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Afghanistan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Albania

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Algeria

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Andorra

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Angola

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Antigua and Barbuda

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Argentina

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Armenia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Australia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Austria

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Azerbaijan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Bahamas

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Bahrain

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Bangladesh

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Barbados

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Belarus

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Belgium

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Belize

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Benin

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Bhutan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Bolivia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Botswana

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Brazil

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Brunei

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Bulgaria

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Burkina Faso

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Burma

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Burundi

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Cabo Verde

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Cambodia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

The April 2020 state of emergency law, which the prime minister claimed was necessary because of the COVID-19 pandemic, allows the government to ban or limit freedoms of travel, assembly, and information distribution and the ability to leave one’s home during a declared emergency. NGOs and UN experts condemned the law, arguing that it lacked an effective oversight mechanism and could be used to infringe on the rights of the people. As of November the government had not declared a state of emergency under this law.

Cameroon

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Canada

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Central African Republic

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Foreign Travel: Between March and May, the Bangui prosecutor issued travel bans on opposition leaders, Anicet-Georges Dologuele, Martin Ziguele, Karim Meckassoua, and Aurelien Simplice Zingas. Border police executed the decision, preventing three from boarding flights at Bangui International Airport between March and June. Zingas challenged the decision before the Bangui Administrative Court. On May 25, in its ruling at first instance, the court ordered the lifting of the measures and restitution of his travel documents.

Chad

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Chile

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

China (Includes Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet)

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Colombia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Comoros

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Costa Rica

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Cote d’Ivoire

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Crimea

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Croatia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Cuba

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Cyprus

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Czech Republic

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Denmark

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Djibouti

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Dominica

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Dominican Republic

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Ecuador

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Egypt

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

El Salvador

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Equatorial Guinea

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Eritrea

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Estonia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Eswatini

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Ethiopia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Fiji

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Finland

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Temporary Protection: From January to August, the government provided subsidiary protection to 102 individuals who did not qualify as refugees but who were deemed to qualify for subsidiary protection. During the same period, the government also offered humanitarian residence permits to 125 individuals based on “other grounds,” including medical and compassionate grounds.

France

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Gabon

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Gambia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Georgia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Germany

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Ghana

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Greece

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Grenada

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Guatemala

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Guinea

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Freedom of Expression for Members of the Press and Other Media, Including Online Media: Independent and opposition-owned media were active and generally expressed a wide variety of views. Print media had limited reach. Radio remained the most important source of information for the public, and numerous private stations broadcast throughout the country. FM radio call-in shows were popular and allowed citizens to express broad discontent with the government. An increase in online news websites reflected the growing demand for divergent views. Nevertheless, allegations against or criticism of the Conde government could result in government reprisals, including suspensions, fines, and arrests. The CNRD reportedly engaged in reprisal against a media outlet that was affiliated with former president Conde.

Violence and Harassment: There were reports of arbitrary arrests, harassment, and intimidation of journalists by Conde government officials and CNRD transition authorities.

On July 18, police arrested journalist Habib Marouane Kamara in Conakry and took him to the Office of the Director of Judicial Police where he was questioned for several hours. According to his lawyer, Kamara was sued for defamation and blackmail following a complaint by the new director of the Guinea Water Company. Kamara previously criticized the appointments of water company executives, including the CEO’s wife, on his Facebook page. The Union of Private Press Professionals denounced his arrest and the lack of a judicial summons. Authorities released Kamara after two nights in police custody.

On October 9, security forces raided the compound of Djoma Media, a private media outlet with reported ties to former president Conde. The military claimed they were searching for missing government vehicles, although they did not have a warrant to enter the compound. Gunfire erupted at the scene, reportedly injuring two persons, after Djoma Media security guards refused to grant access.

Censorship or Content Restrictions: The Conde government penalized media outlets and journalists who broadcasted items criticizing government officials and their actions. Some journalists accused government officials of attempting to influence the tone of their reporting.

There were also reports CNRD authorities restricted journalists from covering certain transition government meetings and froze the assets of Djoma Media, a media outlet linked to former president Conde. According to media sources, the bank accounts were frozen due to “unjustified movements of money.” Djoma Media’s founder, Kabinet Sylla (known as “Bill Gates”), was a former government official and confidant of former president Conde. At year’s end the accounts remained inaccessible.

On October 8, according to Reporters Without Borders, CNRD authorities restricted several private television stations from filming CNRD Prime Minister Mohamed Beagovui’s swearing-in ceremony. State-owned Radio Television Guinea was often the only media outlet invited to cover Conde government meetings; it remained the only platform for official CNRD announcements to the public.

Libel/Slander Laws: Libel against the head of state, slander, and false reporting are criminal offenses subject to imprisonment up to five years and heavy fines. Conde government officials used these laws to harass opposition leaders and journalists. Journalists alleged the defamation lawsuits targeted persons critical of the government to silence dissent.

On February 4, a Conakry court sentenced sports journalist Ibrahima Sadio Bah to six months in prison and a monetary fine for defaming Mamadou Antonio Souare, the president of the national soccer federation.

On February 27, authorities arrested and detained sports journalist and historian Amadou Dioulde Diallo for allegedly insulting President Conde during a radio talk show. Reporters Without Borders, local press associations, and the Guinean Organization for the Defense of Human Rights expressed concern regarding the arrest and denounced his imprisonment, claiming that it was a violation of the law on freedom of the press. On May 19, a court sentenced him to a substantial fine and released him.

In January three journalists detained since 2018 from the private radio station Nostalgie FM, were prosecuted for “defamation, slanderous denunciation, and insults.” The journalists were sentenced on January 13 to two months’ imprisonment with suspended sentences and fined. During a 2018 episode of their radio show Africa 2025, a former teacher from the undergraduate school Saint Joseph de Cliny called in to denounce the working conditions at the school. In response the director of the school filed a complaint against the journalists who hosted the broadcast. The journalists’ lawyer announced they would appeal the decision. As of December the appeal was pending with the Conakry Court of Appeals. Several local press associations issued a press statement announcing their support for the journalists and advocated the cancellation of their sentence. On January 15, the Union of Private Press Professionals held a sit-in at the court to denounce the decision.

In December 2020 Minister of Technical Education and Vocational Training Zenab Nabaya Drame sued the three journalists for defamation for publishing a story implicating her in the embezzlement of approximately 219 billion Guinean Francs (GNF) ($22.3 million) in public funds as minister and in former positions as finance director in the Ministries of Health and Agriculture. The minister withdrew the suit in February after the court ruled that it could not proceed with the case while there was an ongoing investigation into the allegations of embezzlement (see section 4, Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government).

National Security: Authorities used the law to punish journalists and executives at media outlets critical of the government.

In November 2020, after being detained for three weeks, Guinean-Canadian pro-opposition blogger Mamady Conde (alias Madic 100 Frontieres) was charged with slander, threats, xenophobia, inciting a revolt, and harming the fundamental interests of the state. He was convicted on February 8 and sentenced to five years in prison and fined for “downloading and disseminating messages, photos, drawings of a racist nature, xenophobia, threat, violence and insults through a computer system.” His sentence was reduced to one year on June 10 after an appeal. Then president Conde pardoned Mamady Conde in addition to three other high-profile opposition members in July after the four wrote letters of contrition seeking clemency.

Guinea-Bissau

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Guyana

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Haiti

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Honduras

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Hong Kong

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Hungary

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Iceland

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

India

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Indonesia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Violence and Harassment: From January to August, the Alliance of Independent Journalists reported 24 cases of violence against journalists that included doxing, physical assaults, and verbal intimidation and threats perpetrated by various actors, including government officials, police and security personnel, members of mass organizations, and the general public.

On March 4, Yasmin Bali, a journalist for Malukunews.com, was assaulted by Galib Warang, reportedly a friend of West Seram Regent Muhammad Yasin Payapo, in Maluku Province. Bali and several journalists had originally come to the regent’s office to interview the regional secretary. While waiting for the interview, Bali attempted to take a photo, at which point Warang punched him. Media reported that the assault happened in front of the regent. As of September 16, Warang was on trial for the incident.

On March 27 in Surabaya, East Java, security guards assaulted Nurhadi (no last name), a journalist for Tempo magazine, who was covering a story about a former Ministry of Finance official named as a suspect in a corruption case. Nurhadi went to the official’s daughter’s wedding reception to collect information for the report. While escorting Nurhadi from the reception, security guards allegedly destroyed his phone, punched him, and threatened to kill him. Nurhadi was taken to a second location where he was interrogated and beaten by two police officers. In May police named the two officers, Purwanto (no last name) and Firman Subkh, as suspects for assaulting Nurhadi. As of November 24, the trial for the two officers was ongoing. The suspects were not detained during the trial per a request from Surabaya Police.

In May IndonesiaLeaks, a joint investigative journalism project, reported the attempted hacking of websites and personal social media accounts of those associated with the project. Journalists associated with the project also reported that police followed them and took photos as they interviewed sources at cafes. The alleged intimidation occurred after IndonesiaLeaks made public its investigation into the head of the Corruption Eradication Commission and the reasons behind his alleged use of a civil service test to weaken the commission (see section 4). As a result of threats and intimidation, IndonesiaLeaks discontinued the use of its Twitter account in June.

In July the Bukit Barisan Regional Military Command identified four soldiers as suspects in the June 19 killing of Mara Salem Harahap, editor in chief of lassernewstoday.com, in Simalungun Regency, North Sumatra Province. Police had previously named two other suspects, the owner and staff of a local nightclub, in the killing. Police reported that Harahap often visited the nightclub and threatened to report on its involvement in drug trafficking if he was not given free drugs. The nightclub owner provided money to one of the soldiers to “deter” Harahap from continuing this extortion. On September 13, one of the soldiers, Awaluddin (no last name), died due to unknown causes at a hospital. As of October 28, another soldier, Dani Effendi, was reportedly on trial in military court for his involvement in the killing. As of October 28, the trial for the owner and staff of the night club was ongoing.

Censorship or Content Restrictions: The Attorney General’s Office has authority to monitor written material and request a court order to ban written material; this power was apparently not used during the year.

The Broadcasting Commission has the power to restrict content broadcast on television and radio and used that authority to restrict content deemed offensive. On March 17, the commission issued a circular on television programs aired during the month of Ramadan, which contained a provision that programs not show physical intimacy such as kissing or cuddling. Another provision prohibited television programs from having lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer content. In June the commission issued a list of 42 English-language songs that were prohibited from being played before 10 p.m. due to their content. Included in the list were songs by Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, and Busta Rhymes.

The government-supervised Film Censorship Institute censored domestic and imported movies for content deemed religiously or otherwise offensive.

Libel/Slander Laws: Criminal defamation provisions prohibit libel and slander, which are punishable with five-year prison terms. The truth of a statement is not a defense.

NGOs alleged that government officials, including police and the judiciary, selectively used criminal defamation to intimidate individuals and restrict freedom of expressions.

On June 22, Andi Dharmawansyah was sentenced to one month in jail for defaming Andi Suryanto Asapa, the former district head of health for Sinjai Regency, South Sulawesi Province. On February 16, Dharmawansyah posted an accusation online that Asapa was the mastermind behind cuts to a compensation fund intended for the heirs of health workers who died from COVID-19.

On September 10, presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko filed criminal defamation complaints with police against researchers from Indonesia Corruption Watch. The criminal complaint focuses on statements made by the organization in July accusing Moeldoko of having a conflict of interest in promoting the use of Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 because of his daughter’s close relationship with PT Harsen Laboratories, the producer of Ivermectin. Moeldoko denied that his daughter had any business relationship with PT Hansen Laboratories. Prior to filing these charges, Moeldoko sent three cease and desist letters to Indonesia Corruption Watch, the first delivered on July 29. As of year’s end, the Criminal Investigative Agency of the police was investigating the complaint.

On September 22, Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan filed criminal and civil defamation complaints with police against Fatia Maulidiyanti, coordinator for KontraS, and Haris Azhar, executive director of the Lokataru Foundation. The complaints focus on statements made by Maulidiyanti in an August 20 video hosted on Azhar’s YouTube channel accusing Pandjaitan of having an economic interest in the conflict in Papua, based on an August report by a coalition of 10 NGOs on mining interests in Papua. Pandjaitan’s lawyers and spokesperson denied the activists’ accusations and stated they lacked a factual basis for claiming Pandjaitan has a conflict of interest in Papua. As of year’s end, the Criminal Investigative Agency was investigating the complaint after efforts to arrange mediation sessions between the parties stalled.

National Security: The government used legal provisions barring advocacy of separatism to restrict the ability of individuals and media to advocate peacefully for self-determination or independence in different parts of the country.

Nongovernmental Impact: Hardline Muslim groups sometimes intimidated perceived critics of Islam. On September 3, a group destroyed an Ahmadiyya mosque in Sintang Regency, West Kalimantan Province. The destruction of the mosque followed protests against the Ahmadi by a group called the Alliance of the Islamic Ummah and an August 14 order by the Sintang regent closing the mosque. Police arrested 22 individuals in connection with the case, naming three of those arrested as potential masterminds of the attack. As of November 24, government officials were investigating the incident and the involvement of hardline groups and the local government.

Criminal groups also reportedly used intimidation and violence against journalists who exposed their operations. On June 13, unknown persons set fire to the house of Syahzara Sopian, a journalist for a local newspaper in Binjai, North Sumatra. On June 26, four unknown armed persons, in an apparent attempt to kill him, attacked Sopian in a cafe; Sopian escaped. As of July 14, police had arrested five individuals and were still pursuing four other suspects in the case. Police reported that the apparent motive for the arson and attempted murder was Sopian’s reporting on an illegal gambling ring operating in the city.

On November 7, a group calling itself the “Homeland Militant Defender Army” threw an explosive device into the house of the parents of human rights activist Veronica Koman in Jakarta, leaving behind a note containing threats and demanding that Koman return to the country. No one was injured in the bombing. Koman went to Australia in late 2019 after police stated she would be arrested on charges of inciting violent protests related to Papua. A police spokesperson stated that the bombing was likely related to Koman’s activism related to the situation in Papua. As of November 24, there has been no update on the status of the police investigation into the attack.

Iran

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Iraq

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Ireland

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Israel, West Bank and Gaza

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Italy

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Speech based on racial, ethnic, national, or religious discrimination is a crime punishable by up to 18 months in prison. Detention is legitimate only in the case of serious violation of fundamental rights and hate crimes. Holocaust denial is an aggravating circumstance carrying additional penalties in judicial proceedings.

Libel/Slander Laws: The law criminalizes defamation and libel with penalties of up to three years in prison. On June 22, the Constitutional Court ruled unconstitutional a law punishing libel and defamation with up to six years of imprisonment if committed through the press and consisting of “attribution of a specific fact.” Criminal penalties for libel were seldom carried out, but on April 21, a Rome judge sentenced a former editor and a journalist of daily newspaper La Repubblica to pay 50,000 euros ($57,500) to former interior minister Matteo Salvini as compensation for an article regarding a canceled trip to Israel.

Nongovernmental Impact: The NGO Reporters without Borders stated there was growing hostility toward reporters, mainly due to organized crime-affiliated threats. According to the NGO, approximately 20 journalists – mostly in Rome and the South – received around-the-clock police protection because of serious threats or murder attempts. In Rome reporters were at times harassed by neo-Fascist activists and became targets of criticism and harassment on social media platforms by private and political activists.

Police reported 123 cases of intimidation against journalists between January and July compared with 103 during the same period in 2020. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) alleged some attacks against reporters. It reported that on April 11, an unidentified man attacked Rete-4 TV reporter Carmen La Gatta and two support staffers while they were conducting interviews in the northwestern city of Cuneo, using physical force including a metal chain to attack the reporting team and the vehicle in which they were traveling. According to the CPJ, on August 28, a mob in Rome protesting the country’s measures against COVID-19 surrounded Antonella Alba, a journalist working for public broadcaster Rai News 24. The mob harassed her verbally, assaulted and injured her physically, and tried to steal her cell phone.

The CPJ also reported that on August 30, at another rally in Rome against the anti-COVID-19 measures, a protester threatened to leave Francesco Giovannetti, a video journalist for La Repubblica, “lying on the ground” unless he turned off his camera. The protester then punched Giovannetti in the face four or five times. One report stated police intervened and apprehended the attacker and that Giovannetti was taken to the hospital and treated for head injuries.

Reporters without Borders reported that journalists exposed to threats by criminal organizations increasingly chose to self-censor out of fear. In February and April, the editor of the Livorno-based daily Il Tirreno reported verbal attacks, threats, and a physical assault against journalists at the newspaper. The newspaper also received a tape recording threatening a violent attack against the newsroom.

On April 15, a Bari court convicted a member of an organized crime gang to 16 months in jail for violence and threats against Maria Grazia Mazzola, a journalist from the national broadcaster Rai.

The National Federation of Italian Press also reported 110 cases of threats made against journalists between January and June, 18 of which were made by organized crime gangs and 36 of which were made by extremist political organizations.

Jamaica

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Japan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Jordan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Kazakhstan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Kenya

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Kiribati

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Kosovo

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Kuwait

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Kyrgyzstan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Laos

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Latvia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Electronic media are legally required to present news and current affairs programs with due accuracy and impartiality. All companies, including media and other publishers, are required to disclose their ownership, and this data is publicly available. Electronic mass media are required to disclose their ultimate beneficiaries and to report any changes to the media regulator.

The Latvian Journalists Association expressed concern regarding local newspapers’ independence and viability.

Lebanon

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Lesotho

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Liberia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Libya

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Liechtenstein

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Lithuania

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Luxembourg

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Madagascar

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Malawi

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Malaysia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Maldives

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Mali

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Malta

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Marshall Islands

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Mauritania

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Mauritius

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Mexico

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Micronesia

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Moldova

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Monaco

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Mongolia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Montenegro

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Morocco

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Mozambique

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Namibia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Nauru

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Durable Solutions: The government grants five-year visas to asylum seekers after they receive refugee determination.

Nepal

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Netherlands

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

New Zealand

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Nicaragua

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Niger

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Nigeria

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North Korea

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North Macedonia

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Norway

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Oman

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Pakistan

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Palau

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Panama

Papua New Guinea

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Paraguay

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Peru

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Philippines

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Poland

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Portugal

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Qatar

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Republic of the Congo

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Romania

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Russia

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Rwanda

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Saint Lucia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Samoa

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San Marino

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Sao Tome and Principe

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Saudi Arabia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Senegal

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Serbia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Seychelles

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Sierra Leone

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Singapore

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Slovakia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Slovenia

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Solomon Islands

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Somalia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

According to media rights organizations, FGS security forces regularly attacked and harassed journalists attempting to cover demonstrations and other antigovernment events. The SJS reported that on April 25, NISA officers stopped Universal TV reporters Mohamed Ibrahim Bulbul and Khalid Maki at gunpoint as they were leaving the scene of violent antigovernment protests in Mogadishu’s Karan district, attempted to confiscate their equipment, and forced them to delete their footage or risk being shot.

On May 3, Radio Mustaqbal filed a lawsuit with the Attorney General’s Office against then NISA director general Fahad Yasin and Office of the President Deputy Chief of Staff Abdinur Mohamed Ahmed for allegedly directing an April 27 raid on Radio Mustaqbal’s offices using Turkish-trained “Cheetah” special police forces. According to the complaint, armed Cheetah officers forcibly entered Radio Mustaqbal’s offices and ordered the staff on duty to come down at gunpoint, after which they beat and harassed radio editor Bashir Mohamud Yusuf before confiscating computers, external hard drives, laptops, cell phones, and cameras. The radio station’s programming was reportedly suspended until the next morning. According to the media outlet’s director, a Benadir police official personally apologized for the raid, but authorities did not return seized equipment. As of September the attorney general had not taken action on the complaint.

On September 5, police officers assaulted Goobjoog News producer Bashir Mohamud Weheliye and Universal TV reporter Guled Abdi Salad as they attempted to cover a public protest. According to the National Union of Somali Journalists, heavily armed police were recorded dragging Weheliye on the ground and throwing him into a police van during the arrest, while others forcibly confiscated Salad’s equipment. Weheliye was released without charge after being held briefly at a local police station.

Al-Shabaab also engaged in violence and harassment of journalists. For example, on March 1, two unidentified men shot and killed journalist Jamal Farah Adan in Galkayo. Adan had received threats from al-Shabaab in response to reporting and commentary that he posted on his Facebook page, and the terrorist group later took credit for the killing.

Somaliland authorities continued to fine and arbitrarily arrest journalists for defamation and other alleged crimes, including meeting with colleagues. Penalties included prison terms ranging from a few days to several months, as well as fines. Journalists were intimidated and imprisoned for conducting investigations into corruption or topics deemed sensitive, such as investment agreements regarding the Berbera Port or the conflict between Somaliland and Puntland concerning the disputed Sool and Sanaag regions. In April the NGO Human Rights Center Somaliland reported that authorities had arrested or detained seven journalists in connection with their work. On April 23, Somaliland police arrested MMTV reporter Abdiqadir Mohamed Abdilahi in Borama after he interviewed Hassan Dehehe, a religious leader who allegedly supported President Farmaajo. On August 19, police arrested Burao-based journalist and social activist Abdi Malik Coldoon after he accused the president of Barwaqo University of Abaarso on Facebook of promoting infidelity in Somaliland.

Censorship or Content Restrictions: Journalists engaged in rigorous self-censorship to avoid reprisals. Radio Barawe in Lower Shabelle region, an outlet shut down by government authorities due to its broadcasts in a local dialect in April 2020, continued to face forcible censorship and harassment. In January authorities again forced the station to close for several days and arrested one of its journalists, Osman Aweys Bahar, after the outlet broadcast a report regarding alleged marginalization of some local residents in government services and development projects.

The Committee to Protect Journalists and other international media rights organizations documented widespread state capture of media by the country’s FMS governments, with reports of direct censorship of media products by state officials. The Puntland and Jubaland FMS drew criticism, with state leaders’ communications and press offices often using coercive tools and bribery to interfere with outlets’ editorial setup, as well as taking action designed to control which media houses could operate within their jurisdictions. For example, on February 22, Puntland security personnel in Bosaso arrested Ahmed Botan Arab, a journalist who posted a video report on his Facebook page with interviews with members of the public regarding their reactions to a speech made by Puntland President Said Deni. Authorities drove Arab to the city’s presidential palace, where a police officer asked him to remove the video, which the reporter refused to do. He was transferred to a police station and held without charge until February 24, when he was released unconditionally.

Al-Shabaab banned journalists from reporting news that undermined Islamic law as interpreted by al-Shabaab and forbade persons in areas under its control from listening to international media outlets.

Libel/Slander Laws: Laws providing criminal penalties for publication of “false news” existed throughout the country, including Somaliland. The law criminalizes blasphemy and defamation of Islam, with punishments including monetary fines, up to two years in prison, or both.

National Security: Federal and regional authorities frequently cited national security concerns to suppress media and other criticism and to prevent press coverage of opposition political figures.

On February 8, NISA forces raided the offices of Somali Cable TV in Mogadishu, damaging equipment, holding staff at gunpoint, and assaulting them physically. Security agents accused journalists of recording activities at a secret NISA detention center adjacent to the Somali Cable TV building.

Nongovernmental Impact: Clan militias, criminal organizations, and terrorist groups, foremost among them al-Shabaab, actively sought to inhibit freedom of expression, including for members of the press, when it suited their interests.

South Africa

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

South Korea

South Sudan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Spain

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Sri Lanka

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Sudan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Suriname

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Sweden

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Switzerland

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Syria

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Taiwan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Tajikistan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Foreign Travel: Individuals in some cases do not have the right to leave the country due to arbitrary and inconsistent restrictions. Civil society organizations asserted that the regulation requiring the Ministry of Education’s approval for all students wishing to study abroad is a restriction of citizens’ rights to freedom of movement inside and outside the country and is a violation of the country’s international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

At times border security guards placed arbitrary restrictions on citizens wishing to travel abroad. On August 3, a group traveling to Russia via Uzbekistan complained that they could not cross the Sarazm checkpoint on the border between the country and Uzbekistan because the checkpoint was closed from the Tajik side. Two days later, local authorities said that the issue had been resolved and the individuals had been allowed to cross. According to relatives of those who crossed, they were successful only after paying a bribe to the country’s border guards. On July 28, a similar situation occurred at the Fotehobod border checkpoint on the border with Uzbekistan. Local authorities said the border was closed and those wishing to cross required an official permit or invitation from Uzbekistan.

Access to Basic Services: Refugees and asylum seekers shared unhindered access to social, education, and health services with local citizens. Although UNHCR’s activities were mostly focused on advocacy and protection, it maintained a limited humanitarian component to render assistance to the most vulnerable families. UNHCR through its NGO partner Refugees, Children, and Vulnerable Citizens provided books, school uniforms, and language classes to children from vulnerable families and assistance with medical expenses. When refugees and asylum seekers faced legal issues, UNHCR’s legal assistance partner assisted clients in obtaining judicial redress, while providing training and awareness-raising sessions to local authorities to strengthen their understanding of refugee rights.

Durable Solutions: The law does not provide for expedited naturalization, leaving refugees on equal standing with nonrefugee foreigners when applying for citizenship. As a prerequisite, refugees should denounce their refugee status and apply for a temporary residence permit to be able to apply further for naturalization. To date no such precedent has been recorded.

Tanzania

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Thailand

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Tibet

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Timor-Leste

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Togo

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Tonga

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Trinidad and Tobago

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Tunisia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Turkey

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Turkmenistan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Tuvalu

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Uganda

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Ukraine

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

United Arab Emirates

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

United Kingdom

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Uruguay

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Uzbekistan

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Vanuatu

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Venezuela

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Vietnam

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

West Bank and Gaza

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Yemen

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Zambia

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

Zimbabwe

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties