[Report] 2021: Fundamental Freedoms in South Asia
7 April 2022 2:18 pm

Civic space is under attack in South Asia. Across the region, increasingly authoritarian governments are relying on a wide range of repressive laws and other tactics to silence criticism, a trend that only intensified in 2021. While the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan is the starkest example of this, almost all other countries saw alarming restrictions imposed on fundamental freedoms over the past year, while governments often used COVID-19 as a pretext for authoritarian policies and actions. Despite this, journalists, human rights defenders, and rights activists are bravely continuing to carry out their crucial work, often at great risk to their and their family’s liberty and security.

This briefing by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) provides an overview of civic space on the South Asian subcontinent in 2021, covering key trends and developments in seven countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

For the full version of this report, click here