Report shows impact of COVID on press freedom
Amnesty International has warned the international community that the coronavirus pandemic threatens freedom of expression and independent media coverage.
“The right to freedom of expression has come under attack globally amid the COVID-19 pandemic and has heightened the dangers posed by the public health crisis,” the organization said on Tuesday.
“Freedom of expression is vitally important, as the free flow of accurate, factual and timely information increases awareness of health risks and how to prevent and manage them. “
As a result of the government’s crackdown, many people found themselves without access to information about the coronavirus and therefore did not know how to protect themselves and those around them, he said.
The report cited China’s suppression of information about the coronavirus as a particularly fateful example.
As early as December 2019, medical staff and citizen journalists in the Chinese city of Wuhan tried to draw attention to the outbreak of the then-unknown disease.
Rather than being heard, they were sued by the government for their actions, according to the report.
As of February 2020, 5,511 people who published information about the COVID-19 outbreak had been investigated for “deliberately fabricating and disseminating false and damaging information,” according to Amnesty.