Around the world, many governments have used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to control information flows and silence voices of dissent. Claiming the need to protect the public from panic and keep people informed with correct information, some countries adopted or amended laws penalizing the distribution of disinformation. In a recent report by the Law Library of the Library of Congress at the request of IREX, researchers detailed how governments in 20 countries have restricted media organizations’ rights and curtailed freedom of speech during the pandemic.
The panel will discuss the report, as well as specific examples of curtailment of freedom of expression around the world. Michael Mirny, Director of the Information and Media Practice at IREX, will moderate the discussion.