land rights

Indigenous defender killed and others threatened and attacked in Guatemala

On 15th June 2020, Indigenous land defender Medardo Alonzo Lucero was found dead with signs of torture in Olopa, Chiquimula department. Read more

Indigenous defender killed and others threatened and attacked in Guatemala

Clampdown on expression online persists as Laos slips further down the press freedom rankings

There have been reports of human rights violations occurring during the lockdown in Laos. Individuals circulating a video of a land grab were detained and there were arrests for ‘fake news’ or ‘spreading rumours aimed at causing public panic’ related to COVID-19. Laos press freedom rankings dropped further, while concerns were raised around the lack of information on another proposed dam, amid a near-total lack of space for free speech. Read more

Clampdown on expression online persists as Laos slips further down the press freedom rankings

Indigenous defenders of Costa Rica face increasing threats and harassment

To deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Costa Rica’s government banned mass gatherings on 9th March 2020 and declared a state of emergency on 16th March 2020. The measures adopted by the country included the closure of schools and all non-essential businesses, mass testing and a shutdown of the country’s borders. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Indigenous defenders of Costa Rica face increasing threats and harassment

Myanmar authorities prosecuting activists and critics despite the COVID-19 pandemic

In recent months the assault on civic freedoms has persisted. A Karen environmental activist has been charged for raising concerns about a cement factory, while students and activists have been charged under the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law for protesting. Further, three activists are facing prison terms for calling for constitutional reforms, two journalists were detained and ill-treated at the Myawady border and street artists have been arrested for a mural on the coronavirus (COVID-19). There has also been a fourth conviction against satirical performance group the Peacock Generation while there continues to be low COVID-19 awareness in Rakhine due to an internet blackout. Read more

Myanmar authorities prosecuting activists and critics despite the COVID-19 pandemic

Protests in Indonesia against weakening of labour laws as activists and critics are silenced

There have been mass protests in recent months against proposed new laws that could weaken labour and environmental rights in Indonesia. Scores of Papuan activists are facing trial for their activism while the national human rights body has finally issued a report on the 2014 killing of four Papuan students involved in a protest. Defamation laws are being used to silence critics of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, while human rights defenders are facing threats and arrests Read more

Protests in Indonesia against weakening of labour laws as activists and critics are silenced

Online debate on Dong Tam incident followed by pandemic silenced by Vietnam authorities

Since January 2020, the Vietnam government has attempted to silence any online debate or criticism of the government’s handling of a land dispute in Dong Tam that left four people dead. The authorities have also convicted well-known journalist and blogger Truong Duy Nhat to ten years in prison and have been seeking to block the dissemination of information online around the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is also modelling China and forcing activists and political prisoners to undergo public confessions on television. Read more

Online debate on Dong Tam incident followed by pandemic silenced by Vietnam authorities

Civil society in the Philippines decry restrictive laws, smear campaigns and judicial harassment

Over the last few months, harassment and attacks against journalists and activists have persisted in the Philippines. Attempts were made to shut down ABS-CBN, the largest media network, while cyber-troll armies were mobilised against government critics. Legislation against terrorism is being pushed through that undermines civic freedoms while civil society groups are facing judicial harassment, raids and smear campaigns. Government critic Senator de Lima has spent three years in detention. With the COVID-19 pandemic President Duterte has pushed through legislation that further threatens free speech and abuses against curfew violators have been documented. Read more

Civil society in the Philippines decry restrictive laws, smear campaigns and  judicial harassment

Terrorism law bulldozed through NZ parliament despite human rights concerns

A terrorism law was passed in December 2019 after three days in parliament despite concerns from human rights groups and the law society. The occupation of a site of a major indigenous land dispute in Auckland has continued despite the pandemic lockdown. Activists boarded an oil rig to protest the climate crisis while far-rights groups are still active in the country. Read more

Terrorism law bulldozed through NZ parliament despite human rights concerns

Canada: Natural gas pipeline project on Wet’suwet’en territory sparks national protests

Throughout February 2020, Indigenous-rights and environmental activists participated in country-wide demonstrations and set up blockades on major rail lines to challenge a natural gas pipeline project in British Colombia. Read more  |  Read in French

Canada: Natural gas pipeline project on Wet’suwet’en territory sparks national protests

An Indigenous leader killed and another shot in the leg by land invaders in Costa Rica

On 24th February 2020, a leader of the Indigenous Brörán community of Térraba, Jerhy Rivera Rivera, was killed in the Puntarenas province. Rivera led the land recovery process of indigenous territories in the region. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

An Indigenous leader killed and another shot in the leg by land invaders in Costa Rica