16 May 2021,   22:36
Virulent strain of leaders weaponize the pandemic to further assault human rights - Amnesty International

Amnesty International has published its analysis of human rights trends globally in 2020 on Wednesday. The report covers 149 countries. The organization also writes that thousands were affected by COVID-19 restrictive measures which negatively impacted the economy, leading to increased unemployment and the closure of many businesses.

“We’ve seen a spectrum of responses from our leaders; from the mediocre to mendacious, selfish to the fraudulent. Some have tried to normalise the overbearing emergency measures they’ve ushered in to combat COVID-19, whilst a particularly virulent strain of leader has gone a step further. They have seen this as an opportunity to entrench their own power. Instead of supporting and protecting people, they have simply weaponized the pandemic to wreak havoc on people’s rights.

Authorities passing legislation criminalizing commentary related to the pandemic has been a presiding pattern. Some leaders have used excessive force.

Some leaders have gone a step further, using the distraction of the pandemic to clamp down on criticism – and critics – unrelated to the virus, and perpetrate other human rights violations while the gaze of the world’s media was elsewhere”, - reads the report.