5 countries on civic space watchlist presented to UN Human Rights Council

Statement at the 43rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Watch us deliver our statement below:


Dear Madame President,

Research findings by the CIVICUS Monitor show a serious and rapid decline in respect for civic freedoms in IndiaLebanonIraq, Nicaragua, and Guinea (countries on current civic space watchlist)

In India, protests against a discriminatory citizenship law have been met with excessive force and deadly violence by the authorities, with at least 50 killed, and hundreds injured. There has been no independent and impartial investigation into the police violence. Hundreds have also been detained on spurious charges, including human rights defenders.

In Lebanon, peaceful protests have been subjected to severe and unwarranted violence by the authorities. About a thousand protestors have been arrested or detained while many have experienced torture or ill-treatment while in detention.

In Iraq, activists and journalists have been abducted, arbitrarily arrested and murdered in order to prevent them from participating in or covering demonstrations that broke out in October 2019.  Since the outset of the protests, hundreds of protestors have been killed at the hands of security forces.

In Nicaragua, we are seriously concerned by the lack of political will to stop the repression of fundamental civic freedoms and to address the current human rights crisis. We call on this council to support a strong resolution on Nicaragua as the situation continues to worsen.

In Guinea, mass protests which begun in October 2019 against government plans to replace the Constitution, have been met with excessive force. The killing of protesters and bystanders has been met with almost complete impunity. 

Such restrictions on civic space are often a precursor for further human rights abuses and we call on the members and observers of this Council to act now to prevent further deterioration.

Civic space ratings by CIVICUS Monitor
Open Narrowed Obstructed  Repressed Closed


See our wider advocacy priorities and programme of activities at the 43rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council


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