On 20 November 2018, human rights defender and photographer Shahidul Alam was released from Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj, following 108 days of detention. The High Court had granted him bail on 15 November 2018. Shahidul Alam was detained at his home by members of the Detective Branch of Police on 5 August 2018. He appeared in court the following day, where he was charged with “spreading propaganda and false information against the government”.
On 20 January 2018, Maria Magdalena Cuc Choc was released on bail. The judge ordered her to pay bail of 5,000 Guatemalan Quetzals (US$682), to remain within the Izabal department, and to sign in regularly at a local tribunal.
On 17 January 2018, María Magdalena Cuc Choc was arbitrarily detained in the city of Puerto Barrios, El Estor, Izabal, ahead of a trial where she is charged for aggravated trespassing, threats and illegal detention.
On 26 October 2018, a member of Movimiento Ríos Vivos Antioquia in Ituango received a threatening message directed to human rights defenders Genaro de Jesus Graciano and Isabel Cristina Zuleta. In addition, members of the Movement have become aware of a threatening pamphlet distributed by the paramilitary group Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia- AGC (Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia), which declares members of Movimiento Rios Vivos as a “military target”.
On 22 September 2018, two relatives of members of the Movimiento Ríos Vivos Antioquia were assassinated, one in the municipality of Briceño and the other in the municipality of Valdivia. These are the latest incidents in a series of attacks against the movement’s members and their families.
Beginning on 14 July 2018, La Resistencia Pacífica de la Microregión de Ixquisis (the Peaceful Resistance of Ixquisis Microregion) and members of the community they represent have conducted a series of protests opposing the violation of their human rights allegedly caused by the activities of the hydroelectric company Energía y Renovación SA formerly known as PDH S.A., and requesting the closure of a military garrison and a police station at the company’s facilities in Ixquisis.
Human rights defender Thabiso Zulu continues to be subjected to intimidation and threats. His human rights work has long caused hostile reactions from those he has exposed for corruption, but the wave of threats and intimidation escalated late last year after he spoke at the memorial service of a friend who had been brutally murdered for exposing corruption, and after he gave evidence to the Moerane Commission of Inquiry, which had been tasked with investigating political killings.
On 21 February 2018, 64-year old human rights defender Isroilzhon Kholdarov was released after having served almost 12 years in prison.