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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Country with entries

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 adeblock@icnl.org and simona@ecnl.org to share additional resources.


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Saudi Arabia

Curfew and Lockdowns

The King announced a daily curfew between 7pm and 6am, to last for 21 days.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 23 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Movement

Type: order

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Saudi Arabia

Restrictions on Gatherings

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs issued a decision to all secretariats and municipalities ordering the cessation of all public social gatherings, including those for funeral wakes, weddings, and similar events. The order did not exempt gatherings for political or expressive purposes. The Ministry also directed authorities to temporarily close all places designated for games and recreational activities in and outside commercial complexes.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 15 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly

Type: order

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Saudi Arabia

Arrests of Individuals Spreading "Fake News" about Pandemic

The Public Prosecutor of Saudi Arabia has arrested a number of individuals for spreading "fake news" about the pandemic. The Public Prosecutor also tweeted: “Receiving information from its official sources is a moral obligation and commitment, and a legal responsibility. Do not fall victim to malicious rumors and news from anonymous sources that violate the procedures and effort, and cause terror regarding the Coronavirus, in order to avoid strict criminal accountability in this regard.”

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 1 May 2020

Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression

Type: practice

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This is an ongoing effort, and we welcome you to email us at adeblock@icnl.org and simona@ecnl.org to share additional resources.