HRD threatened

Government tightens reins on civic freedoms during the last year

over the last year, the experienced continued closing of civic space by introducing restrictive laws, abduction and detention of HRDs, while crackdown on press freedom continued Read more

Government tightens reins on civic freedoms during the last year

Death threats intensify after civil society questions changes to criminal code

Changes to Serbia's criminal code have spurred a barrage of abuse targeted at civil society. The changes adopted in May 2019 include the possibility of life imprisonment without parole for felony murder, rape with a fatal outcome, rape of a powerless person with a fatal outcome, rape of a child with a fatal outcome and rape in a situation of position abuse. Read more

Death threats intensify after civil society questions changes to criminal code

Journalists and activists targeted as many fear regression of rights following Sri Lankan elections

Over the last two months, journalists have faced harassment, threats and attacks for their reporting while a Swiss embassy employee was detained by unknown persons and interrogated for information around asylum provided to Sri Lankans. Academic and human rights lawyer Kumaravadivel Guruparan has been targeted, while there have been reports of surveillance and intimidation against anti-disappearance protesters. Read more

Journalists and activists targeted as many fear regression of rights following Sri Lankan elections

Authorities use force to disperse protests, harass journalists

law enforcement officers violently disperse protests in central Baku that had been organised by the National Council of Democratic Forces; authorities disperse women’s rights activists who had gathered in the city centre to protest domestic violence; 10 senior opposition party members arrested and detained ahead of protests, lawyer Nemat Karimli subjected to excessive controls and verbal intimidation as he went in to meet with his client; Several incidents of police officers using force or violence against journalists documented Read more

Authorities use force to disperse protests, harass journalists

Activists, lawyers and critics continue to face harassment and defamation charges in Thailand

In the last few months, there has been harassment against activists, lawyers and government critics from both the state as well businesses while the bones of a disappeared ethnic Karen activist were found. A new report by Human Rights Watch documented cases of peaceful critics who have been prosecuted by the government for the last five years and concerns have been raised about a new anti-fake news center established by the authorities. A study finds that SLAPP or strategic lawsuits against public participation are on the rise. Read more

Activists, lawyers and critics continue to face harassment and defamation charges in Thailand

Indigenous communities in Colombia under attack

The Colombia National Indigenous Organisation reported that 115 Indigenous people have been assassinated so far in 2019. On 28th October 2019, rural workers association Asociación Nacional de Zonas de Reserva Campesina (National Association of Peasant Reserve Zones - ANZORC) reported that 16-year-old social leader Flower Jair Trompeta Pavi had been tortured and murdered. On 29th October 2019, an illegal armed group in the Cauca region attacked members of the Nasa people, killing indigenous authority Ne’h Wesx Cristina Taquinas Bautista and four Indigenous Guards. Six other people were wounded.

On 21st November 2019, over 200,000 protesters took to the streets of Colombia for a 12-hour nationwide strike. Initially called by unions, the strike was joined by pensioners, students, indigenous groups and other social sectors. The killing of 18-year-old Dylan Muricio Cruz during a protest for education on 23rd November 2019 in Bogotá has mobilised more protests. Read more

Indigenous communities in Colombia under attack

Groups strike, protest, amid deteriorating economic conditions

Doctors in public hospitals down their tools as they go on strike to demand increased salaries, civil servants protest in Harare demanding salary increments amidst tough economic conditions, opposition group MDC's supporters violently dispersed in planned protest against deteriorating economic conditions Read more

Groups strike, protest, amid deteriorating economic conditions

Lack of accountability for police violence, attacks on journalists and activists in Indonesia

In the last few months, mass protests by students were met with excessive use of force and firearms by the police with impunity. Further, activists peacefully protesting on West Papua are facing “rebellion” charges while two journalists and an environmental activist have died. Police have also attacked journalists covering a protest while the authorities continue to pursue a human rights lawyer for her activism on West Papua. Read more

Lack of accountability for police violence, attacks on journalists and activists in Indonesia

Attacks against journalists and confiscation of equipment increasing in Venezuela

Early in the morning of 1st November 2019, members of the Fuerzas de Acciones Especiales (Special Action Forces - FAES) carried out a raid on the residence of social leader Ruth Pérez and her family. A human rights organisation denounced that the raid lasted several hours while FAES officers threatened and beat people who were in the residence. Ruth Pérez's nephew was detained and appeared dead shortly afterward.

Pedro Jaimes Criollo, a victim of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention for publishing the routes of the Presidential airplane on his Twitter account in May 2018, was released on 17th October 2019 after a year and five months in detention. This update also details cases of intimidation of journalists, and new reports on protests and freedom of expression in Venezuela. Read more

Attacks against journalists and confiscation of equipment increasing in Venezuela

Flawed prosecution around killing of Mongolian pro-democracy activist

Two individuals convicted for the 1998 assassination of a pro-democracy activist and former parliamentarian were tortured while in custody to confess. In April-May 2019, the UNSpecial Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders visited Mongolia and received reports about cases of discrimination, intimidation, harassment, stigmatisation and accusations against human rights defenders Read more

Flawed prosecution around killing of Mongolian pro-democracy activist