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Enforced disappearance during Guadalajara protest and two journalists at severe risk

In the beginning of June 2020, hundreds of people joined protests against police brutality and demanded justice for Giovanni López, a man who was detained and died the next day from a head injury. Read more  |  Read in Spanish

Enforced disappearance during Guadalajara protest and two journalists at severe risk

Activists, journalists face smear campaigns, harassment and censorship during COVID-19

Restrictions on the movement of citizens have greatly hindered the normal functioning of CSOs engaged in activities of general interest, especially the ones which provide citizens with certain services that can help them during the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, CSOs were not eligible for permits which allow for movement during curfew hours. The Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) has been the constant target of individual smear campaigns for many years. The most recent attacks, from GONGO association National Avant-Garde, aim to discredit the BCSP’s work through public statements, announcements and videos. The introduction of the state of emergency has raised concerns of censorship. For example, the government adopted a conclusion authorising only Crisis Staff to inform the public about the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthermore, it adopted a measure that prevents journalists from attending Crisis Staff press conferences. In addition, journalists were harassed, detained for their reporting or subject to smear campaigns during the reporting period.
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Activists, journalists face smear campaigns, harassment and censorship during COVID-19

Ongoing use of repressive laws, Thai activist abducted, increased surveillance in the South

In the last few months, there have been ongoing use of repressive laws, a prominent Thai pro-democracy activist was abducted in Cambodia, while there have been reports of increased surveillance using biometric data in the southern Malay Muslim provinces including a facial recognition system. A Thai poultry company continues to target human rights defenders while a new report highlights how the authorities are using repressive laws to intensify the crackdown on online critics. Read more

Ongoing use of repressive laws, Thai activist abducted, increased surveillance in the South

Tension between right to protest and COVID-19 measures rises

In the months of May and June 2020, the Netherlands experienced an exceptionally high number of large demonstrations. Throughout the country there were several protests; by the Black Lives Matter movement against racism, by farmers against a new law on the content of cattle feed, and by critics of the coronavirus measures who are against the government’s lock-down policy. These mass gatherings have sparked public debate about the right to demonstrate under the prevailing social distancing rules. Critics condemn the difference in attitude of the police and the way in which authorities grant or deny demonstration permits based on the issue that is being protested.

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Tension between right to protest and COVID-19 measures rises

Enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions increase in Venezuela during pandemic

On 8th May 2020, civil society organisation Foro Penal reported that arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances increased in Venezuela since the beginning of COVID-19 containment measures in March 2020. Read more

Enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions increase in Venezuela during pandemic

Austerity measures during COVID-19 lead to protests in Ecuador

On 16th March 2020, Ecuador’s government published a decree declaring a "state of exception" in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This suspended some individual rights related to freedom of association and assembly, and provided government with authority to use digital tools to monitor individuals under mandatory isolation or quarantine. Read more

Austerity measures during COVID-19 lead to protests in Ecuador

Concern as government punishes free expression

Government targets critics and those expressing opinion including John Sangwa a prominent lawyer disbarred after openly criticising government, media station Prime TV's licence cancelled Read more

Concern as government punishes free expression

Concern over crackdown on opposition and dissenters ahead of 2020 elections

Dozens of opposition supporters arrested, detained, New anti terrorrism law passes, government announces restoration of phone and internet services in parts of Oromia region after shut down in January 2020, protesters injured, one killed during protest by university students at Bule Hora University in Oromia Read more

Concern over crackdown on opposition and dissenters ahead of 2020 elections

In India the situation of activists and journalists remains precarious under the COVID-19 lockdown

Human rights defenders across India continue to be arrested and detained - some under draconian laws - despite the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, for raising questions or criticising the authorities. Journalists have also been targeted, including in Indian administered Kashmir. The authorities have also used the opportunity to destroy the Shaheen Bagh protest site in Delhi and to criminalise those protesting the discriminatory Citizen Amendment Act (CAA). Read more

In India the situation of activists and journalists remains precarious under the COVID-19 lockdown

Anti-Olympics activist’s house raided while group urges games facilities be opened up to homeless

The home of anti-Olympics activists was raided in Tokyo in February 2020 while groups are calling for the Olympics facilities be opened up to homeless during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the Ibaraki Prefecture students are protesting the reopening of school amid the pandemic while the Mizuko Funding Group is halting the funding of coal after pressure from activists. There has been a small improvement in Japan’s press freedom index in 2019 Read more

Anti-Olympics activist’s house raided while group urges games facilities be opened up to homeless