HRD prosecuted

Despite serious crimes probe, Myanmar continues to silence critics and block the internet

Over the last few months, the authorities convicted film maker Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi and the Peacock generation poetry troupe for criticism of the military, while a Kachin activist was jailed for insulting a judge. The internet shutdown in Rakhine state remains. Rohingya campaigners outside the country faced threats while protesters continue to be arrested and convicted. Read more

Despite serious crimes probe, Myanmar continues to silence critics and block the internet

Activists disappeared or arrested in Pakistan while media faces restrictions and threats

Over the last few months, Pakistani human rights defender Idris Khattak was forcibly disappeared, activist Muhammad Ismail was arbitrarily detained on trumped up charges, while his daughter and women rights activist Gulalai Ismail fled the country. The authorities also denied entry to a representative from the Committee to Protect Journalists' (CPJ), warned news anchors not to express their opinions, while journalists from the Dawn newspaper faced threats for their reporting. Student protesters including Alamgir Wazir were arrested and charged for their activism. Read more

Activists disappeared or arrested in Pakistan while media faces restrictions and threats

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

Alarming number of activists being jailed in Vietnam for ‘anti-state’ Facebook posts

Over the last few months, activists, journalists and academics have been either arrested or jailed for their postings on Facebook critical of the regime. Many have faced politically motivated charges under Article 117 of the 2015 Penal Code for “making, storing, spreading or propagating information, materials or items for the purpose of opposing the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”. There is also concern about intimidation and harassment of a publishing house, the removal of anti-government postings by Facebook and the use of terrorism charges against political activists. Read more

Alarming number of activists being jailed in Vietnam for ‘anti-state’ Facebook posts

Human rights organisations accuse prosecutors of criminalising community defenders

Human rights organisations of El Savador’s Foro del Agua (Water Forum) have denounced the criminalisation of activists defending the right to water in Tacuba, Ahuachapán department. According to their complaint, two prosecutors have accused community defenders of offences such as aggravated theft without providing evidence, in legal cases that have been technically inconsistent.

Also in this update: protests against gender-based violence and sexual assault, two journalists were attacked by an anonymous account seeking to discredit their work, and El Salvador had its first Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in loco visit in 32 years. Read more

Human rights organisations accuse prosecutors of criminalising community defenders

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

Human rights defenders in Nicaragua subjected to criminalisation, defamation and harassment

A crackdown on protests in November 2019 has raised alarm in Nicaragua. On 14th November 2019, nine mothers of imprisoned opposition activists began a hunger strike in the San Miguel Church in Masaya, calling for the release of 130 people allegedly detained in the context of the protests. According to reports, the premises were quickly barricaded by police and pro-government groups, who cut off water and electricity. They were under siege for nine days. Activists who attempted to provide water and medicine to the strikers have been criminalised.

In addition, reports indicate the continuous harassment of human rights defenders and activists who have taken part in protests in the country. Finally, three Nicaraguan newspapers have decided to suspend publications due to the adverse environment in which they have had to operate. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Human rights defenders in Nicaragua subjected to criminalisation, defamation and harassment

Concerns about freedom of expression in Nigeria: journalists arrested, protests repressed

According to the Amnesty International report 'Endangered Voices. Attack on Freedom of Expression in Nigeria', at least 19 journalists, bloggers and media practitioners have been subject to attacks between January and September 2019. These range from physical attacks, verbal assaults, death threats, surveillance, indiscriminate detention to pressure to reveal sources, mostly perpetrated by Nigerian security forces. Read more

Concerns about freedom of expression in Nigeria:  journalists arrested, protests repressed

Brazil: defenders vilified and criminalised, censorship and attacks against media on the rise

In August 2019, fire outbreaks in the Amazon, the world's largest tropical rainforest, stirred global outrage. However, as outrage grew, Bolsonaro suggested that environmental NGOs could be setting the fires. When asked for evidence or names of the NGOs involved, Bolsonaro said there was no evidence but that it was just his feeling.

On 23rd August 2019, environmental movements organised protests in several cities to denounce the government’s environmental policies. Other countries in Latin America, including Argentina and Uruguay also held solidarity protests. Read more

Brazil: defenders vilified and criminalised, censorship and attacks against media on the rise

Uzbekistan: Reforming or Redecorating?

This special issue prepared for the CIVICUS Monitor by the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) and International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), provides an overview reflecting some of the main developments in freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in Uzbekistan from April 2018 to October 2019. Read more

Uzbekistan: Reforming or Redecorating?