CSM Survey | Qualitative Questionnaire

a. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION (In past two months)

  1. Are there any groups/ NGOs/ CSOs etc. Which have been stopped from forming and registering an association in order to work collectively for common interests? 
  2. Are there any groups which have experienced unreasonable delays when trying to register or form an organisation?
  3. Have any new laws that hinder or enable freedom of association been introduced and in what ways do they do this?
  4. Is government themselves clear about new procedures of registration or getting NOC’s? if yes, how well they facilitate organization/groups?
  5. Has the government used to be unlawful intervention to deregister or interfere with CSOs?
  6. Have some CSOs (for example those promoting human rights/democracy/good governance) been particularly targeted or been harmed?
  7. Has any institution attempted to undermine/ weaken the advocacy or activism of independence of civil society through various means?
  8. Have any CSOs been prevented from opening or maintaining a bank account?
  9. Have any CSOs been required to undergo unnecessarily frequent (more than the law prescribed) fiscal audits, particularly for human rights organisations?
  10. Have CSOs been prevented/restricted from receiving foreign funding?

b. FREEDOM OF PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY (In the past two months)

  1. What major protests/demonstrations have taken place and what issues are at stake in your area?
  2. Has the government facilitated the exercise of those protests and demonstrations?
  3. Have organisers been required to obtain prior approval for demonstrations?
  4. If only notice is required, has the notice period changed or not been respected by authorities?
  5. Have requests to demonstrate been denied? For what reasons?
  6. Have unjustified ‘time and place’ restrictions been imposed? For example, has the protest or demonstration been moved by the authorities to the borders of the city? Has a protest or demonstration been prevented to reach a particular destination?
  7. Have any protests turned violent? What caused this and how did the government respond?
  8. Does a security force use water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets, or live shells against protestors?
  9. Do security forces make any arbitrary or illegal arrests? If so, has the person or group been charged with a particular crime?
  10. Have the laws in place to regulate gatherings been changed? Do those changes comply with National/ international law and best practice?
  11. Have international or national monitors been allowed to monitor protests or demonstrations?
  12. How has the media reported about these protests? Do they focus on the exercise of the rights and the causes of the protests or just focus on the protests that turn violent?

c. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION (In the past two months)

  1. Has the state interfered with media houses, CSOs, academics or activists right to freely express themselves?
  2. Have journalists, bloggers or activists experienced interference, harassment, and/or physical attacks for being a part of human right activist?
  3. If those attacks occurred, were they performed or initiated by state, non-state actors or both?
  4. Has state-owned media been editorially independent?
  5. Was self-censorship practiced by the media or civil society? Are there certain topics or causes that civil society avoided promoting because of a fear of negative consequences/ effects?
  6. Has there been any attempt by state to restrict expression for vulnerable or disadvantaged groups?
  7. Have people been able to access government information in law and in practice?
  8. Has the state use the legal system to target people or journalists who express critical opinions in public? (for instance through criminal violation)
  9. Was freedom of expression on the internet and social media restricted?
  10. Do people in the country express any new concerns about online privacy and state scrutiny?
  11. What relevant laws have been introduced or changed (Freedom of information, Media regulation/self-regulation, Contempt of court, Censorship) or what actions have been taken by the state, and how do they facilitate or hinder free expression?
d. STATE’S DUTY TO PROTECT (In the past two months)
  1. What has been the situation of individual activists, journalists and human rights defenders?
  2. Have there been verbal threats, physical attacks, enforced disappearances and assassination of activists?
  3. For any abuses that took place against civil society during the reporting period, have the authorities opened an investigation?
  4. Has the state provided any special measures after an attack?
  5. Has the state successfully concluded any prosecutions against civil society?
  6. Have the courts provide a reliable and independent way out/ option for activists?
  7. Has civil society felt more or less protected?
  8. What has been the role of the judiciary when restrictive legislation was passed?