protestor(s) detained

Police brutality during protests and targeting of journalists a huge concern

On 17th November 2020, hundreds of people gathered in Athens to remember the 1973 student uprising. Every year on this day, thousands gather in front of the Athens Polytechnic to remember the protesters who died there. In order to prevent this year’s march from happening, the government tightened the restrictions on gatherings to a maximum of three people between 15th and 18th November 2020 citing the strain on the healthcare system. Human rights groups raised concerns about the blanket ban on the right to protest. Several other protests were staged which saw police using excessive force and detaining protesters. Concerns have been raised over the increase in police brutality during protests. Journalists were also targeted through detentions and harassment from police at protests.
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Police brutality during protests and targeting of journalists a huge concern

Police brutality during student-led protest in Panama

On 16th December 2020, police in Panama City repressed a student-led protest against legislation excluding some people under 25 from receiving pandemic aid. Read more

Police brutality during student-led protest in Panama

China continues Hong Kong crackdown, persecution of activists and journalists for their reporting

In recent months, the authorities have continued the crackdown on activists in Hong Kong with mass arrests of the opposition and activists, charging individuals under the draconian National Security Law and jailing pro-democracy activists, including Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam. The ‘Hong Kong 12’ youth activists were also convicted in an unfair trial. There has also been a lack of accountability for police violence during 2019 protests. On the mainland, activists and journalists have been arrested, while Zhang Zhan, a 37-year-old former lawyer and citizen journalist was sentenced to four years in jail for her reporting on Wuhan. Human rights groups reported that a big data program for policing in China’s Xinjiang region arbitrarily selects Turkic Muslims for possible detention
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China continues Hong Kong crackdown, persecution of activists and journalists for their reporting

Journalists assassinated and detained incommunicado, peaceful protesters arrested

Several protesters arrested following peaceful protests which began on 7th June 2020 in the predominantly Druze city of Sweida; journalist Hussain Khattab assassinated by unidentified masked gunmen; civil society activist and journalist Nour Al-Shilo released after she was arrested and detained incommunicado; On 9th December 2020, Syrian civil society organisations marked the anniversary of the kidnapping of four activists in Douma in 2013; Read more

Journalists assassinated and detained incommunicado, peaceful protesters arrested

Democracy in peril in the United States as rioters storm Capitol

At least five people died, including a police officer, and over 50 people were arrested after thousands of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on 6th January 2020 to disrupt a joint session of Congress and attempt to overturn the recent presidential election. Read more

Democracy in peril in the United States as rioters storm Capitol

Cuban government backtracks on talks with protesters and uses COVID-19 regulations to harass critics

As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, in November 2020 the arrest of musician Denis Solís González led artists and activists with Movimiento San Isidro to mobilise for his release. On 26th November 2020, the Cuban authorities raided the movement’s headquarters and detained 14 activists who had been on hunger strike for several days. Read more

Cuban government backtracks on talks with protesters and uses COVID-19 regulations to harass critics

Canada: protests against COVID-19 restrictions as country struggles with new wave of infections

On 7th November 2020, about 2,000 people demonstrated in Aylmer, Ontario, to express their opposition to facial coverings and social distancing rules implemented by the provincial and federal governments in response to COVID-19. Read more

Canada: protests against COVID-19 restrictions as country struggles with new wave of infections

Authorities fail to protect anti-racism protesters; climate protests staged

Demonstrations by anti-racism group ‘Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP)’, who protested against the tradition of Black Pete (so called Black Face), have been met by large counter protests in several Dutch cities. However authorites failed to ensure the safety of KOZP members from counter protesters. Several climate protests were staged including one at Schiphol Airport where protesters blocked both entrances by forming human chains, glueing their hands to the ground and to the revolving glass doors at the entrance. Fourteen protesters were detained by police.
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Authorities fail to protect anti-racism protesters; climate protests staged

Protests staged in support of Polish Women and against COVID-19 measures

On 11th and 25th October 2020, Lithuania held parliamentary elections that ultimately led to the creation of a new conservative government. Like many other European countries, Lithuania had to adopt restrictive measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus. On 2nd December 2020, the government further tightened the measures in relation to gatherings between private citizens in public spaces by reducing the number of people allowed to gather from five to two. On 17th and 18th November 2020, during the visit of Polish President Andrzej Duda to Lithuania, women rights activists protested, in support of Polish women, against the very restrictive near total ban on abortion imposed by a Constitutional Tribunal ruling in October 2020. On 21st November 2020, about 40 people protested against the mandatory requirement to wear a face mask in public places. Read more

Protests staged in support of Polish Women and against COVID-19 measures

Protests restricted and criminalised in Timor-Leste

Civic space in Timor-Leste remains ‘obstructed’ in the recent ratings issued by the CIVICUS Monitor. In September 2020, there were reports of a political protest being restricted and the arrests and conviction of a group protesting against abuses in West Papua, Indonesia. Read more

Protests restricted and criminalised in Timor-Leste