Countries around the world are utilizing the coronavirus as a guise to clamp down on human rights for political motivations.
Though some constraints are undoubtedly imperative to address an outbreak, there is an authentic risk that this crisis could ignite a lasting worldwide backslide in foundational freedoms — and it’s already begun. While an epidemic creates a perfect position for disinformation, numerous governments are using this danger to justify hefty censorship, stifling independent references of information along with any illicitly detrimental content while simultaneously implementing curbs on freedom of expression.
- In Venezuela, a freelance journalist and members of his family were temporarily apprehended and interrogated by the Special Action Forces of the national police. Authorities ordered information about the journalist’s channels for his coronavirus coverage.
- Egypt officials rescinded a Guardian journalist’s credentials who reported on projections of COVID-19’s propagation in the country that refuted government statistics and decried a reporter from the New York Times for tweeting the comparable information.
- Authorities in Turkey have arrested more than 400 people for “provocative” posts regarding the outbreak.
- Hungary passed a state-of-emergency statute that gives the government indeterminate powers to regulate by decree, and altered its criminal code to involve stiff penalties for circulating “false information.”
- South Africa passed ordinances that outlawed content meant to mislead a person about the epidemic or the government’s reaction to it.
- Thailand announced as well emergency prerogatives that include wide criminal bans on COVID-19 information considered untrue, which is “intentionally distorted to mislead the public,” or could “instigate fear.”
During these challenging times, we’d like to persist in furnishing you with pertinent information about coronavirus’ ramifications for democracy, and how we can safeguard principle rights during this time of turmoil. Stay safe everyone.
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