Washinton Post by Lukas L. Alpert
April 2, 2020
The spread of coronavirus has led to widespread clampdowns on press freedom around the world, with numerous governments seeking to rein in independent reporting on the virus in their countries, watchdog groups said.
Two of the countries among the hardest hit by the virus, China and Iran, have been among the most repressive, the groups said, cracking down on independent reporting and arresting citizens who have published social-media posts that contradicted official accounts.
Other countries are also limiting the free flow of information about the virus, including several Middle East nations, Russia, Belarus, Honduras, Venezuela and India, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders. In the highly repressive Central Asian country of Turkmenistan, the government has banned the use of the word coronavirus entirely, according to Turkmen living abroad.
Suppressing information during a pandemic can have wide-ranging impact as decision makers around the world look at how the contagion unfolded in earlier-hit nations to make their own policy decisions.