India and other Asian countries on Friday reacted firmly to UN human rights leader Michelle Bachelet, who had expressed”alarm” in”clampdown on freedom of expression” in certain nations, stating the authorities are focused on ensuring that valuable lives aren’t lost on account of this coronavirus pandemic and spread of”damaging misinformation” signifies a very clear threat to public health.
Bachelet had expressed”alarm” in the”clampdown on freedom of expression” in those Asia-Pacific countries during the COVID-19 catastrophe, stating any action taken to block the spread of false information has to be proportionate. “We all know that the key focus of our authorities in these unprecedented times would be to make sure that valuable lives, especially of the most exposed, aren’t dropped to COVID-19.
The states said the continuing pandemic has strained their resources and capacities to the limit. “Our authorities reiterate the opinion that the spread of damaging misinformation and falsehoods that direct segments of the populace to separate themselves from critical, science-based info and policies commissioned by applicable government agencies, thus slowing the spread of COVID19, represents a clear and present threat to public health,” the announcement said.
The states said their authorities have taken necessary steps by their existing regulations and laws to maintain people who spread misinformation and mislead the public accountable for their reckless actions. “These steps are performed in compliance with the due process of law, while also safeguarding the liberty of expression, with the intent of controlling falsehoods that have damaged or possess the capability to hurt all sectors of society during this outbreak,” the combined press release stated.
Highlighting problems from the respective states, Bachelet had stated in India, many journalists and at least one physician have been billed because of their public criticism of the government’s answer to the COVID-19. In Indonesia, she’d stated at least 51 people were allegedly being researched under the criminal defamation legislation for allegedly spreading”fake news” about the pandemic. The 51 comprise three guys who were detained for posting a message on societal websites asserting an area of northern Jakarta had COVID-19 instances following the authorities sprayed disinfectant there. About Cambodia, the UN Human Rights Office said it has recorded the arrest of 30 people, including six girls and a 14-year-old woman, for COVID-19 connected public remarks along with societal networking articles. PTI YAS SCY