HRD prosecuted

Public vilification of Indigenous peoples and criminalisation of environmental defenders

On 16th July 2020, Maya Q’eqchi Indigenous leader Bernardo Caal Xol was declared a prisoner of conscience by human rights organisation Amnesty International. Bernardo Caal Xol has defended the rights of communities in Santa María de Cahabón, department of Alta Verapáz, which have resisted the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the region. Read more

Public vilification of Indigenous peoples and criminalisation of environmental defenders

Judicial harassment of FNDC activists; 6 people killed in protest against COVID-19 police roadblocks

On 17th July 2020 - three days before a planned FNDC protest (see under Peaceful Assembly) - armed and hooded police officers arrived at the residence of Ibrahima Diallo, coordinator of Tournons la Page Guinea and in charge of operations for FNDC. As Diallo was not at home, officers left a summons with his wife, calling for Diallo to present himself to the Central Direction of the Judicial Police for 'disturbance to the State'. Read more

Judicial harassment of FNDC activists; 6 people killed in protest against COVID-19 police roadblocks

New hope for Malawi after sustained protests

Following the court’s nullification of the May 2019 election results on 3rd March 2020, authorities under president Peter Mutharika’s regime embarked on a crackdown of dissenters, critics and the judiciary as the rerun, slated for 23rd June 2020 approached. , the NGO Board in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs began developing reporting regulations for NGOs. Read more

New hope for Malawi after sustained protests

Opposition candidates and supporters persecuted, detained ahead of elections

Presidential candidates and opposition protesters arrested and detained, Journalists attacked an arrested while covering protests Read more

Opposition candidates and supporters persecuted, detained ahead of elections

Journalist Samira Sabou acquitted, one HRD released while three others linger in prison

Judicial police in Niamey summoned editor and founder of the newspaper Le Courrier Ali Soumana for questioning on 12th July 2020, on accusations of 'writing and publishing false information'. The accusations relate to an article he published a day earlier, on 11th July 2020, and widely shared on social media, in which he alleges that sources indicated that companies implicated in the corruption scandal in the procurement of military equipment, in which companies overcharged the Ministry of Defence, were renegotiating repayment to avoid legal action against them. Read more  |  Read in French

Journalist Samira Sabou acquitted, one HRD released while three others linger in prison

Journalists bear the brunt of repression of expression in Somalia

Journalists detained for reporting on COVID-19 related issues, local radio station banned from broadcasting in local Brawanese dialect, Journalists harassed and assaulted by police officers while covering protest, journalist Said Yusuf Ali stabbed to death in Mogadishu Read more

Journalists bear the brunt of repression of expression in Somalia

Malaysian police ramp up persecution of Al Jazeera, journalists and activists to stifle criticism

Since April 2020, there has been a systematic campaign of judicial harassment by the Perikatan Nasional government targeting the media and journalists for their reporting, including independent news outlet Malaysiakini and Al Jazeera. The authorities are pursuing activists and government critics, as well as opposition parliamentarians, using an array of restrictive laws to stifle criticism. Individuals calling for or holding peaceful protests have also been questioned or arrested. Read more

Malaysian police ramp up persecution of Al Jazeera, journalists and activists to stifle criticism

Repression of Liberal Publishing House, journalists and online critics escalates in Vietnam

Ahead of the ruling Communist Party national congress in early 2021, the crackdown on critics has escalated. A targeted campaign against dozens of individuals connected with the Liberal Publishing House has persisted. Members of the Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam (IJAVN) - the last independent journalist organisation in the country - have also been arrested and prosecuted. Online government critics are also being pursued while Facebook has been accused of being complicit in the censorship of critical posts. Human rights defenders have also been arrested and convicted. Read more

Repression of Liberal Publishing House, journalists and online critics escalates in Vietnam

Ongoing use of repressive laws, Thai activist abducted, increased surveillance in the South

In the last few months, there have been ongoing use of repressive laws, a prominent Thai pro-democracy activist was abducted in Cambodia, while there have been reports of increased surveillance using biometric data in the southern Malay Muslim provinces including a facial recognition system. A Thai poultry company continues to target human rights defenders while a new report highlights how the authorities are using repressive laws to intensify the crackdown on online critics. Read more

Ongoing use of repressive laws, Thai activist abducted, increased surveillance in the South

Attacks on the press and critics persist as UN report on the Philippines finds widespread violations

Over the last two months, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, top broadcaster ABS-CBN was forced off the air while prominent journalist Maria Ressa and her former colleague were convicted for ‘cyber-libel’ in another blow for press freedom. The authorities have also pursued journalists and social media users for criticism of the handling of the pandemic. Civil society is seriously concerned that the new anti-terror bill will facilitate abuse of power and erode democracy, while a new UN report details widespread human rights violations and persistent impunity. Human rights defender Teresita Naul remains in prison on trumped up charges while the red-tagging of activists has continued. Read more

Attacks on the press and critics persist as UN report on the Philippines finds widespread violations