Several countries in North Africa and the Middle East are using the corona crisis to further increase oppression, but the pandemic is also increasing inequality in other places. This has serious consequences for refugees, migrants, prisoners and minorities, human rights organization Amnesty International writes in her on Wednesday annual report.
According to the human rights organization, governments in North Africa and the Middle East are stepping up attacks on freedom of speech. Egypt and Iran punished health workers who criticized corona policy.
Amnesty further lashes out at Israel, which did not provide corona vaccines to the five million Palestinians in the occupied territories. The already vulnerable position of guest workers in countries such as Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia also came under further pressure from the pandemic. After being fired, many had lost income.
Freedom of expression and the press also came under pressure in Hungary, where a five-year prison sentence was imposed for “spreading false information” about the coronavirus. In China, doctors and bloggers who raised the alarm about the new corona virus at an early stage disappeared.
‘Crisis ruthlessly exploited’
Leaders around the world have relentlessly exploited the crisis to continue their attacks on human rights, Amnesty International believes. Recovery is hampered by undermining international cooperation. The organization talks about “dizzying disdain” by leaders for “our collective humanity.”
According to Amnesty International, the crisis has highlighted how countries deliberately divide and maintain policies that cause inequality, discrimination and oppression.
“We are reaping the benefits of years of neglect by government leaders. Under pressure from the pandemic, healthcare has been put to the ultimate test and people have entered financial free fall,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s new secretary general.