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


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Venezuela

Municipal Health Emergency Decree DDA-003-2021

The Mayor of Pedro María Freites in Anzoátegui state declared a state of health emergency. The decree allows the Mayor to place restrictions on movement and gatherings. The state of health emergency will be in effect for 30 days, and may be extended. 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 9 Jun 2021

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Movement

Type: order

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Venezuela

Decree No. 4.161 Declaring a State of Alarm

The presidential decree declares a nationwide "state of alarm" for thirty days, renewable for one month at a time. Among other things, the decree prohibits public gatherings and authorizes the competent authorities to take "all necessary measures" to enforce orders related to quarantine and isolation. (See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 13 Mar 2020

Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency

Type: order

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Venezuela

Systematic Violation of the Right to Access Information on the Pandemic

The government has systematically violated the right to access to information about the COVID-19 pandemic by failing to provide reliable data on government responses and vaccination rates, among other issues. This practice has been exacerbated by the arrest of journalists and civil society leaders who seek or disseminate public information about the pandemic.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 28 Sep 2021

Issue(s): Expression, Access to Information

Type: practice

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Venezuela

Detention of Migrant Workers and Others Returning Home

Upon arriving home from other countries in Latin America, low-income Venezuelans,  including thousands of migrant workers, have been held under military guard in crowded "confinement centers" for weeks or months, with limited food, water, or masks. Some have been forced to take coronavirus tests and treated with unproven medications, including drugs identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the W.H.O. as having dangerous side effects. By contrast, wealthier Venezuelans arriving in the country can pay a fee to skip the confinement and continue home. The National Armed Forces have referred to those who try to evade the government's border controls as "trocheros" ("bioterrorists"), and encouraged Venezuelans to report them to authorities.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 19 Aug 2020

Issue(s): Discrimination, Movement, Militarization

Type: practice

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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)


Introduced 18 Aug 2020

Issue(s): Surveillance, Expression, Access to Information

Type: practice

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Venezuela

Harassment of Individuals Who Question Coronavirus Statistics

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela has detained or raided the homes of dozens of journalists, social activists, and opposition leaders for questioning the government’s coronavirus figures. As of early May, at least 10 journalists had been detained and more than two dozen threatened due to their reporting on the pandemic. Journalists have also been denied access to hospitals. In at least one case, a journalist was arrested and detained under the (false) claim that the journalist was infected with COVID-19.

 

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 28 Jul 2020

Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information

Type: practice

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Venezuela

Threats Against Scientists who Publish Information about COVID-19

The government has issued threats against scientists who publish research on COVID-19 rates and public health responses in Venezuela. Officials from the governing United Socialist Party have called for an investigation into Venezuela's Academy of Sciences, which published a technical report on COVID-19 that contradicted government messaging.

(See primary source or citation here)


Introduced 13 May 2020

Issue(s): Expression, Access to Information

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.