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3 Nov 2016

Nathalie Risse, IISD

New tool MONITOR by CIVICUS reveals 3.2 billion people live in countries where civic space is either repressed or closed

"CIVICUS Launches Civic Freedom Tracker", 27 Oct 2016

CIVICUS launched a beta version of a web platform to track and compare civic freedoms on a global scale. The CIVICUS Monitor is a tool to rate all countries in the world on their “state of civic space,” or how well they uphold the freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression...Among the findings of the rating system, civic space is “closed” in 16 countries: Bahrain, Burundi, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Laos, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. Closed civic space is characterized by an atmosphere of fear and violence, and severe punishment for those who disagree with authorities. In addition, 32 countries are rated as “repressed.” In total, CIVICUS notes, this means that 3.2 billion people live in countries where civic space is either repressed or closed...An analysis...indicates that the three most common violations of civic freedom are: detention of activists (68 cases), use of excessive force against protesters (62 cases) and attacks on journalists (37 cases)....In the vast majority of cases, a press release notes, the State is the perpetrator of these violations.