August: An unhappy anniversary and 38,581 insults

Kiev, Ukraine, 3 August 2021. People hold flares during a rally in front of the Belarus embassy, protesting the regime and in memory of the head of a Belarusian NGO in Ukraine, who was found dead in a park. SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Belarus: Unhappy anniversary

August marked one year since the disputed presidential election in Belarus and saw the first anniversary of the ongoing crackdown on dissent. It also saw the Supreme Court order the liquidation of the country’s two most prominent free expression organisations: IFEX member the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) and the Belarus PEN Centre.

Russia: Stifling free expression ahead of elections

Although Belarus is leading the field in political prisoners, Russia isn’t far behind. This month, Memorial Human Rights Center said that it had documented 410 political prisoners in Russia (adding that this figure was likely to be a significant underestimate). According to the rights group, 329 people are currently in jail or under house arrest for exercising their right to freedom of religion and 81 for other political reasons. Those targeted in relation to their religion were generally Muslims accused of membership of the banned Tablighi Jamaat and Hizb ut-Tahrir, and also Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Turkey: Physical attacks on the press, another assault on social media

Cases of physical attacks on journalists in Turkey increase every month. August began with a vicious attack by a group armed with metal rods on several journalists who were covering the racially-motivated murder of a Kurdish family in Konya, central Anatolia.

In brief

Yorgen Fenech will stand trial in Malta for the 2017 murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment for the businessman on charges of complicity in murder and criminal association.

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IFEX is a global network of organisations that defend and promote the right to freedom of expression and information. Email: info@ifex.org

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IFEX

IFEX

IFEX is a global network of organisations that defend and promote the right to freedom of expression and information. Email: info@ifex.org