Covid-19: Asian nations accused by United Nation of censorship during pandemic

United Nation rights chief on Wednesday has expressed alarm that China and Asian nations were using Covid-19 crisis as an excuse to target and tighten censorship and free expression.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in a statement that aside for the tigthened censorship in several countries, there were also arbitrary arrests and detention of people who criticize their government’s response.

She reported that several countries including China, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam have been using the pandemic to tighten and censor any information during this crisis. A move that will likely to cause more harm than good. The High Commissioner reiterated that while she recognized that the government may have a legitimate interest in controlling the spread of misinformation, this should always be proportionate and protect freedom of expression. This pandemic should not be used to restrict disent and sharing of information with others.

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