April 1, 2020
Leaders around the world are grappling with unprecedented challenges as they tackle the COVID-19 global pandemic. As governments around the world respond, we urge them to avoid restrictions on essential human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the ability of the free press to provide information to the public about the crisis and the government’s response. Restricting these rights and freedoms would harm the public’s trust in us as leaders, at a time when trust is most needed. Transparency and reliable data are essential to health and human safety during a pandemic. A government has no higher duty than the security and safety of its citizens. Any emergency measures taken should be targeted to address the COVID-19 crisis. Governments should ensure such powers are restricted to the period of time needed to address the current crisis and lifted as soon as they are no longer needed.