enabling law

Brazil: environmental and land defenders killed, journalists attacked and pandemic data blackout

In early January 2022, three environmental defenders of the same family were found dead in São Felix do Xingu, south of the state of Pará. José Gomes, known as Zé do Lago, Márcia Nunes Lisboa and their teenage daughter Joene Nunes Lisboa were executed with multiple gunshots and their bodies were found near their home. Read more

Brazil: environmental and land defenders killed, journalists attacked and pandemic data blackout

Highest number of protests recorded, whistle blower and trade unionist killed

increasing waves of protest action recorded as country reaches all time high; residents of Middleburg take to the streets to denounce new tariff hikes; protesters gather outside the East London Magistrate’s Court where the bail hearing of Alutha Pasile, a man believed to have brutally murdered 23 year old Nosicelo Mtebeni, was being held; protesters under the #CodeRed Feminist movement took to the streets in various cities across the country and gathered in key national buildings including Constitution Hill and the Union Buildings to demand a Universal Basic Income Grant among other demands; Malibongwe Mdazo, an organiser of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), publicly gunned down; Read more

Highest number of protests recorded, whistle blower and trade unionist killed

Brazil’s civic space in dispute amid democratic backsliding

Brazil’s institutional crisis has expanded as President Jair Bolsonaro seeks to undermine trust in the electoral system and embarks on disputes with the Federal Supreme Court. Read more  |  Read in Portuguese

Brazil’s civic space in dispute amid democratic backsliding

Peru: polarised elections lead to protests and attacks on journalists

On 28th July 2021, Pedro Castillo of left-wing party Peru Libre was sworn in as president of Peru following six weeks of uncertainty around the country’s elections. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Peru: polarised elections lead to protests and attacks on journalists

Chile: Constitutional Convention begins its work

On 15th and 16th May 2021, over 6 million people in Chile voted in the election of 155 members of the Constitutional Convention, the body responsible for drafting a new Constitution for the country. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Chile: Constitutional Convention begins its work

Poetry and protestors under attack in Kuwait

Despite the fact that Article 36 of the Kuwaiti Constitution guarantees freedom of expression for every person in the country, regardless of their nationality, a 25-year-old Jordanian expatriate, Abdullah Mohammed Jbara, received a deportation order in retaliation for his participation in a peaceful sit-in protest in Al-Erada Square on 20th June 2021. On 4th July 2021, Jbara was deported to his home country, Jordan, following an order of the Minister of Interior. Read more

Poetry and protestors under attack in Kuwait

More commitments to improve press freedom

During a meeting with editors of major Tanzanian media outlets, President Samia Suluhu Hassan requested Tanzanians to give her more time to improve the country’s economy before resuming the stalled new constitution process and allowing political rallies to begin. Political rallies have been banned since the announcement by former President John Magufuli of a blanket ban on such rallies. In practice, the measure has been selectively applied against opposition parties. Read more

More commitments to improve press freedom

Release of IWACU four journalists, refugees experience human rights violations

On 9th March 2021, 5,225 Burundian prisoners were pardoned pursuant to a presidential decree dated 5th March 2021, in an attempt to decongest the prisons. The decree is likely to benefit prisoners convicted of minor crimes, pregnant women or those with children, minors, prisoners with chronic diseases, prisoners aged 70 and above, and inmates with mental disorders. The presidential decree also resulted in the release of four journalists who were convicted of threatening the country's security being released. The four journalists were arrested in October 2019 while reporting in Bubanza province on the insecurity that befell the region. They were accused of attempts of conspiracy that undermined the country’s internal security which the four journalists refuted, arguing that they were only doing their work. In June 2020, the court dismissed their appeal and they were sent to Bubanza Prison to serve their sentences, but they were granted a presidential pardon later in the year. Read more

Release of IWACU four journalists, refugees experience human rights violations

USA: Assaults, harassment and arrests of journalists covering protests

Lawmakers in California are considering a bill introduced in January 2021 that would protect restaurant workers from abuses and labour violations by their employers. Read more

USA: Assaults, harassment and arrests of journalists covering protests

Concerns over media freedom remain despite positive presidential signals

On 16th March 2021, four opposition politicians fled to Kenya in fear for their safety. The politicians faced political persecution for rejecting the 2020 election results that declared Magufuli the President. On 20th April 2021, the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) announced that its bank accounts had been unfrozen . THRDC’s accounts were frozen in August 2020, as previously reported by the Monitor. This resulted in the suspension of the Coalition’s activities for eight months. Despite positive moves by the government to improve freedom of expression, journalists continue to be arrested and targeted by the authorities. According to a statement released by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT), five journalists were arrested and harassed by the authorities in April. On 9th April 2021, Dr. Philis Nyimbi, the District Commissioner of Nayamagana issued threats against an ITV journalist, Mabere Makubi. On 12th April 2021, authorities briefly detained Dickson Billikwija, a private broadcaster for Islands TV, and Christopher James, a broadcaster for ITV and Radio One. The two journalists were detained on the orders of Lusubilo Mwakabibi, the District Executive Director of Temeke. Read more

Concerns over media freedom remain despite positive presidential signals