Wednesday, Aug 05, 2020 | Last Update : 07:55 PM IST

133rd Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra45795629935616142 Tamil Nadu2682852087844349 Andhra Pradesh176333956251604 Karnataka145830692722704 Delhi1391561252264033 Uttar Pradesh100310572711817 West Bengal80984568841785 Telangana6894649675563 Gujarat65704485612529 Bihar6203140760349 Assam4816233429115 Rajasthan4667932832732 Haryana3779631226448 Odisha3768124483258 Madhya Pradesh3508225414912 Kerala279561629988 Jammu and Kashmir2239614856417 Punjab1901512491462 Jharkhand140705199129 Chhatisgarh10109761369 Uttarakhand8008484795 Goa7075511460 Tripura5520367528 Puducherry4147253758 Manipur301818147 Himachal Pradesh2879171013 Nagaland24056594 Arunachal Pradesh179011053 Chandigarh120671520 Meghalaya9173305 Sikkim7832971 Mizoram5022820
  World   Europe  27 Apr 2020  Violating fundamental rights in the name of Covid would lead to a human rights disaster: UN

Violating fundamental rights in the name of Covid would lead to a human rights disaster: UN

AFP
Published : Apr 27, 2020, 4:45 pm IST
Updated : Apr 27, 2020, 4:45 pm IST

Police and other security forces using excessive force to make people abide by lockdowns are reported worldwide

Representational Image. (Photo: Murali Krishna)
 Representational Image. (Photo: Murali Krishna)

Geneva: The UN rights chief warned Monday that countries flouting the rule of law in the name of fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic risk sparking a "human rights disaster".

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called on countries to refrain from violating fundamental rights "under the guise of exceptional or emergency measures."

 

"Emergency powers should not be a weapon governments can wield to quash dissent, control the population, and even perpetuate their time in power," she warned in a statement.

"They should be used to cope effectively with the pandemic -- nothing more, nothing less."

Her comments came after more than 200,000 people have perished in the pandemic and nearly three million have been infected worldwide by the novel coronavirus since it surfaced in China late last year.

Bachelet acknowledged that states have the right to restrict some rights to protect public health, but she insisted that any restrictions should be necessary, proportionate and non-discriminatory, and also limited in duration.

 

"There have been numerous reports from different regions that police and other security forces have been using excessive, and at times lethal, force to make people abide by lockdowns and curfews," she said, lamenting that "such violations have often been committed against people belonging to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population."

"Shooting, detaining, or abusing someone for breaking a curfew because they are desperately searching for food is clearly an unacceptable and unlawful response.

"So is making it difficult or dangerous for a woman to get to hospital to give birth."

Incalculable damage

"In some cases, people are dying because of the inappropriate application of measures that have been supposedly put in place to save them," Bachelet said.

 

She also decried the mass arrests in some countries over curfew violations as "both unnecessary and unsafe."

"Jails and prisons are high-risk environments, and states should focus on releasing whoever can be safely released, not detaining more people."

The UN rights chief also warned that efforts to rein in dangerous misinformation around the pandemic were in some cases being used as an excuse to crack down on legitimate free speech.

"It is important to counter misinformation, but shutting down the free exchange of ideas and information not only violates rights, but it also undermines trust," she said.

"Undermining rights such as freedom of expression may do incalculable damage to the effort to contain COVID-19 and its pernicious socioeconomic side-effects," she warned.

 

Bachelet also insisted that any exceptional measures or state of emergencies introduced in the name of fighting COVID-19 should be subject to proper parliamentary, judicial and public oversight to avoid abuses.

"If the rule of law is not upheld, then the public health emergency risks becoming a human rights disaster, with negative effects that will long outlast the pandemic itself," she said.

Tags: michelle bachelet, united nations, coronavirus, covid-19, lockdown, measures, police brutality