COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker

Keep Civic Space Healthy

This tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws. For information about our methodology, click here.

For more information and analysis by region, click here.

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The COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker is a collaborative effort by the ICNL, ECNL, and our global network of partners, with generous research support from the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin. This is an ongoing effort, and we welcome you to email us at epage@icnl.org and simona@ecnl.org to share additional resources.


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Algeria

Crackdown on Opposition Activism during Pandemic

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Algerian government has arrested at least one prominent journalist, has lengthened the sentence of another on charges of "affronting national unity" and "affronting the morale of the army," and has issued summons for dozens of activists. Many of the summons and arrests are related to activists' posts on social media. According to critics, the government's actions amount to a crackdown on dissent, at a time when protests and marches remain prohibited on account of the virus. Although courts suspended some proceedings, they continued to process cases against anti-government activists. Additionally, while authorities granted amnesty to a number of prisoners to reduce prison population density and combat the spread of COVID-19, opposition activists were excluded from the amnesty. 

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: practice
Date Introduced: 23 Apr 2020
Issue(s): Discrimination, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Argentina

Decree No. 298 on the Suspension of Administrative Deadlines

The decree suspends the usual deadlines for administrative processes regulated by the National Administrative Procedures Act No. 19.549, including the processing of requests for public information. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 19 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Access to Information
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Armenia

No. 298-N Declaring a State of Emergency

The decree declares a "state of emergency" to respond to the novel coronavirus, and provides for the suspension of certain constitutional rights and freedoms, including freedom of movement and freedom of peaceful assembly. The decree prohibits public gatherings of more than 20 persons. The decree also provides that any dissemination of information, including online, that refers to the coronavirus or activities carried out by health authorities, may only refer to information provided by a special emergency office under the Prime Minister of Armenia. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 16 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Expression, Access to Information, Movement
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Bolivia

Supreme Decree 4200 (Criminalization of COVID-19-related Misinformation)

On March 25, Bolivian interim President Jeanine Añez signed a decree that, among other steps, criminalized the action of "misinform[ing] or caus[ing] uncertainty to the population" about the pandemic. 

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 25 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Brazil

Provisional Measure No. 928

The measure amends Law No. 13,979 of February 6, 2020, which provides measures to address the public health emergency caused by coronavirus. Government officials are not required to answer any freedom of information requests during the state of calamity if the server hosting the information is quarantined or inaccessible while working remotely. The measure also gives priority to information requests related to the public health emergency. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 23 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Access to Information
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Brazil

Withholding C19 Data

The Brazilian government stopped releasing its total numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and removed large amounts of COVID-19 data from an official site, allegedly under an order by President Bolsonaro. On June 5, Brazil’s government stopped releasing the cumulative numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and obituaries in its daily bulletin and only supplied daily numbers. A health ministry site was taken offline and returned on June 6 without the total number of deaths and confirmed cases, as well as numbers of cases under investigation and those that recovered. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: practice
Date Introduced: 23 Jun 2020
Issue(s): Access to Information
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Cambodia

Law on National Management in the State of Emergency

The law provides the government with broad new powers during a state of emergency. These include: banning meetings and gatherings; restricting people from leaving their homes; mobilizing military forces; surveilling telecommunications "by any means"; banning or restricting news media that may harm "national security" or create confusion about the state of emergency; and other measures that are "suitable and necessary" to respond to the emergency. "Obstructing" the state's response to the emergency, or noncompliance with the response in a way that creates "public chaos," is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to 5 million riels ($1,200). Organizations found culpable of these offenses may be fined up to 1 billion riels ($247,000). (See primary source or citation here)

Type: law
Date Introduced: 10 Apr 2020
Issue(s): Association, Assembly, Emergency, Surveillance, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information, Movement, Militarization
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Chad

Decree No. 379/PR/2020

The decree announces a state of emergency in select provinces of Chad. The decree empowers local civil and military authorities to prohibit the movement of people and vehicles; to establish protection zones where people are "regulated"; to temporarily close performance halls, bars and meeting areas; to ban meetings "likely to provoke disturbances of public order"; to order nightly home searches; to collect all weapons; to take all measures to ensure control of the press and publications of all types of radio and television broadcasts; and to make arrests. Per the order, this expansion of local authorities' powers ends with the end of the state of emergency. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 26 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information, Movement, Militarization
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Colombia

Decree No. 491 Instructions Given Under the Health Emergency Generated by the Covid-19 Pandemic

Presidential decree No. 491 increases the permissible time for the government to respond to freedom of information requests, to 30 days. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 28 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Access to Information
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Colombia

Resolution No. 385 Declaring a Health Emergency

The resolution declares a "health emergency" throughout the country until May 30, on account of the coronavirus. Among other things, prohibits large public gatherings, and orders television and radio stations and all other mass media to disseminate information provided by the Health Ministry. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 12 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Dominican Republic

Decree 137-20

The decree suspends all administrative procedures, including processing of requests for information, for the duration of the state of emergency. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 23 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Access to Information
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Egypt

Intimidation and Arrest of Healthcare Workers Discussing COVID-19 Crisis

Between the February outbreak of COVID-19 in Egypt and early July, Egypt arrested at least ten doctors and six journalists. Authorities have also instructed health workers not to discuss the health crisis with the press. The Supreme Council for Media Regulation issued a series of announcements, including on March 10, April 21, and June 16, each of which threatens legal action against journalists or media outlets who might depict negative aspects of the government's response to the COVID-19 crisis.

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: practice
Date Introduced: 6 Jul 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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El Salvador

Decree No. 593 Declaring a State of Emergency

Declares a one-month "state of emergency" due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The measures include allowing for restrictions on individuals' travel and movement within the country, as well as bans on public gatherings. The decree also suspends all administrative and judicial functions deemed non-essential, such as operations for access to public information. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 14 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Access to Information, Movement
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Ethiopia

Regulation 466 to Implement the State of Emergency Proclamation No. 3/2020

The regulation prohibits meetings for religious, government, social, or political purposes in places of worship, public institutions, hotels, meeting halls or any other place. The regulation also prohibits regional or federal officials from giving statements to members of the press about COVID-19, without first obtaining permission from the federal committee or from sub-committees at regional level; exceptions are made for professional commentary on COVID-19 laws, professional medical explanations, or daily press briefings by the Ministry of Health. The regulation also prohibits disseminating information about COVID-19 and related issues that would cause "terror and undue distress among the public." The regulation requires public communication professionals and media outlets to ensure that information, analysis, or programs on COVID-19 are "without exaggeration, appropriate and not prone to cause panic and terror among the public." 

(See primary source or citation here)
Type: regulation
Date Introduced: 20 Apr 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Ethiopia

Regulation No. 3 of 2020 on the Implementation of the State of Emergency Declaration

The Attorney General issued regulations to further define and implement the state of emergency. The regulations prohibit gatherings of more than four people. Under the regulations, spreading information that can cause public confusion or alarm is prohibited. The regulations also require all media professionals to report Covid-related news in a way that is neither exaggerated nor understated, and is not likely to create confusion or alarm. The regulations create a legal duty to report anyone suspected of contracting the virus to the police or Ministry of Health. Violations of these provisions are subject to penalty of up to three years in prison a fine of up to 200,000 Ethiopian Birr ($6,000).

(See primary source or citation here)
Type: regulation
Date Introduced: 8 Apr 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information
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Georgia

Measures to be Implemented in Connection with the Prevention of the Spread of COVID-19 in Georgia

The ordinance, which implements Presidential Decree N1, further articulates governmental powers in place for the duration of the emergency. Among other things, the ordinance suspends the timeframe for issuing public information and responding to information requests, which means that during the state of emergency public institutions are not obliged to comply with the deadlines set by access to information laws. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: regulation
Date Introduced: 23 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Access to Information
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India

Prior Approval Required for Publishing Information about Coronavirus

The Maharashtra government prohibits organizations or individuals from publicizing information about the coronavirus without ascertaining prior clearance from relevant government health authorities, in order to avoid spread of misinformation. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 24 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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India

The Assam COVID-19 Containment Regulations, 2020

This set of regulations include "geographic quarantine, social distancing measures, enhanced active surveillance, testing all suspected cases, isolation of cases, home quarantine of contacts, [and] social mobilization to follow preventive public health measures." The regulations indicate that house to house surveys are to be used for surveillance purposes. Those surveys involved daily house visits by supervisory officers. Individuals believed to be infected were required to isolate at home until examination by a Rapid Response Team. Surveillance teams reported their activities daily to a central authority. All non-essential services were shut down. Containment zones were established and restrictions were imposed on movement into and out of containment zones. The regulations also indicated that "rumors and myths are to be strictly controlled by the administration." 

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: regulation
Date Introduced: 31 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Surveillance, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information, Movement
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India

COVID-19 Crackdown on Journalists

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, state and national governmental actors in India have cracked down on journalists' coverage of the pandemic, and have employed lockdown measures in a way that adversely impacts journalists' ability to cover the pandemic. When writing critical coverage of governmental responses to the pandemic, journalists have been refused curfew passes, arrested under charges of spreading false information when covering governmental responses to pandemic, charged with acting negligently to spread infectious disease, physically assaulted by police, and charged with disobedience under the Epidemic Diseases Act.

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: practice
Date Introduced: 3 Aug 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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India

Assam Anti-Disinformation Campaign

The Government of Assam filed charges against a Bengali daily published from Silchar, for carrying a false news report about the state’s first COVID-19 patient. The case was brought against the reporter who filed the story and the publisher of the newspaper under Section 188 of IPC and provisions of Assam COVID-19 Regulation, 2020. Additionally, Assam DIPR has formed a five-member committee for monitoring and checking fake news in all forms of media. The committee includes officials from the information, health, police and disaster management departments. The committee surveilled social media accounts and created WhatsApp numbers for the purpose of tracking information circulating on Whatsapp. As of April 8, 52 cases had been registered for spreading rumours/uploading objectionable comments on social media and a total of 25 people had been arrested, while eight were detained and then released.

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: practice
Date Introduced: 8 Apr 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Surveillance, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information
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Iran

Arrests for Spreading Coronavirus-Related Rumors

A spokesman for the armed forces stated on April 28 that 3,600 people in Iran have been arrested for spreading rumors regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Civil society groups and government agencies outside Iran, including the U.S. State Department, have criticized Tehran for persecuting journalists who reported on the epidemic without obtaining prior approval from the government, or who attempted to report on the real extent of the outbreak in Iran by contacting foreign officials for information. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: practice
Date Introduced: 29 Apr 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Iran

Restricting Internet Access

For 24 hours after announcing that a top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader had died as a result of the coronavirus, the government blocked access in Iran to the Farsi version of Wikipedia. A digital rights advocacy group has also reported widespread internet disruptions at night in certain parts of the country, including Qom, where the outbreak is believed to have originated. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: practice
Date Introduced: 2 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Jordan

Suspension of Newspapers

Within the framework of the National Defense Law, the Jordanian Council of Ministers suspends the printing and sale of paper newspapers, on grounds that they contribute to the spread of Covid-19.

وقف إصدار الصحف

في إطار قانون الدفاع الوطني، قرر مجلس الوزراء الأردني وقف طباعة وبيع الصحف الورقية بحجة أنها تساهم في انتشار فيروس كورونا لمستجد. 

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 17 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Jordan

Prior Approval Required Before Speaking to Press About COVID-19

The Jordanian Health Minister institutes a policy requiring that all hospital directors and Health Ministry officials obtain permission from the Ministry before speaking with members of the press. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: policy
Date Introduced: 13 May 2020
Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Lesotho

Declaration of COVID-19 State of Emergency Order 26 of 2020

The Prime Minister declares a national "state of emergency" and orders a nationwide lockdown, beginning March 30. All social gatherings are prohibited except for funerals where not more than 50 people are expected to attend. The decree also provides that members of the press must "refrain from publishing fake news." (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 18 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Emergency, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information, Movement
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Moldova

Parliamentary Decision on the Declaration of State of Emergency

The parliamentary decision declares a "state of emergency," under Article 66 of the Constitution, on account of the coronavirus. Among other things, the declaration provides for a prohibition on meetings, public demonstrations, and other mass events; coordination of mass media related to the crisis; and introduction of "special rules" for telecommunications during the crisis. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: law
Date Introduced: 17 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Moldova

The Audiovisual Council of the Republic of Moldova Provision No. 2

During the state of emergency, all audiovisual media providers under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Moldova are required to present the official position of the competent public authorities (World Health Organization, Exceptional Situation Commission of the Republic of Moldova, the Government of the Republic of Moldova, and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection). All presenters, moderators, and editors must not express their own opinion on topics concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure "maximum accuracy and correctness." (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 24 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Morocco

Suspension of Newspapers

The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports announces the suspension of the publication and distribution of print newspapers until further notice.

وقف إصدار الصحف

 وزير الثقافة والشباب والرياضة يعلن وقف نشر وتوزيع الصحف المطبوعة حتى إشعار آخر.

 

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 22 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Nepal

Intimidation and Harassment of Journalists Reporting on COVID-19

There have been ongoing threats and attacks against journalists by government actors in Nepal for their reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic.  Police have detained reporters for the act of reporting during lockdown on multiple occasions. In at least some cases, the relevant reporters were covering the impact of the pandemic on Nepali society and the government’s handling thereof.  Public health workers have threatened a journalist for reporting on the smuggling of medical supplies. One reporter was beaten by soldiers for photographing a lockdown checkpoint.  A parliamentarian threatened a bureau chief for reporting that the parliamentarian’s wife had violated lockdown restrictions. Additionally, a leader of an opposition party was at one point phoned and threatened by a politician after reporting that the politician had not cooperated in quarantining someone suspected of carrying the virus. 

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: practice
Date Introduced: 3 Jul 2020
Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information, Militarization
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Oman

Suspension of Newspapers and Ban on Gatherings

The Supreme Committee for Dealing with COVID-19 orders all newspapers, magazines, and other publications to cease printing, and prohibits the circulation and sale of imported newspapers, magazines, and publications as well. The order also bans gatherings of any kind in public places, and provides that violators will be sanctioned.

وقف إصدار الصحف وحظر التجمعات

 اللجنة العليا للتعامل مع كوفيد-19 تصدر قراراً بوقف طباعة جميع الصحف والمجلات والمنشورات الأخرى، وتحظر تداول وبيع الصحف والمجلات والمنشورات الخارجية أيضاً. يحظر القرار أيضاً التجمعات من أي نوع في الأماكن العامة وينص على معاقبة المخالفين.

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 22 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Palestine

Emergency Order No. 1 of 2020

The decision, issued by the Prime Minister pursuant to his emergency powers, among other things restricts individuals' movement among governorates; prohibits gatherings of people including meetings, workshops, conferences, and demonstrations; and closes educational facilities and houses of worship. The decision also prohibits officials from making "any statement" to the press without permission from the Prime Minister. The decision generally prohibits all individuals from "dealing with any rumors or untrustworthy information, and the transferring and broadcasting thereof," and indicates that individuals should obtain information "from official sources only." The Prime Minister's decision orders all national security forces to ensure the decision's implementation, while protecting individuals' rights and freedoms.

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 6 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information, Movement, Militarization
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Romania

No. 195 on the Establishment of a State of Emergency in the Territory of Romania

The decree declares a "state of emergency" on account of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the decree, the following rights may be restricted during a state of emergency: freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, privacy, education, private property, and the right to strike. Additionally, the decree provides that the National Authority for Administrative and Regulatory Communications has powers to make "reasoned decisions" to censor online transmission of information related to COVID-19. 

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 16 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Emergency, Press Freedom, Expression, Privacy, Access to Information, Movement
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Russia

Law No. 100-FZ Introducing Changes to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code

The amendments to Russia's Criminal Code establish new penalties for violations of quarantine orders, according to which an individual who violates the orders may be punished with fines or prison time--ranging from 40,000 rubles ($640) to up to 7 years in prison if the quarantine violation causes two or more deaths. The amendments also establish that public dissemination of false information that threatens the public health during an emergency is punishable by 3 years in prison, or up to 5 years if it leads to "grave consequences." (See primary source or citation here)

Type: law
Date Introduced: 1 Apr 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information, Movement
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Serbia

Decree Centralizing the Distribution of Information on the Coronavirus

The decree provided that the Crisis Headquarters led by the Prime Minister is the sole source of information about the pandemic, and that information from unauthorized sources must not be considered accurate or verified. The order also provided for legal consequences for spreading disinformation during the state of emergency. Following criticism of the decree and the arrest of at least one journalist for her reporting on the pandemic, the Prime Minister announced on April 2--less than one week after the decree's introduction--that it would be revoked. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 28 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Solomon Islands

Emergency Powers (Covid-19) Regulations 2020

The regulations, issued under the Emergency Powers Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, grant the Prime Minister a range of powers, including the power to: (1) temporarily close public spaces or declare public spaces to be emergency zones and restrict the freedoms of movement and assembly in these emergency zones; (2) suspend access to media outlets and online media outlets if these are found to publish and/or disseminate false information that is likely to create public alarm or that constitutes a threat to public peace and safety; (3) suspend any trade union for any duration during the emergency period and deregister any trade union that contravenes an official government Order; and (4) terminate any public servant that publicly criticizes or contradicts the government or its policies. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: regulation
Date Introduced: 26 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Association, Assembly, Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information, Movement
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South Africa

Disaster Management Regulations of 2020

Among other things, the regulations criminalize making statements intended to deceive another person about any measure taken by the government to address COVID-19. The regulations also prohibit gatherings of more than 100 people. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 18 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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South Africa

Electronic Communications, Postal and Telecommunications Directions

The regulations create numerous obligations for private actors: radio services are required to stream public announcements on COVID; internet providers are obliged to remove "fake news" from their platforms immediately after identifying it; and national address systems and databases must be made available to assist government in tracking and tracing indivudals infected or exposed. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: regulation
Date Introduced: 26 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Thailand

Order Issued under Thailand’s 2005 Decree on Administration in Emergency Situations

The ministerial decree among other things bars “reporting or spreading of information regarding COVID-19 which is untrue and may cause public fear, as well as deliberate distortion of information which causes misunderstanding and hence affects peace and order or public morals.” The decree empowers authorities to order journalists and media groups to “correct” reports deemed incorrect, and allows authorities to pursue charges against journalists under the Computer Crimes Act, which allows for five-year prison penalties for violations. The decree also bans all gatherings. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 25 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Turkey

Censorship of Media Criticism

Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) has imposed administrative fines on media outlets after those outlets have presented coverage that was critical of the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: practice
Date Introduced: 14 Aug 2020
Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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United States

Banning Spread of False Information in Puerto Rico

The order by Puerto Rico's governor makes it illegal for media outlets or social media accounts “to transmit or allow the transmission” of “false information with the intention of creating confusion, panic, or public hysteria, with regards to any proclamation or executive order declaring an emergency, disaster or curfew.” (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 6 Apr 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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United States

Measures Affecting Public Record Requests and Public Meeting Requirements

Federal agencies and state and local governments have issued a mix of policy directives, orders, and laws regarding the impact of COVID-19 on public record requests and public meeting requirements. Some states, such as New Jersey or Washington DC, have suspended deadlines for responding to public record requests for the duration of the emergency. With regard to public meeting requirements, most states have changed their rules to allow for virtual meetings that the public can observe, but some, such as Illinois and Nebraska, have not explicitly provided for public participation in virtual meetings. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: policy
Date Introduced: 1 Apr 2020
Issue(s): Access to Information
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Uzbekistan

Amendments to the Criminal Code, Criminal Procedural Code, and Code on Administrative Offenses

The amendments substantially increase liability for violation of medical and quarantine procedures, including criminal liability for distributing "false" information related to quarantine or infectious diseases, with more severe penalties for sharing such information in the media or internet -- up to a $10,000 fine and three years imprisonment. The amendments also introduce administrative fines for failure to use medical masks in public places while in a quarantine regime, amongst other provisions. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: law
Date Introduced: 26 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Venezuela

Detention, Threats, and Surveillance of Healthcare Workers Who Comment on COVID-19

Venezuelan authorities have arrested and jailed health care workers who spoke out against the government's failure to protect them during the COVID-19 pandemic. From April to August, at least a dozen health workers were detained, including many who were not informed of the charges against them. Other health care workers who have publicly questioned government statistics on the virus say they have been threatened. The governor of one Venezuelan state also announced that he had deployed military counterintelligence to investigate a doctor who had made public statements about possible infections. 

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: practice
Date Introduced: 18 Aug 2020
Issue(s): Surveillance, Expression, Access to Information
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Yemen

Decree 6 of 2020

The decree temporarily suspends production and distribution of paper copies of government and private newspapers, to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

قرار رقم 6 لسنة 2020

ينص القرار على وقف إصدار وتوزيع النسخ الورقية للصحف الحكومية والخاصة وذلك لمكافحة انتشار فيروس كورونا المستجد.

(See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 25 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
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Zimbabwe

SI No. 83 of 2020 on Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order

The order imposes a national lockdown for 21 days and prohibits all public gatherings of more than 2 people, with very limited exceptions, on account of the coronavirus pandemic. Anyone who violates the lockdown can be punished with a Level 12 fine and one year's imprisonment. A person found further than 5km from his home may be arrested without a warrant and put in detention, isolation, or quarantine. Any person who publishes or communicates “false news” about any official involved with enforcing the national lockdown, or about any private individual with the effect of harming the state’s enforcement of the lockdown, shall be liable to a penalty of up to a Level 14 fine or 20 years in prison or both. (See primary source or citation here)

Type: order
Date Introduced: 30 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information, Movement
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This is an ongoing effort, and we welcome you to email us at epage@icnl.org and simona@ecnl.org to share additional resources.