Tragic news from Brazil, upheaval in Ecuador, and concerns over data privacy after US anti-abortion ruling

A protester is wrapped in a flag with the image of British journalist Dom Phillips, during a vigil demanding justice for the killing of Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, Brasilia, Brazil, 19 June 2022, Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Ecuador: The result of a decade of stigmatising the press

Two years after the crisis that shook Ecuador in 2019, there has been a new wave of protests led by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) against the government of President Guillermo Lasso. The indefinite national strike that began mid-June intensified, and demonstrations turned violent. Clashes between police and protesters left several protesters dead or injured. In some cases, police forces have been denounced for use of abusive force. Ecuadorians saw attacks on public buildings, and violent confrontations between people for and against the marches.

Brazil: Bad news from the Amazon amid electoral tensions

June saw the tragic news confirming the deaths of Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips, who disappeared while travelling on the Itaquaí River earlier this month. IFEX and IFEX-ALC joined over a dozen human rights organisations to express indignation and deep sorrow, highlighting Brazilian authorities’ worrying record of disdain for freedom of speech and human rights in general.

Peru: Yes, but…

Peru saw the withdrawal of the lawsuit against journalist Christopher Acosta and Penguin Random House editor Jerónimo Pimentel. Judge Jesús Vega had condemned them to a suspended prison sentence — with biometric controls and the right to leave their place of residence only with judicial permission — and to pay 400,000 soles (US$ 100,000) to the plaintiff, politician and businessman César Acuña.

The end of Roe v Wade in the United States: a blow to reproductive rights — and privacy

“The difference between now and the last time that abortion was illegal in the United States is that we live in an era of unprecedented digital surveillance.”

The US Supreme Court shook the whole region when it officially reversed the ruling known as “Roe v. Wade”, eliminating the right to abortion in the United States as a constitutional right. The decision is far-reaching in terms of reproductive rights, particularly for Black and Hispanic communities; and digital rights advocates are urging action aimed at the protection of data privacy and access to information. Only a few days after the decision, Facebook was quick to take down content referring to abortion pills, while several abortion advocacy pages on Instagram found their posts or stories hidden with a warning describing the posts as “sensitive content”, even though they were purely informative.

In Brief

Prison sentence of Bolivian ex-president seen as a worrisome politisation of justice. Jeanine Añez was condemned to 10 years in prison for her participation during the chaotic exit of Evo Morales, seen by his supporters as a coup d’Etat. Without dismissing the gravity of the charges — Añez was accused, among other serious charges, of human rights violations for the crackdown on protests just days after arriving in office — analysts call it yet another use of the judicial branch to punish political opponents, a tendency already highlighted by the IACHR.

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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