Surprise, surprise, surprise…
By Kate Hodal, The Guardian
The state of civil liberties around the world is bleak, according to a new study which found that 87% of the global population were living in nations deemed “closed”, “repressed” or “obstructed”.
The figure is a 4% increase on last year’s, as civil rights were found to have deteriorated in almost every country in the world during Covid-19. A number of governments have used the pandemic as an excuse to curtail rights such as free speech, peaceful assembly and freedom of association, according to Civicus Monitor, an alliance of civil society groups which assessed 196 countries.
By using methods such as detention of protesters, excessive use of force, censorship, attacks on journalists, and harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders, many governments have used Covid-19 to “introduce or implement additional restrictions on civic freedoms”, the report said.