the freedom of association of its workers, while a gender-diverse gathering was raided by the authorities. Read more

Protesters face judicial harassment while restrictions to freedom of expression persist in Malaysia

Despite UN scrutiny, activists continue to be criminalised by the new Philippines administration

Over the last five months, human rights defenders have continued to be arrested on fabricated charges while the terrorist financing law has been used to persecute activists. Journalists have also been targeted for their work. Read more

Despite UN scrutiny, activists continue to be criminalised by the new Philippines administration

Mass arrests of activists, restrictive draft laws and widening campaign against ‘’false’’ information

Applying a controversial law on protection against ‘’false’’ information, the government initiated the blocking of several news sites. Those targeted included the Kyrgyz service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which was blocked for two months in October 2022 because of a video allegedly featuring incorrect and biased information about Kyrgyzstan’s role in hostilities at the border with Tajikistan, which broke out in September 2022 and resulted in dozens of people being killed and hundreds injured. The government described these events as ‘’a pre-meditated military aggression’’ by Tajikistan and insisted that it had only acted from a defensive point of view. The measures taken under the law on ‘’false’’ information showed that this law can be used as a government censorship tool, as feared by media and civil society actors when it was adopted last year. Police also increased efforts to track down ‘’false’’ information on social media and summoned social media users for ‘’prophylactic’’ discussions because of allegedly ‘’provocative’’ posts. New problematic draft laws on media and NGOs, developed by the presidential administration, were put forward. In an alarming development seen in October 2022, the authorities arrested close to 30 activists, journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders and other critics of a government-negotiated border deal, under which the territory of the Kempir-Abad water reservoir is due to become part of neighbouring Uzbekistan. Read more

Mass arrests of activists, restrictive draft laws and widening campaign against ‘’false’’ information

Decision n° 811 of 2022 further hampers media freedom

On 15th September 2022, the Libyan government issued Decision n° 811 of 2022 on the conditions and requirements for audiovisual media activities. In a joint statement, Libyan and international civil society organisations raised their concerns about the Decision. They have noted that Decision n° 811 includes irregular provisions that violate media freedom. Separately, protests were staged in the eastern city of Tobruk against poor living conditions and political deadlock. The environment for journalists remains of concern. Read more

Decision n° 811 of 2022 further hampers media freedom