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In China, Writing About Pandemic, Cultural Heritage Can Get You Arrested

Voice of America News reports: “Writers sharing their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic or expressing views on their cultural heritage are at increased risk in China, which accounts for nearly one-third of all the 273 writers, academics and intellectuals in jail in 2020.

The number imprisoned increased from 2019, largely because of the pandemic, according to a new index compiled by rights group PEN America. Its Freedom to Write Index, which tracks jailed writers and public intellectuals worldwide, showed China, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey accounting for half of all cases. 

‘Political leaders around the world—in autocracies and fragile democracies alike—have used the pandemic and protest movements as an excuse to further constrain rights rather than expand them,’ the report said, adding that some countries have wielded laws about disinformation as a means of silencing the truth…”

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