youth

Activist Folly Satchivi released from prison, three activists denied entry to Togo

On 16th October 2019, activist, youth leader and HRD Folly Satchivi of the movement En Aucun Cas was released following a presidential pardon issued by president Fauré Gnassingbé. A week prior to the presidential pardon, on 10th October 2019, the Appeal Court in Lomé partially overturned the judgement by a lower court for the offense of 'aggravated disturbance of public order' in January 2019, but found the activist guilty of 'glorification of crimes and offences', and sentenced him to 28 months in prison, with 6 months suspended. Read more

Activist Folly Satchivi released from prison, three activists denied entry to Togo

Costa Rican students demonstrate against university budget cuts

Over five days at the end of October 2019, public university students protested against budget cuts in Costa Rica’s Special Fund for Higher Education (FEES) and blocked roads near the National University (UNA) in Heredia. Groups of protesters occupied university facilities, while some marched from the University of Costa Rica to the Presidential House. On 22nd October 2019, security forces used tear gas against protesters in an attempt to clear the road and remove students from campus. Read more

Tags: protest | youth
Costa Rican students demonstrate against university budget cuts

Courts uphold protections for free expression and assembly

In September and October 2019, three court rulings upheld freedom of peaceful assembly and expression in Canada. On 27th September 2019, a ruling by Canada’s Supreme Court allowed reporter Marie-Maude Denis to maintain confidentiality of her journalistic sources. In a separate case, on 4th October 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that police cannot arrest lawful protesters for their own protection, in order to prevent violence by others. Also in October 2019, a court official determined that it was improper for an investigator to face legal liability for requesting public information.

This update also details a series of protests on climate, autism and labour, as well as some incidents related to freedom of expression. Read more

Courts uphold protections for free expression and assembly

Indigenous communities in Colombia under attack

The Colombia National Indigenous Organisation reported that 115 Indigenous people have been assassinated so far in 2019. On 28th October 2019, rural workers association Asociación Nacional de Zonas de Reserva Campesina (National Association of Peasant Reserve Zones - ANZORC) reported that 16-year-old social leader Flower Jair Trompeta Pavi had been tortured and murdered. On 29th October 2019, an illegal armed group in the Cauca region attacked members of the Nasa people, killing indigenous authority Ne’h Wesx Cristina Taquinas Bautista and four Indigenous Guards. Six other people were wounded.

On 21st November 2019, over 200,000 protesters took to the streets of Colombia for a 12-hour nationwide strike. Initially called by unions, the strike was joined by pensioners, students, indigenous groups and other social sectors. The killing of 18-year-old Dylan Muricio Cruz during a protest for education on 23rd November 2019 in Bogotá has mobilised more protests. Read more

Indigenous communities in Colombia under attack

Freedoms under attack with legislation restricting protests and hostility toward journalists

In September and October 2019, there were protests across the U.S. calling on leaders to address climate change while some states have been considering legislation that would criminalise protests near certain infrastructure sites, including oil pipelines - which are often contested by climate and indigenous rights activists. This update also details protests on refugee & immigration policy, education, police brutality and pro- and against President Trump. In the 'Expression' section, incidents of harassment of journalists show an increasingly hostile environment for the press in the U.S. Read more

Freedoms under attack with legislation restricting protests and hostility toward journalists

Fiji commits to free speech at UN while boy allegedly tortured for criticising the PM

In recent months, there have been allegations of torture by the security forces against a 16 year old-boy for criticising the Prime Minister and the police have denied permits for marches by a political party and union. Read more

Fiji commits to free speech at UN while boy allegedly tortured for criticising the PM

Namibians take to the streets in separate protests

Namibians hold separate protests on various socio-economic issues including employment, police brutality, land and housing, mining and environmental protection Read more

 Namibians take to the streets in separate protests

Philippines human rights body launches national inquiry as attacks against activists persist

Over the last few months, critics of the President have been charged with sedition and other offences and journalists have been killed. Further, a anti-fake news bill has been tabled in the Senate which could restrict freedom of expression. Left and indigenous activists have also been killed and there are increasing attacks on lawyers. Read more

Philippines human rights body launches national inquiry as attacks against activists persist

“Chile has awoken”: several demonstrators killed and thousands detained in massive protests

Over a million people took to the streets in Chile during October 2019, in what started as a protest against higher transportation tariffs and developed into a nationwide movement. On 4th October 2019, a 30 peso (US$ 0.04) increase in metro fares was announced, prompting student-led protests. As the government cracked down on demonstrators, thousands of people joined in to express their general discontent with Chile’s high living costs and growing inequality. Read more

“Chile has awoken”: several demonstrators killed and thousands detained in massive protests

Court upholds right to religious expression for students, protests dispersed

High Court in Nairobi ruled that Rastafarianism is a religion like any other and its followers including students have the right to expression in their mode of dressing, civil society organisations, submitted shadow reports for Kenya’s third Universal Periodic Review, Blogger charged with treason for publishing photos of police officers killed during an explosion by al-Shabab militants, , for the first time, Kenya’s new national census included a third gender - intersex - on the list of possible responses to the gender question, protests dispersed by police in Mombasa and Meru counties Read more

Court upholds right to religious expression for students, protests dispersed