travel ban

China silences reporting on COVID-19, expands surveillance and arrests Hong Kong protest leaders

The Chinese Communist Party has continued to censor reporting about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and targeted journalists, doctors, activists, academics and critics in order to control the narrative. The coronavirus is also being used as a pretext for accelerating mass surveillance across the country. In Hong Kong, the authorities arrested 15 pro-democracy politicians and activists in April 2020, were accused of torture or ill-treatment of protesters and expelled US journalists. Human rights groups also reported on the use of an app to conduct mass surveillance by the Chinese government on Uighur and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang province. Read more

China silences reporting on COVID-19, expands surveillance and arrests Hong Kong protest leaders

Cuban artist detained for his work and declared prisoner of conscience

At the end of March 2020, the Cuban government announced a series of measures to promote social distancing and contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. The policies adopted included mandatory quarantine for travellers, movement restrictions and closing borders to non-residents. Read more

Cuban artist detained for his work and declared prisoner of conscience

Activists, journalists and protesters facing continued restrictions by parties to the conflict

Newspaper distribution suspended in the wake of COVID-19; Death sentence upheld for prisoner of conscience; HRDs and journalists detained; Journalist temporarily barred from travelling; Protesters facing arbitrary arrests Read more

Activists, journalists and protesters facing continued restrictions by parties to the conflict

Increased internet censorship; mass mobilisation for regime-praising events continues

New examples of internet censorship have appeared in Turkmenistan. The global online encyclopedia Wikipedia was blocked in the country after it featured an unflattering description of Turkmenistan’s president, and an increasing number of VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps used to circumvent internet censorship became unavailable. Amid government fears of growing opposition to its policies among Turkmenistani diaspora communities, there were reports of an increasing number of cases in which citizens were arbitrarily barred from leaving the country to work and study abroad. The authorities also continued attempts to cover up socio-economic problems in the country, forced state employees and students to participate in regime-praising events and to help cover the costs associated with such events, at the threat of repercussions. Read more

Increased internet censorship; mass mobilisation for regime-praising events continues

Continued attacks on HRDs, journalists and activists through prosecutions

The Egyptian Parliament’s House of Representatives approved amendments to the "Terror Lists” Bill. This is a concern because the bill expands the list of terrorists entities to include TV channels, print media, radio stations and social media. Several organisations have highlighted that government is using the tactic of recycling or the arbitrary revival of cases against human rights defenders, journalists, political opponents and others perceived as critical of the them. In addition journalists continue to face detention and prosecution.
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Continued attacks on HRDs, journalists and activists through prosecutions

Cuba bans defenders from travelling and exposes their families to harassment

On 4th February 2020, opposition leader Guillermo Fariñas was detained by agents of the State Security Department on his way to a visa appointment at the Spanish Embassy in Havana. Fariñas is a dissident well-known for having conducted several hunger strikes for peaceful political change, who was awarded with a Sakharov prize for freedom of thought by the European Parliament in 2010. Read more

Cuba bans defenders from travelling and exposes their families to harassment

Politically motivated trial of Cambodian opposition leader continues despite international pressure

Over the last few months there have been continued attempts by the Hun Sen government to target the opposition. The trial of opposition leader Kem Sokha has begun, while many opposition members have been arrested and charged. The government has also failed to amend the NGO law, and two former RFA journalists continue to face judicial harassment. Read more

Politically motivated trial of  Cambodian opposition leader continues despite international pressure

NGOs highlight suppression around virus outbreak in China while persecution of activists continue

In response to the coronavirus outbreak in China, the authorities have attempted to restrict information by censoring articles and social media posts about the epidemic, punish netizens and harass and threaten human rights defenders sharing information. Over a dozen lawyers and activists have been arrested and detained over the new year. Hong Kong barred the head of Human Rights Watch from entering the country and have continued their repression of protests while leaked documented have revealed further the crackdown on the Uighurs. Read more

NGOs highlight suppression around virus outbreak in China while persecution of activists continue

Government tightens reins on civic freedoms during the last year

over the last year, the experienced continued closing of civic space by introducing restrictive laws, abduction and detention of HRDs, while crackdown on press freedom continued Read more

Government tightens reins on civic freedoms during the last year

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