civil liberties

Masking Up but Not Shutting Up: Defending Freedom of Speech during a Pandemic

by John Whitehead Shortly after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, activists and journalists raised concerns about how governments’ response to the crisis might restrict freedom of expression and other civil liberties. More than a year later, we have a better sense of how the pandemic response has limited press freedom and…

“I Gave Birth to Too Many Children”: Population Control and Repression in Xinjiang

by John Whitehead The Chinese government is currently pursuing a campaign of repression against Muslim ethnic minorities in the region of Xinjiang. Prompted by fears of terrorism and separatism, the roughly three-year-old campaign has reportedly involved surveillance, imprisonment, and psychological and physical torture. The campaign may also involve coercive population control, including sterilization and abortion….

Sickness is the Health of the State? Civil Liberties and Conflict during a Pandemic

by John Whitehead The COVID-19 pandemic has consumed the world’s attention during these early months of 2020. The virus’ health threat, especially to older people and other vulnerable groups, is correctly the primary concern right now, with the pandemic’s economic consequences perhaps being the second greatest concern. Both these aspects of the pandemic fully deserve…