Access to information
Family members and lawyers have a right to communicate with their loved ones and clients at all times, but particularly during a pandemic. The public also has a right to information on measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 inside prisons. These are the reasons behind the #IWantALetter campaign.
The case of photographer Alexandro Wagner Oliveira da Silveira, hit by a rubber bullet in his left eye during a protest in May 2000, is on the agenda at the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court, to be tried on 14 August. It is seen as an emblematic episode of violence against journalists in Brazil.
As a part of the ITU's pandemic response, the platform REG4COVID was launched, providing a space for regulators and civil society to share their own initiatives. APC asked their community network partners to contribute to the platform, given the general absence of civil society input.
Because of the pandemic, India has been under lockdown since March. What does this mean for rural communities, only 20% of whom have access to the internet? Community networks established by organisations like Digital Empowerment Foundation are bringing critical services to 100 villages of India.
Last month the Economic Community of West African States Community Court of Justice ruled that the 2017 internet shutdown in Togo was illegal. But barely a week later, Ethiopia initiated a nationwide shutdown, serving as a reminder of the persistent threat of internet shutdowns on the continent.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the dissemination of vast amounts of information, both verified and unverified. Against this backdrop, civil society organisations recently launched the Disinformation Tracker, an interactive map to track disinformation laws and policies across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Students are facing infrastructural challenges in attending online classes, which are mandatory. The unavailability of quality access to the internet is causing massive challenges for students who are solely dependent on online platforms for education during COVID-19.
APC submits this written statement ahead of the Human Rights Council's 44th session to express our concerns about the online human rights implications of states’ measures adopted to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Rights and advocacy organisation VOICE expresses deep concern over the arrest of journalists, online activists, teachers, students, writers and cartoonists, among others, under the Digital Security Act 2018, and urges the Bangaldeshi government to scrap the law.
APC welcomes this consultation, as it is timely and integral to our work. The pandemic poses challenges for content moderation, and while we recognise that these are extraordinary times, human rights laws and principles should be the default standards guiding companies’ policies and procedures.