Ban Ki-moon defends civil society and democracy activists on Human Rights Day

The UN Secretary-General issued a message on Human Rights Day, 10 December, warning that "In several parts of the world, we have seen alarming threats to hard-won gains in democratic governance. In some countries, civil society groups face growing pressures and restrictions. Legislation has been introduced specifically targeting civil society organizations and making it almost impossible for them to operate. Champions of democracy have encountered new confrontational measures. We should all be troubled by such backsliding."