self censorship

President Suluhu acts on promise to expand media freedoms, arbitrary arrests of journalists continue

President Suluhu meets exiled opposition leader; Opposition party chairman released from detention; Planned eviction of Maasai community sparks protests in Tanzania and UK; Legislative amendments approved to expand media freedom; New licences issued to newspapers banned during Maghufuli era; Arbitrary arrests of journalists a remaining concern Read more

President Suluhu acts on promise to expand media freedoms, arbitrary arrests of journalists continue

El Salvador: human rights defenders arbitrarily detained during state of emergency

On 24th April 2022, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly extended the state of emergency for another 30 days, following a request from President Nayib Bukele.

Since a state of emergency was established to address gang-related violence, about 16,000 people were detained for alleged connections with criminal groups. Amid the crackdown, there have been reports of arbitrary detentions and police officers being made to fulfil arrest quotas, encouraging further due process violations. Human rights groups and journalists speaking out about abuses have faced stigmatisation and public vilification.
Read more  |  Read in Spanish

El Salvador: human rights defenders arbitrarily detained during state of emergency

Venezuela: censorship of independent media online and detention of elderly woman for satirical video

On 20th March 2022, military agents killed four Yanomami people in the Parima B sector of Alto Orinoco, Amazonas state. Three other Indigenous people, including a teenager and two military staff, were wounded amid a “confrontation.” Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Venezuela: censorship of independent media online and detention of elderly woman for satirical video

New repressive measures after January 2022 events in Kazakhstan, ahead of presidential elections

During the reporting period, the Turkmenistani authorities continued to deny that the global COVID-19 pandemic had spread to the country, although independent sources reported on hospitals being overcrowded by patients with COVID-19 like symptoms. The World Health Organisation (WHO) for the first time publicly cast doubt on the government’s assertions of zero COVID-19 cases, with a high-level official from the organisation saying that this was unlikely from a scientific point of view. The Turkmenistani authorities also continued their attempts to cover up the devastating impact of the protracted economic crisis in the country, which has severely affected the largely impoverished population. The January 2022 events in neighbouring Kazakhstan, where peaceful mass protests turned violent and resulted in a serious national crisis, prompted renewed repression in Turkmenistan. For example, the president ordered additional measures to limit access to internet resources considered “anti-state” and the authorities reinforced their campaign against tools used to circumvent internet censorship. Read more

New repressive measures after January 2022 events in Kazakhstan, ahead of presidential elections

Colombia: surveillance of civil society and detention of protest leaders

2022 began with astounding violence in the north-eastern department of Arauca along the Colombia-Venezuela border. Over 60 homicides were recorded in the region in January 2022, attributed to the escalating dispute over narcotrafficking routes between armed groups ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional) and dissidents of the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). Read more

Colombia: surveillance of civil society and detention of protest leaders

Mass anti-war protests, censorship, as population denounces Ukraine invasion

As the war began in Ukraine, Russian authorities embarked on a severe crackdown on civic freedoms after authorities embarked on a brutal crackdown on nationwide anti-war protests, threatened media outlets to get them to delete publications about the war in Ukraine, interfered with access to social media and blocked access to media websites - as described in the update below. Read more

Mass anti-war protests, censorship, as population denounces Ukraine invasion

Daniel Ortega retains power in electoral process lacking legitimacy and human rights guarantees

On 7th November 2021, Nicaragua held presidential elections without independent international observers or human rights guarantees. Hours after the ballots closed, official media announced Daniel Ortega as the winner with preliminary results showing he had received about 75% of the vote. Read more

Daniel Ortega retains power in electoral process lacking legitimacy and human rights guarantees

Fundamental freedoms still severely restricted in Brunei

The state of civic space in Brunei was downgraded by the CIVICUS Monitor to ‘repressed’ in December 2019 and there has been no documented progress on improving fundamental freedoms. According to Freedom House, freedoms of the expression and assembly are significantly restricted and online speech is monitored by authorities. Read more

Fundamental freedoms still severely restricted in Brunei

Civil society raises concerns about press freedom and restrictions on peaceful assembly in Mongolia

The state of civic space remains ‘obstructed’ in Mongolia. In August 2021, a report on press freedom documented violations and concerns around self-censorship. A report by Amnesty International found that the government and law enforcement authorities are severely violating the freedom of peaceful assembly. In October 2021, a protest was held on sexual violence against girls. Read more

Civil society raises concerns about press freedom and restrictions on peaceful assembly in Mongolia

54 NGOs suspended, concern over repeated attacks against journalists covering curfew enforcement

Government suspends the operations of 54 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) due to “non-compliance” with the NGO Act 2016; Augustine Ojobile, the electoral commission secretary of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) was arrested for involvement in a “coffin protest”, where several activists demonstrated against the alleged embezzlement of COVID-19 funds; Several incidents reported concerning police officers using violence and force on journalists while enforcing a 7 PM to 5.30 AM curfew imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Read more

54 NGOs suspended, concern over repeated attacks against journalists covering curfew enforcement