protestor(s) detained

Fear and self-censorship in Cuba following mass anti-government protests

After anti-government protests flared up across Cuba on 11th July 2021, rights group Cubalex reported that over 500 people had been detained or were reported missing in the context of the demonstrations. Read more

Fear and self-censorship in Cuba following mass anti-government protests

Protests over gender-based violence, office of LGBTI rights organisation vandalised

On 3rd May 2021, the headquarters of Cogam, a non-profit organisation that has been fighting for the equality of LGBTI people in Madrid was vandalised with transphobic graffiti messages opposing the Law on Sexual Diversity. On 11th June 2021, spontaneous protests were held across the country against gender-based violence after the body of a six-year-old girl named Olivia was found on the seabed of the Canary Island, Tenerife. Related to LGBTI rights, on , on 29th June 2021, the government however approved a draft bill that would have allowed legal gender recognition based on self-determination. Read more

Protests over gender-based violence, office of LGBTI rights organisation vandalised

Organisers take legal action after municipality prevents LGBTI march from going ahead

On 9th June 2021, Belarusian activists in Lithuania organised a rally at a border crossing in Medininkai to block traffic to and from Belarus. The aim of the protest was to put pressure on Belarus and call for stricter EU sanctions. The protest was not authorised by Lithuanian authorities and protesters attempting to block roads were threatened by police and the Lithuanian Border Guard Service (VSAT) with detention and fines. In a separate development, organisers of the first LGBTI Pride march in the city of Kaunas are suing the municipality over its refusal to issue a permit for the event, which is planned to take place on 4th September 2021. Even though the organisers proposed three different routes through the city, they were all rejected due to infrastructure renovation works and the “disproportionate inconvenience” due to traffic disruptions that the protest may cause. Related to LGBTI rights, on 4th June 2021, the National Association of Families and Parents sent a letter to the Lithuanian Radio and Television Council (LRT) complaining that there is too much LGBTI representation and that this “propaganda can no longer be tolerated.” Read more

Organisers take legal action after municipality prevents LGBTI march from going ahead

Unrelenting harassment of activists and critics by police to stifle all forms of dissent in Malaysia

In recent months, the government continued to curtail fundamental freedoms and intimidate activists and journalists. Dozens have been hauled up by the police for peaceful protests critical of the government and its policies. Activists faced investigation for raising issues related to police brutality and the government handling of the pandemic, while journalists were also targeted for their reporting. Amidst a worsening COVID-19 crisis, the government continued to use the anti-fake news ordinance against individuals, a move criticised as detrimental to promoting access to information which is essential during a public health crisis. P
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Unrelenting harassment of activists and critics by police to stifle all forms of dissent in Malaysia

Antiterrorism laws further threaten civic space in Senegal

On 25th June 2021, Senegal’s National Assembly passed two draft laws, modifying the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, with the aim of “reinforcing the fight against terrorism”, but they contain problematic and overly broad provisions which could affect civic freedoms negatively. Opposition and civil society groups have denounced the adopted laws as an attempt to limit opposition and to restrict the right to protest Read more  |  Read in French

Antiterrorism laws further threaten civic space in Senegal

US Supreme Court issues rulings on freedom of expression and association

On 1st July 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down California’s law requiring non-profits to identify their large donors with the state. By a vote of 6-3, the court ruled that the law subjected donors to potential harassment, chilling their speech in violation of the First Amendment. Read more

US Supreme Court issues rulings on freedom of expression and association

Protests persist across Myanmar despite ongoing arrests, torture and killings by junta

Over the last month, the junta has targeted artists, medical workers, lawyers, journalists, LGBTIQ activists and their families, youths and others. Some have been sentenced for ‘incitement’ (Section 505a) and ‘unlawful assembly’ (Section 145) and murder, while others have been tortured or killed by the junta with impunity. An investigation by the rights group Global Witness found that Facebook is promoting content that incites violence against Myanmar’s coup protesters and amplifies junta misinformation. Read more

Protests persist across Myanmar despite ongoing arrests, torture and killings by junta

Protest action results in arrests, looting and killing

South African’s former president, Jacob Zuma was charged with Contempt of Court by the Constitutional Court after his failure to be available before a commission of enquiry to assess on whether the president was corrupt and expended state funds recklessly during his term of office. The sentence was imposed to Zuma on the 29th of June 2021 and he was to surrender himself to the officials by the 4th of July .The court explicitly highlighted that the failure of the Minister of Police and the Police Commissioner to execute his arrest will lead the officials to be in contempt of court if he was not arrested by the due date. Jacob Zuma turned himself in and was charged with a 15 month sentence for contempt of court and the arrest has tested South Africa’s post-apartheid rule of law status. The arrest of President Zuma has triggered a discontentment among South Africans especially those from the Kwazulu Natal province which is Zuma’s provincial home. Read more

Protest action results in arrests, looting and killing

Support for LGBTI rights grows; COVID-19 regulations tighten

The Estonian Human Rights Centre reported a marked increase in support for LGBTI rights in Estonia, based on a recent public opinion survey conducted by Turu-uuringute AS. The study is the largest on LGBTI rights in Estonia in 2021. The results show that 64 per cent of Estonians supported the Registered Partnership Act. The survey results coincide with the Greens’ presentation of a petition to the Riigikogu (parliament of Estonia) calling for an amendment to the Family Law Act which would define marriage as a union of two adults, regardless of gender. In a separate development, on 11th April 2021, around 100 protesters gathered in Tallinn's Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square) to protest against the further tightening of COVID-19 restrictions. Policing of the protest was criticised, with a disproportionate number of police and armed police deployed to curb the protest, resulting in several arrests and fines. In May 2021, the Riigikogu passed a bill to “simplify and speed up the involvement of law enforcement agencies” in a move to further tighten compliance with COVID-19 regulations. Questions have been raised how far the government will go in restricting civic freedoms, including the right to peaceful assembly. Read more

 Support for LGBTI rights grows; COVID-19 regulations tighten

Widespread anti-government protests across Cuba

On 11th July 2021, thousands of people joined spontaneous anti-government protests in at least 20 cities across Cuba. News outlets reported that these were the largest demonstrations seen in the country in decades. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Widespread anti-government protests across Cuba