people with disabilities

Police fine women rights activists for IWD actions

Several protests took place during this period, including on women's rights, LGBTQI+ rights and Protests related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Specificallym following the International Women's Day march, the collective “We march, we do not celebrate” was fined by the Kosovo Police for “disturbing public order and damaging public property”. The collective has stated that this represents an act of revenge by the police against the activists for their criticism of the law enforcement institutions. In another development, Kosovo’s Independent Media Commission and Buletini Ekonomik faced cyber attacks, while several violations against journalists were documented. Read more

Police fine women rights activists for IWD actions

Muffled protests and persecution of opposition movements, NGOs and trade unions

The reporting period saw several cases of pressure and obstruction of the work of trade unions and NGOs and continued persecution of activists from the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DVK) and the Street Party, opposition movements which have been banned as “extremist’’ by court decisions in Kazakhstan, although they do not advocate or endorse violence. The right to freedom of peaceful assembly remained under threat, with authorities continuing to arrest and prosecute citizens for administrative offences months after an unsanctioned demonstration has taken place. Furthermore, the authorities have begun to systematically switch off internet connectivity in parts of Almaty during demonstrations. During the reporting period, there were cases when the police used kettling against protesters for over ten hours at a time Read more

Muffled protests and persecution of opposition movements, NGOs and trade unions


#KilltheBill protests continue amid police violence; Extinction Rebellion co-founder arrested

#KilltheBill protests against the policing bill continue across the UK, as protesters advocate for the protection of peaceful assembly rights. Meanwhile, the controversial bill has been declared in violation of international rights standards. Amid these developments, climate defenders from Extinction Rebellion remain under threat, with the arrest of the group's co-founder. In other concerning developments, Conservative MPs launched a complaint against independent race equality think tank Runnymede Trust, after the trust made critical comments about the governments controversial Race and Ethnic Disparities report. In addition, 200 UK NGOs have condemned government cuts to the aid budget which will have devastating consequences for the sector.
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#KilltheBill protests continue amid police violence; Extinction Rebellion co-founder arrested

Bukele secures supermajority in El Salvador's legislature

On 28th February 2021, legislative and municipal elections took place in El Salvador. Nayib Bukele’s party Nuevas Ideas won 56 seats, reaching the number needed to secure a supermajority in the country’s single-chamber legislature for the 2021–2024 period. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Bukele secures supermajority in El Salvador's legislature

Massive restrictions on expression during COVID-19; sudden banning of peaceful opposition

The reporting period was characterised by mass restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of association, specifically in relation to the banning of the popular unregistered “Street Party” movement by a court decision in May 2020 after it was labelled as extremist. The reporting period also saw important legislative developments, including changing slander from a criminal to an administrative offence and the corresponding reduction of penalties from prison sentences to fines. However, insult and insulting a government representative remain criminal offences. Read more

Massive restrictions on expression during COVID-19; sudden banning of peaceful opposition

Police watchdog raises concerns over abusive policing practices at Black Lives Matter protests

Despite restrictions on public gatherings due to the pandemic, people gathered during May and June 2020 in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter mass protests in the US over the death of George Floyd, a Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. Protesters were arrested on several occasions and charged with breaching regulation 7 of the coronavirus regulations, but it remains unclear how these individuals were detained while hundreds of others were not. Police watchdog, Netpol and other organisations wrote a letter to the Met Police to express their concerns on policing protests under regulation 7. Netpol campaigners also reported abusive police practices, such as the use of the controversial containment tactic called “kettling” on four separate occasions during protests in the month of June. Netpol also reports that protesters face masks were pulled down by the police to make sure faces were captured and names and addresses of the protestors were demanded, using section 50 of the Police Reform Act. Press freedom has also come under serious threat from UK officials during the reporting period. Read more

Police watchdog raises concerns over abusive policing practices at Black Lives Matter protests

Enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions increase in Venezuela during pandemic

On 8th May 2020, civil society organisation Foro Penal reported that arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances increased in Venezuela since the beginning of COVID-19 containment measures in March 2020. Read more

Enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions increase in Venezuela during pandemic

Dispersal of protests continues to be a major challenge to peaceful assembly

Authorities continue to disperse and restrict protests, while the courts issue positive orders holding security officers to account for excessive force. Read more

Dispersal of protests continues to be a major challenge to peaceful assembly

Some positive civic space developments, but more to be done to keep promises

As reported previously on the Monitor, the Kyrgyzstani authorities committed to improve the human rights situation in the country. Read more

Some positive civic space developments, but more to be done to keep promises

Arrest of 14 people at a pipeline protest prompts national outrage

Thousands of people took to the streets in multiple cities to protest the arrest of 14 demonstrators at a protest camp in British Columbia on 8th January 2019 over a proposed pipeline running through First Nations territory. Read more

Arrest of 14 people at a pipeline protest prompts national outrage