Stories about Free Expression from April, 2020
"During the global pandemic, we need to stop the war and internet shutdown to fight COVID-19 in Rakhine."
Two bloggers have been arrested for accusing local authorities of corruption in relation to aid distribution, while a journalist who criticized the health minister faced insults online.
Prominent blogger and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah has gone on a hunger strike to protest his unlawful detention, his family said.
"Resorting to censorship, especially in its extreme form, in a time of crisis reflects the insecurity of the government of the day."
As part of their measures to counter COVID-19, Jordan, Oman, Morocco, the UAE and Yemen, have all banned print newspapers until further notice.
Following outcry from human rights groups and citizens, a controversial bill that sought to criminalize the spread of ‘’fake news’’ online was quickly withdrawn.
COVID-19 measures in the MENA region have especially targeted some of the most vulnerable groups such as detained human rights defenders, migrant workers and independent media.
Serbian government revokes controversial COVID-19-related decree used as pretext to arrests journalists
Public outcry after arrest of journalist embarrassed the Serbian government, which revoked its decree aimed at centralizing flow of information about COVID-19 epidemic.
Activist and human rights groups are worried that free speech is being undermined in the name of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.