Having problems viewing this Bulletin? Click here to view online.

December 2009
Issue: 48

Welcome to Civil Society Watch Monthly Bulletin, an e-newsletter of updates and analyses concerning civil society's rights to freedom of association, assembly and expression around the world. The Bulletin is compiled by the staff at Civil Society Watch, a programme of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. Please feel free to forward the Bulletin to friends and colleagues. We welcome your comments and contributions!
To subscribe or unsubscribe please visit www.civicus.org/csw/csw-newsletter or email cswcommunity@civicus.org

Article 19 Report on ‘Civil Defamation: Undermining Free Expression’
Click here to download

Charities and Security Network Report on ‘How the Work of Charities Can Counter Terror and How US Law Get in the Way’
Click here to download

Democracy Coalition Project Human Rights Council Report Card: Government Positions on Key Issues 2008-2009
Click here to download

Karapatan 2009 ‘Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines: Blueprint for Terror and Impunity’
Click here to download

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international movement of civil society with members and partners in over a hundred countries. CIVICUS nurtures the foundation, growth and protection of citizen action throughout the world especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens’ freedom of association are threatened. The Civil Society Watch Programme of CIVICUS seeks to mobilise quick, principled and effective responses to events that threaten civil society fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly.

The 2nd Eurasia Network Meeting was held in Geneva from 1-3 December 2009. It was successful in a number of ways. First, it was an opportunity for regional civil society representatives to meet with a number of international organisations working in Geneva, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, and the International Council on Human Rights Policy, among others. Regional representatives exchanged ideas, presented regional threats to civil society, and gathered information from these regional NGOs on how to best work with the UN Human Rights machinery. Also, network members met with several representatives from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and discussed ways forward to address concerns from the region. At the Eurasia Network Side Event during the UN Human Rights Council meeting, network representatives discussed threats to freedoms of association, assembly and expression in the region. The Network also organised a reception, opened by the diplomatic representatives of Switzerland and Sweden, who expressed their commitments to human rights in the region. In the coming month, the network will compile a packet of documents and information to disseminate to contacts made at the Workshop.

Sahrawi human rights activist reunited with family after hunger strike.
For more information, click here.

European Parliament honours beleaguered Russian NGO, Memorial by presenting Andrei Sakharov prize
For more information, click here.


  • CIVICUS to carry out fact-finding cum solidarity mission to Nicaragua from 18-20 January.
  • CIVICUS Board Member Maja Daruwala wins Nani Palkiwala award for Civil Liberties (read more here).

‘If Gas could talk’: CIVICUS article on EU overlooking human rights concerns in Turkmenistan in exchange for natural gas
Read more

'On what is missing in between’: Interview with Katsuji Imata, CIVICUS Deputy Secretary General, on global challenges before civil society
Read more

CIVICUS condemns suppression of protestors in Copenhagen
Read more

CIVICUS partners join calls to end impunity in the Philippines
Read more

CHINA: Dissident intellectual sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power”
For more information, click here

DENMARK: Civil society delegates excluded from UN Climate Summit
For more information, click here

EGYPT: Gaza freedom march protestors attacked by security forces
For more information, click here

GEORGIA: Police raid office of LGBT organisation in plain clothes and without providing search warrant
For more information, click here

IRAN: Militia and security forces carry out carry out deadly attacks on protestors
For more information, click here

KYRGYZSTAN: OSCE representative on the freedom of media urges government to take resolute steps to halt intimidation of journalists
For more information, click here

OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: Human rights groups condemn attack on premises of Palestinian NGO network
For more information, click here

TUNISIA: Civil society groups denounce media campaign against human rights defenders and journalists
For more information, click here

UZBEKISTAN: Crackdown on opposition and rights activists in run up to the election
For more information, click here

VIETNAM: Detained human rights lawyer charged with capital offence of “attempting to overthrow the state”.
For more information click here

In response to the mass killing in the Philippines on 23 November 2009, EWS partners from around the globe mobilised to issue a joint press statement that amplified calls by Philippines civil society of “End Impunity! Justice Now!” The EWS partners that signed onto the joint statement along with CIVICUS were: the Association pour la Defense des Droits et des Libertes (Lebanon), Development Services Exchange (Solomon Islands), Karapatan: Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (Philippines), the Pakistan NGO Forum, Rapid Response Group – Uzbekistan, Red Nicaraguense por la Democracia y el Desarrollo Local (Nicaragua), and Sinergia: Venezuelan Association of Civil Society Organizations. Read the full joint statement here. The Civil Society Watch programme has also laid concrete plans for a fact-finding and solidarity mission to Nicaragua where the EWS has noted trends of increasing threats to civil society and decreasing civic space also mirrored in Venezuela and many parts of Latin America.

Interview with Roneo S. Clamor, Deputy Secretary General of Karapatan, Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

Karapatan monitors severe human rights violations in the Philippines including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture. Karapatan has recently published its annual report on the state of human rights in the Philippines titled ‘Blueprint for Terror and Impunity’. Roneo speaks about this report, progress on getting justice for the victims of the horrific Ampatuan massacre in November, 2009 and on the future of civil society and democratic reforms in the Philippines.
For more information click here

The views expressed in this bulletin are a reflection of those contained in the original reports to which they are linked here, and are not necessarily those of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation.


Adam Nord
Devendra Tak
Mandeep Tiwana
Netsanet Belay
Sonia Zilberman
P.O. Box 933
Southdale, 2135
South Africa
1420K Street NW,
Suite 900
Washington D.C.
20005 USA

Jessica Hume
Oluwakorede Asuni

Tel: +27 11 833 5959
Fax:+27 11 833 7997

Tel: +202 331-8518
Fax: +202 331-8774