CIVICUS makes interventions for the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which scrutinizes each country's human rights record every four years. In advance of the 19th session of the UPR, CIVICUS has made five joint submissions on threats to the freedoms of expression, association and assembly in Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Qatar. The submissions further highlight the need for an enabling operating environment for civil society and the need to protect human rights defenders.
In Cote d’Ivoire, CIVICUS, the West African Human Rights Defenders Network and the Ivorian Coalition of Human Rights Defenders examine the persistent harassment, intimidation and attacks against journalists and human rights defenders by the country’s military forces and armed militia groups.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, CIVICUS’ joint submission with the League for Human Rights in the Great Lakes Region gravely notes the lack of any discernible improvement in the treatment and safety of protestors, members of the media, and civil society activists since 2009.
In Ethiopia, CIVICUS, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and the Human Rights Council analyse the continued invocation of broad and imprecise legislation, including the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation and the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, to silence all forms of independent dissent.
In Nicaragua, CIVICUS and the Nicaraguan Network for Democracy and Local Development warn about the growing use of judicial, financial and administrative channels, by the Nicaraguan authorities, to restrict freedom of expression, independence of the media and access to information.
In Qatar, CIVICUS’ joint submission with the Gulf Center for Human Rights examines the criminalization of the creation of an independent civil society sector, severe limitations on freedom of association and to collective bargaining for unions, and strict controls domestic media outlets.