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.
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 email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to share additional resources.
Decree No. 2-20-293 Declaring a Health Emergency
The government declares a nationwide "state of health emergency" from March 20 until April 20, unless renewed. The order prohibits the movement of any person outside his home, except in cases of extreme necessity, and prohibits any meeting or gathering of groups of people for any reason.(See primary source or citation here)
Introduced 24 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Assembly, Emergency, Movement
Decree No. 2-20-292 on Special Provisions for a State of Health Emergency
The decree enables the government to declare a "state of health emergency" and take exceptional measures to stop the spread of disease. Anyone who contravenes the decree that declares a health emergency, or incites others to contravene the decree through speech or threat uttered in a public place or meeting, written or printed materials, photos, posters, audiovisual or electronic communications, or any other means can be imprisoned one to three months or be fined 300 to 1,300 dirhams ($30-$130).
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(See primary source or citation here)
Introduced 23 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Emergency, Expression
Suspension of Newspapers
The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports announces the suspension of the publication and distribution of print newspapers until further notice.(See primary source or citation here)
Introduced 22 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Press Freedom, Expression, Access to Information
Arrests for Fake News
At least a dozen people were arrested on charges of spreading fake news related to the coronavirus pandemic by mid-March, including individuals that criticized the government's response to the coronavirus. At least one other was arrested in April, and at least one other was arrested in August.(See primary source or citation here)
Introduced 19 Mar 2020
Issue(s): Disinformation, Press Freedom, Expression