HRD acquitted

Journalists under constant attack; four journalists sentenced to death after grossly unfair trial

The Specialised Criminal Court in Sana'a sentences four journalists (Akram Al-Walidi, Abdelkhaleq Amran, Hareth Hamid and Tawfiq Al-Mansouri) to death and six others to jail terms; Security forces in Marib Governorate released photojournalist Radwan Al-Hashedi, after he was arrested on 8th July 2020 upon arrival at Sayyun Airport; 30 people who were tried for expressing their opinions on issues of public interest and for their criticism of the de facto Houthi government sentenced to death while 6 are acquitted Read more

Journalists under constant attack; four journalists sentenced to death after grossly unfair trial

Protests over government plans to withdraw from Istanbul Convention

There have been recent debates about Turkey’s withdrawal from what is commonly known as İstanbul Convention, formally the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence. Experts say that this decision is related to Turkey’s “inability to accept gender equality”. This news comes at a time when Turkey faces even more violence against women due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Namely, digital violence as a form of harassment against women has become more present. The government’s intention to withdraw from the Convention has sparked protests, which saw a number of protesters being detained. In a separate development, lawyers protested a proposed bill that would "split bar associations" and silence critical institutions. Despite protests, parliament has passed the contested law. In addition, parliament also passed the social media bill which aims to further stifle freedom of expression on social media in Turkey.
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Protests over government plans to withdraw from Istanbul Convention

Charges against HRD Madi Jobarteh dropped, Gambia closer to an access to information law

Country representative of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy Madi Jobarteh was summoned for questioning on 30th June to the Kairaba police station in Serrekunda, in relation to statements he made in an interview during a Black Lives Matter protest he organised on 27th June 2020 in front of the US embassy. That same day, Jobarteh was charged with 'false information and broadcasting' under the Criminal Code, which is punishable with a prison sentence of six months to five years or a fine of 500 to 50,000 dalasis (9.6 to 960 USD), before being released on bail. Read more

Charges against HRD Madi Jobarteh dropped, Gambia closer to an access to information law

Journalist Samira Sabou acquitted, one HRD released while three others linger in prison

Judicial police in Niamey summoned editor and founder of the newspaper Le Courrier Ali Soumana for questioning on 12th July 2020, on accusations of 'writing and publishing false information'. The accusations relate to an article he published a day earlier, on 11th July 2020, and widely shared on social media, in which he alleges that sources indicated that companies implicated in the corruption scandal in the procurement of military equipment, in which companies overcharged the Ministry of Defence, were renegotiating repayment to avoid legal action against them. Read more  |  Read in French

Journalist Samira Sabou acquitted, one HRD released while three others linger in prison

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights highlights continuing human rights violations

At the 44th session of the Human Rights Council on 2nd July 2020, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, provided an oral update on Nicaragua. Bachelet said her office continues to document persistent human rights violations against those who the government perceives as opponents, including human rights defenders, journalists, social leaders and former political detainees. Read more

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights highlights continuing human rights violations

Ongoing use of repressive laws, Thai activist abducted, increased surveillance in the South

In the last few months, there have been ongoing use of repressive laws, a prominent Thai pro-democracy activist was abducted in Cambodia, while there have been reports of increased surveillance using biometric data in the southern Malay Muslim provinces including a facial recognition system. A Thai poultry company continues to target human rights defenders while a new report highlights how the authorities are using repressive laws to intensify the crackdown on online critics. Read more

Ongoing use of repressive laws, Thai activist abducted, increased surveillance in the South

NGO oversight law limits and restricts freedom of association in Guatemala

On 11th February 2020, the Guatemalan Congress approved a decree (No. 4-2020) which would impose sweeping controls over civil society, restricting freedom of association in the country. Favourable legislators say the reform of the Law of Non-governmental Organisations for Development (Ley de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales para el Desarrollo) enables “transparency and oversight”, but critics argue it establishes harsh sanctions which authorise the arbitrary closure of organisations. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

NGO oversight law limits and restricts freedom of association in Guatemala

At least 28 killed in protests against constitution changes since October 2019

n Guinea, the protests against a new Constitution, which could allow president Condé to stand for a third term in office, continued. The majority of these protests, some of which turned violent, have been met with excessive use of force by security forces, arbitrary arrests of FNDC protesters and activists and impunity for the killing of protesters and bystanders. Read more  |  Read in French

At least 28 killed in protests against constitution changes  since October 2019

Conviction of activist in El Salvador highlights need for a safer environment for defenders

On 11th December 2019, human rights defender Lissania Zelaya of feminist collective Colectiva Amorales was found guilty of slander. She was sentenced to pay a fine of USD 2,027 for denouncing the fact that university professor Ricardo Mendoza had used his position as a drama teacher to sexually assault and harass students. Read more

Conviction of activist in El Salvador highlights need for a safer environment for defenders

Kazakhstan: A tightening grip on civil society: ongoing persecution of activists across the country

During the period covered by this report, Kazakhstan witnessed reinforced persecution of civil society activists, journalists and other citizens exercising their fundamental rights. This includes the prosecution of numerous civil society activists, journalists and other individuals in retaliation for expressing their opinion, engaging in online activities or participating in peaceful demonstrations on socio-economic and political issues. The reporting period also saw the continued denial of state registration for NGOs working on issues that are sensitive to the authorities. Read more

Kazakhstan: A tightening grip on civil society: ongoing persecution of activists across the country