The United Nations released a report this past Monday, April 27, 2020. The U.N. human rights office is alarmed. Lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the arrests of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Police have even killed a mentally challenged soldier in the Quezon City for allegedly violating the Metro Manila lockdown. A fish vendor, also in Quezon City, was beaten with wooden sticks by a COVID-19 task force for not wearing a face mask. The Philippines leads the world in quarantine arrests with over 120,000 detentions in the past 30 days.
“Emergency powers should not be a weapon governments can wield to quash dissent, control the population, and even perpetuate their time in power,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
Eighty countries have declared emergencies due to the coronavirus. Allegations of police brutality are most prevalent in the following countries: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Peru, Honduras, Jordan, Morocco, Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Hungary.
Georgette Gagnon, director of field operations, made the following statement regarding the alleged human rights violations:
“A main concern on exceptional emergency measures is what has been described as a toxic lockdown culture in some countries. As the High Commissioner highlighted, police and other security forces are using excessive and sometimes deadly force to enforce lockdowns and curfews.”
Here’s a video from YouTube which shows the fish vendor in Quezon City being beaten:
Meanwhile, as global suicide rates go up, spousal abuse cases rise, alcohol and drug use surges, and tens of millions of people across the globe go jobless, the lockdowns continue.
(Reuters reporting by Emma Farge; editing by Stephanie Nebehay and Giles Elgood and Yahoo News!)