The 2014 annual report from Front Line Defenders cites restrictive legislation as a major concern for global human rights defenders (HRDs). The report highlights many countries around the world that have used legal and regulatory measures to crack down on civil society and HRDs in particular. They also found documented instances of at least 26 HRDs who were killed for their work promoting human rights. According to the report:

  • “Legislation ranged from laws regulating NGOs and access to funding(Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, South Sudan), to laws on public assembly(Egypt), media (Burundi, Kenya), public order (Uganda), sexual orientation and gender identity (Russian Federation, Uganda, Ukraine). In some cases, these laws introduced an outright ban on the publication of materials on a set list of issues (Burundi); introduced disproportionately heavy prison sentences, up to 15 years, for ‘publishing false information’ (The Gambia); or granted the authorities the right to dissolve an organisation for virtually any minor violation of the law (Ecuador).”

More information on the report can be found here.