Uk News Our focus on Covid-19 has masked a wave of human rights abuses around the world United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Leaders have used Covid-19 as both cover and excuse to stamp down on liberties
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Forgive me, for I bring you more bad news. Not what you need, on the day many Britons are starting to believe we will meet again, that good times will be back. But, when we wake up to that new dawn, the world will have changed utterly and mostly for the worse.Through these long, hard months of rules and lockdowns and relentless scientific and medical information, millions of us are exhausted and have experienced an unshakeable hum of fear. Think of it as psychological tinnitus. This pandemic is all-consuming. We can’t think of anyone or anything beyond our own circles and small desires.But we must. Our Government has cavalierly bypassed probity, transparency, Civil Service rules, constitutional requirements, parliamentary scrutiny and established procedures because, hey, these niceties don’t matter during a national emergency. Matt Hancock used this excuse after the Supreme Court ruled he had acted unlawfully by failing to comply with the Government’s transparency principles. Several Tory cronies have become Covid profiteers. Such corruption will carry on after the Covid crisis. In the global east and south, greedier and more ruthless statesmen are now using any means necessary to consolidate their positions.i's opinion newsletter: talking points from todayEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription.After 2001, “terrorism” was used by autocrats and democratically elected Western politicians – Tony Blair being among the most fanatical – to illegitimately constrain individuals and movements. Few could resist their might. Guantanamo Bay is still open and dehumanising detainees. A newly released film, The Mauritanian, based on a memoir of an ex-inmate, reveals the horrors we accepted and still do.
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.The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has issued this alert: “Using the pandemic as a pretext, authorities in some countries have deployed heavy-handed security responses and emergency measures to crush dissent, criminalise basic freedoms, silence independent reporting and restrict the activities of nongovernmental organisations… Human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, political activists – even medical professionals – have been detained, prosecuted and subjected to intimidation and surveillance for criticising government responses to the pandemic. Pandemic-related restrictions have been used to subvert electoral processes and weaken opposition voices.”A recent report by Human Rights Watch found that at least 83 countries had used Covid-19 as a justification to impose harsh restrictions. According to Kate Allen, the director of Amnesty International UK: “The pandemic has added another layer to existing and unfolding human rights crises around the world.” Read More Human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield heads up People’s Covid Inquiry into Government’s pandemic response Where to start and where to end with this grim inventory? Here are a few illustrative examples: India was among the first to go rogue, writes author Kapil Komireddi in Foreign Policy magazine: “The pandemic, in fact, was invoked early on to sanctify a brazen attempt by the government to muzzle the press: a week after imposing the lockdown, [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi sought a directive from the Supreme Court of India requiring the press to self-censor and turn itself into a bulletin board for government propaganda.”Nic Cheeseman, Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham, gives credit to African nations for handling the Covid crisis well and decisively, but warns that “lurking in the shadows of this more positive narrative is a more troubling one. In much, but by no means all, of the continent the effective response to Covid-19 came at the cost of human rights and democracy, further entrenching authoritarian regimes. The real political story of 2020 is therefore not the containment of Covid-19, but the way in which this set in motion twin processes of repression and resistance.”PPE is being made by virtually enslaved North Korean women in secret factories in China. Other egregious violations are being committed by the Chinese authorities on the mainland and in Hong Kong. And in the Gulf, migrant workers are arbitrarily detained in appalling conditions, their wages confiscated. Israel is denying vaccines to Palestinians, an example of state leaders using Covid as a weapon. The military takeover of Myanmar happened over this period – hundreds of thousands are protesting against the new rulers and that will lead to countless infections and deaths.So, that business trip to Hong Kong, Beijing, Mumbai? The dream holidays in Goa, Myanmar, lovely African coast resorts, Turkey and elsewhere? All that will be possible within a few months. Holidays, says a relative, “will be going for a song”. But will you fly over knowing what is being done to the people? And how safe and good will you feel? Humans are physically vulnerable when a contagion strikes. But we don’t have to be morally feeble, too.
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