Home » Progress against the pandemic – but the press remains under fire in Asia

Progress against the pandemic – but the press remains under fire in Asia

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After a year of lockdowns, plummeting job numbers, school closures and travel bans, the vaccines against Covid are finally making their way into people’s arms. It has by no means been a perfect process, but for the first time in what seems like an eternity, there is hope that life can eventually return to some semblance of normal.

But the first quarter of 2021 has also seen violence, repression and other attempts to silence free speech and the free press throughout Asia and around the world. The problems that began in 2020 have continued, and in some cases worsened, with no real respite in sight.

File photo: Wikicommons.

Myanmar

Two months after the military coup, some 600-700 civilians including more than 40 children have been killed in protests. The junta has responded to the continuing protest movement by issuing a shoot to kill order: “You should learn … that you can be in danger of getting shot in the head and back.” As the situation on the ground worsens the United Nations Security Council is warning of an imminent bloodbath, and the various ethnic armies within Myanmar’s borders seem on the verge of joining the fighting against government forces.

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