Lockdown: UN raises concerns over use of excessive force in SA, other countries
A director of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs referred to SA’s heavy handed, and highly militarised enforcement of the stay-at home directive.
PRETORIA - South Africa is listed by United Nations (UN) officials expressing concern about disturbing details of countries using excessive force to police the COVID-19 lockdown.
A director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) referred to South Africa’s heavy-handed and highly militarised enforcement of the stay-at-home directive. The World Health Organisation (WHO), though, has praised South Africa's swift response to curbing the spread of the virus.
Briefing journalists, Ohcha’s director of field operations Georgette Gagnon said from South Africa to the Philippines, from Hungary to Jordan - abuses in enforcing the lockdown appeared to transgress basic key freedoms.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned that emergency powers should not be used as a weapon to quash dissent, control the population, or perpetuate time in power.
Last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged governments to realise the coronavirus pandemic is the enemy, not the people.
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