Governments must promote and protect access to and free flow of information during pandemic – International experts
In light of the growing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the monitors for freedom of expression and freedom of the media for the United Nations, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, and the Representative on Freedom of the Media of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe issued the following joint statement:
“Human health depends not only on readily accessible health care. It also depends on access to accurate information about the nature of the threats and the means to protect oneself, one’s family, and one’s community. The right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, through any media, applies to everyone, everywhere, and may only be subject to narrow restrictions. In this connection, we urge the following: ... "Second, internet access is critical at a time of crisis. It is essential that governments refrain from blocking internet access; in those situations where internet has been blocked, governments should, as a matter of priority, ensure immediate access to the fastest and broadest possible internet service. Especially at a time of emergency, when access to information is of critical importance, broad restrictions on access to the internet cannot be justified on public order or national security grounds."
Governments must promote and protect access to and free flow of information during pandemic – International experts UN: Fastest, Broadest Broadband Possible is Priority in Time of Coronavirus (Multichannel News)