HRD prosecuted

Protests over government plans to withdraw from Istanbul Convention

There have been recent debates about Turkey’s withdrawal from what is commonly known as İstanbul Convention, formally the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence. Experts say that this decision is related to Turkey’s “inability to accept gender equality”. This news comes at a time when Turkey faces even more violence against women due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Namely, digital violence as a form of harassment against women has become more present. The government’s intention to withdraw from the Convention has sparked protests, which saw a number of protesters being detained. In a separate development, lawyers protested a proposed bill that would "split bar associations" and silence critical institutions. Despite protests, parliament has passed the contested law. In addition, parliament also passed the social media bill which aims to further stifle freedom of expression on social media in Turkey.
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Protests over government plans to withdraw from Istanbul Convention

Charges against HRD Madi Jobarteh dropped, Gambia closer to an access to information law

Country representative of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy Madi Jobarteh was summoned for questioning on 30th June to the Kairaba police station in Serrekunda, in relation to statements he made in an interview during a Black Lives Matter protest he organised on 27th June 2020 in front of the US embassy. That same day, Jobarteh was charged with 'false information and broadcasting' under the Criminal Code, which is punishable with a prison sentence of six months to five years or a fine of 500 to 50,000 dalasis (9.6 to 960 USD), before being released on bail. Read more

Charges against HRD Madi Jobarteh dropped, Gambia closer to an access to information law

Human rights lawyer imprisoned for tweet, Nabeel Rajab conditionally released from prison

Human rights defender and lawyer Abdullah Al-Shamlawi prosecuted and sentenced; prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, Founding Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and Co-Founder and former President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was conditionally released from prison to carry out the remaining three years of his sentence non-custodially; Read more

Human rights lawyer imprisoned for tweet, Nabeel Rajab conditionally released from prison

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  |  Read in French

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