From mass protests demanding social and political change in Iran to protests around the world over the climate crisis and the rising cost of living, people continue to take to the streets to voice their opinions, express dissent and call for justice. But even though this fundamental right is guaranteed by international human rights law and standards, governments keep limiting these laws and restricting the right to protest.
Since 2017, the CIVICUS Monitor has tracked an ongoing crackdown on the right to peaceful assembly. Most recently governments have used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to further restrict fundamental freedoms, including the right to protest. Despite this, people are continuing to mobilise, including by using creative and alternative forms of protest when pandemic restrictions are applied, such as masked and distanced demonstrations and online protests. Technology has broadened the opportunities for mobilising, but at the same time new challenges have emerged for critical voices, as governments expand their tactics to restrict online access and put people under surveillance.
Mentioning about Myanmar
Myanmar is rated Repressed by the CIVICUS Monitor.
Similar defiance has been seen in Myanmar, where anti-coup protesters from the Civil Disobedience Movement face ongoing threats of arbitrary arrest, torture and deadly attacks by the junta but have continued to mobilise with flash mobs, where activists run through the streets for a few minutes before dispersing.
Killings of protesters by security forces were documented in at least four countries in the past year, particularly in Myanmar, where the junta has continued its violent crackdown on anti-coup protests by using lethal weapons. More than a thousand people have been killed by the junta and there have been reports of the military using vehicles to ram into protesters.
In Myanmar, thousands of anti-coup protesters languish in detention on trumped-up charges of ‘incitement’ or ‘treason’ after facing secret military tribunals, with hundreds being tortured or ill-treated with impunity. In Malaysia, the police have brought scores of protesters, including activists and opposition politicians, in for questioning for holding spontaneous demonstrations related to issues such as corruption, price hikes, the war in Ukraine and the death penalty. In Singapore, activists have faced police harassment for protests against the death penalty.
Progressive Voice is a participatory rights-based policy research and advocacy organization rooted in civil society, that maintains strong networks and relationships with grassroots organizations and community-based organizations throughout Myanmar. It acts as a bridge to the international community and international policymakers by amplifying voices from the ground, and advocating for a rights-based policy narrative.