The Covid19 outbreak has changed the worldforever.
International communities have undergone changes to socio-economic, religious, and political lifestyles with increased dependency on digital technology.
Is the international community meeting its civil liberties responsibilities in this period of social distancing and uncertainty? How are countries undertaking their human rights obligations?
The worst affected human rights victims wouldbe those with limited freedom such as prisoninmates, those awaiting trials or serving time.
It is important to recognise how some countries could use Covid-19 to further abuse human rights.
The United State had the highest number of Covid-19 and the largest incarcerated population according to September 2020 reports. The African Americans population in prisons are the worst affected victims of the human right violations particularly during the Covid-19.
In Australia, aboriginal deaths in custody are likely to increase due to Covid-19 similar tohow hundreds have died in US prisons from Covid-19. According to reports in July 2020, human right lawyers have warned of spread of the virus in Victorian prisons.
India uses the pandemic to exploit human rights in occupied Kashmir. Since Article 370 was abolished, India has intensified crackdown on Kashmiri journalists, its policing powers and heightened curfew measures.
In this way India exploits the pandemic to achieve its settler-colonial objectives.
South Africa reports human right violation of vulnerable communities during the pandemic.The Secretary General of the Council of Europe issued coronavirus guidance to governments on respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Iran, one of those most badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic is reported to be in the grip of a ‘third wave’ of Covid-19.
Iran struggles throughthe pandemic under imposed US sanctions and a collapsing economy. Even before the outbreak of the pandemic, the increasing chokehold of thesanctions had hit Iran hard.
Western media has always portrayed Iran as an example of a nation with the worst record of human rights. But Iran proved this narrative to be false propaganda and how it did this is an eye opener for the rest of the world.
During the Covid19 pandemic Iran’s human rights achievements were remarkable. According to the Islamic Republic’s Foreign Affairs’ report, on the first day of the Covid-19 outbreak, Iran granted leave to its prison population as a counter measure to stop the spread.
Judiciary extended leave of absence to110,591 convicts and 20,124 convicts werereleased as they had served most of their term.Male prisoners of 70 and above, female prisoners 60 and above, pregnant women and women with children under 2 were also released.
By March 2020, Iran had released 85,000 prisoners. Health protocol measures were taken to ensure health safety of healthcare professionals and workers at prisons and corrective organisations.
Iran especially fights an uphill battle with further deterioration of its trade and industry during this pandemic because of economic terrorism.
International community should come together in their condemnation of the inhumane US-sanctions as part of the global fight against the virus.