Is Covid-19 a threat to democracy?


Yes, says Freedom House (above).

“The authoritarians can act worse under the cover of the pandemic because the democracies are not united in effective, moral, concerted leadership,” adds Irwin Cotler, the founder of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. “That’s what keeps me up at night.”

He is urging democracies, including Canada, to speak up against the increasing attacks on human rights and call for the release of political prisoners such as Nasrin Sotoudeh of Iran, whom he calls the bravest human-rights lawyer in the world today. After defending opposition activists, Ms. Sotoudeh was sentenced last year to 148 lashes and 38 years in prison, The Globe and Mail adds.

“The democracies, which should be at the forefront of standing up for this woman, are dealing, yes, with a global health pandemic, but are ignoring the global political pandemic,” says Cotler.

The former Canadian attorney general, Cotler “is the most idealistic – and at the same time professional – defender of human rights in the world,” says ex-Soviet refusenik and dissident Natan Sharansky. RTWT

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