self censorship

Violations of freedom of expression continue unabated during COVID-19 pandemic

Measures imposed to address coronavirus (COVID-19) in Palestine and the declaration of a state of emergency, which has now been extended to 5th June 2020, further targets digital rights. During the reporting period, Amnesty International issued a statement about the arbitrary detentions carried out by Fatah-led Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip of those who were critical about the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. In addition, several NGOs raised their concerns on the appointment of the former General Director of the Israeli Ministry of Justice, Emi Palmor, to Facebook’s Oversight Board. Under her leadership there were several attempts to censor journalists and Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) because their comments were considered ‘politically undesirable.’ Read more

  Violations of freedom of expression continue unabated during COVID-19 pandemic

New RSF report shows no improvement for press freedom in Brunei

On 21st April 2019, the latest press freedom index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) showed that Brunei’s ranking remained at 152 out of 180 countries. According to RSF, self-censorship persists for journalists working for state-owned Radio Television Brunei and for the leading daily newspapers, which are directly owned by the Sultan’s family. Repressive legislation, rendered even harsher by the introduction of a very strict version of the Sharia, deters any comments that could be interpreted as criticism of the Sultanate.
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New RSF report shows no improvement for press freedom in Brunei

Media outlets face pressure as state innovates to silence criticism

As previously covered on the CIVICUS Monitor, the work of independent media in Serbia can face discrimination and threats from the government. A recent example is the "Kragujevacke" newspaper, the only printed media in Kragujevac, whose editor-in-chief recently spoke out about the two-fold discrimination that the outlet faces. Firstly, high officials avoid giving publication's reporters statements, which hampers their ability to report on critical issues and secondly, they are unable to access funding from the city budget, which threatens their financial sustainability. Read more

Media outlets face pressure as state innovates to silence criticism

Demands for release of political prisoners in Bhutan

There have been appeals for the release of political prisoners detained in the 1990s who may have not had a fair trial. A new report highlighted concerns about press freedom in Bhutan while there has been still no agreement in parliament around the repealing of laws criminalising same-sex relations Read more

Demands for release of political prisoners in Bhutan

Detention activists, protests banned, negative impact of terrorism on media freedom

Police officers detained online activist Naïm Touré on the night of 12th to 13th November 2020 in a location unknown until hours later. The National Police declared later that Touré was accused of 'attempting to demoralise security and defence forces' for comments he made on social media in relation to certain promotions within the defence forces. On 14th November 2019 he was released without charge. As reported previously on the Monitor, Naïm Touré was sentenced in July 2018 to a prison sentence of two months on charges of 'incitement to revolt' for a Facebook post. Read more  |  Read in French

Detention activists, protests banned, negative impact of terrorism on media freedom

Censorship hindering free speech "like a brick wall"

A recent report published by the Susma (Don't Remain silent) Platform, covering cases of censorship in arts and media throughout the first 10 months of 2019 highlighted several restrictions on freedom of expression in Turkey. In particular, the report noted that Turkish authorities have used measures such as arresting and prosecuting journalists, blocking access to online news content, temporarily suspending broadcasting or taking programmes off air as well as dismissing journalists. Read more

Censorship hindering free speech "like a brick wall"

Journalists threatened as people demand clean air in Skopje

In late December 2019, The Association of Journalists reacted to the news that a journalist had been pressured following a story about construction. Maja Jovanovska, a journalist working for the Investigative Reporting Laboratory, had been covering a story about a building project in the Taftalidze area of Skopje. After publishing an article about the construction, Jovanovska was subject to verbal harassment from the owner of the construction company overseeing the project, who proceeded to tell her how she "should" have written about the story. Read more

Journalists threatened as people demand clean air in Skopje

The onslaught on freedom of expression shows no sign of abating

As previously covered on the CIVICUS Monitor, freedom of expression has come under concerted attack in Turkey in recent years. In fact, Turkey is one the highest jailers of journalists in the world. According to the Free Journalists' Initiative (ÖGI) on 3rd December 2019, there were 139 journalists in prison as a result of their work. The high number of imprisoned media workers has prompted many to claim that there is almost no space for independent dissent left. Read more

The onslaught on freedom of expression shows no sign of abating

Violent protests and alleged extrajudicial executions in Bolivia as political crisis escalated

On 10th November 2019, Evo Morales resigned as president of Bolivia, after weeks of unrest over contested general elections at the end of October 2019. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Violent protests and alleged extrajudicial executions in Bolivia as political crisis escalated

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