Covid-19 and the Rise of Repressive Regimes

Covid-19 and the Rise of Repressive Regimes

COVID-19 has brought reliance on technology and ever changing information, but it has also introduced a widespread abuse of power. Strict coronavirus restrictions across the globe have influenced governments to become more harsh and act with excessive force. In South Africa, it has been reported by Amnesty International that people standing in the streets after curfew were shot with rubber bullets by law enforcement. The acts of violence from governments to prevent spreading COVID-19 were deemed unnecessary by Patrick Wilcken. Wilcken, the Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Global Issues Programme, states that, “The horrific abuses committed on the pretext of fighting COVID-19 include Angolan police shooting a teenage boy in the face for allegedly breaking curfew, and police in El Salvador shooting a man in the legs after he went out to buy food.” 

Acts of brutality in order to stop the spread of the pandemic continue to be redundant. Governments are targeting ethnic groups, instead of focusing on promoting effective and ethical COVID-19 prevention systems.  The discriminatory ideas and prejudices against people of Romani descent were echoed when Slovakia “cordoned off Roma settlements during quarantine”, as reported by Amnesty International. The dangers of the virus have become an excuse to change laws and mold societies in ways that benefit those in power.  Amnesty International has confirmed sixty countries that have committed crimes that disobey human rights laws in order to bring the spread of COVID to a halt.