Everywhere we look, all our civil rights, human rights, and freedom of speech have been under assault and are not likely to return the way they were before the coronavirus. Some countries are toying with imprisoning people who dare to post anything that questions the coronavirus, but we are witnessing the same trend around the world. This raises deep concern that this virus scare is being used for political purposes regardless of its origin or validity as a serious threat.
In Turkey, Erodgan has been arresting hundreds of people for simply posting on social media any dissent against the coronavirus. Of course, he does have a history of arresting people in Turkey for insulting him on social media. The BBC writes: “Turkey’s government is determined to control the narrative during the crisis. Hundreds have been arrested for “provocative posts” about Covid-19 on social media.”
Russians are threatened with jail for anything considered fake news. A new law was passed in Russia that imposes punishments on people convicted of spreading what is deemed to be false information about coronavirus: fines equivalent to $25,000 or up to five years in prison. There are concerns about surveillance systems being rolled out to enforce quarantines.
It was reported by the CBC in Canada that this was one of “several measures the government is considering to counter fake news about the virus online.”
There are rising concerns that democracy is under assault in Europe, including Poland, and we are witnessing the same trend in Hungary. In Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, the 94-year-old Malaysian politician, unexpectedly resigned as the country’s prime minister on February 25, 2020. Some say he has now been appointed acting Prime Minister pending an election that some think can be dragged out due to the virus.
We are definitely facing a power grab on a global scale that is not necessarily identical, but raises the question: Will the world ever be the same again?