Eight months into 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic is still on the rise, taking people’s lives and every day, increasing the number of people infected with it.
Currently, it has infected more than 20 million people all over the world and killed more than 800,000 people, as per Johns Hopkins COVID-19 data.
In the US alone, COVID-19 has infected more than five million individuals.
The threat from the virus has pushed many countries to launch extreme lockdowns to curb the virus’ spread during the pandemic’s onset.
In southeast Asia, countries like Indonesia and the Philippines imposed extreme lockdowns and assigned retired military officials in its task force to curb the virus’ spread, instead of medical professionals.
Also, the international community hailed the Philippines as the country with the longest lockdown, amounting to almost three months.
Eventually, countries lifted their lockdown to save their local economy, despite the still possible dangers of the virus.
Countries like Vietnam, South Korea, and New Zealand were praised for their immediate and effective response to control the early virus spread.
However, it is not the case with most countries, where many leaders have to impose greater control among its citizens, bordering on authoritarianism, especially by law enforcement units.
Some other countries, on the other hand, made use of authoritarianism methods to serve their own interests.
Hong Kong’s Loss Of Autonomy From China
China recently passed a new security law for Hong Kong, legalizing arrests against pro-democracy individuals residing in Hong Kong.
Crackdowns against the opposition were immediately launched despite assurances from Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, on protecting Hong Kong citizens’ rights and freedom.
Recently, the state arrested Agnes Chow, a student, and pro-democracy activist due to the new law, for allegedly working with foreign entities against Beijing and Hong Kong.
Jimmy Lai, owner of the Apple Daily, an opposition newspaper, was also arrested in August for the same accusation.
Recently, Hong Kong decided to halt its elections due to the threat of the coronavirus, suggesting its resumption next year.
An action that was condemned by many countries, like the US, the UK, Australia, and Japan, because it undermines Hong Kong’s democratic process.
Suspension Of People’s Constitutional Rights In El Salvador And Militarising Mexico
The President of Salvador, Nayib Bukele, has been at odds with the Supreme Court due to his unconstitutional decisions during the pandemic.
One of them is bypassing the legislature to declare a state of emergency and suspending citizens’ rights by detaining them in a controlled quarantine if they violate El Salvador’s quarantine rules.
In Mexico, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was criticized by human rights groups for militarizing the country after he issued an order.
According to this order, which was obtained by The Guardian, Mexico’s Armed Forces will be able to “carry out public security tasks.”
According to a human rights advocate, Santiago Aguirre, Mexico’s Army and Navy both have long histories “of not being accountable”, especially on human rights violations, as per The Guardian.
US President Trump’s Possible Denial Of The Election Results
In the US, due to COVID-19, some states have decided to opt for mail-in voting to protect its citizens from contracting the virus from polling areas.
However, US President Donald Trump has been consistent in his attacks on this method of voting which worries political experts, lawmakers, and tech CEOs.
Tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter are reported to be making plans to stop misinformation after the elections, in case Trump did not win and dispute the legitimacy of the result.
In one of his interviews with Fox, Trump even suggested that he may not accept the 2020 presidential election results.