The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, urged the world’s governments to release political prisoners because of their vulnerability to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Now, more than ever, governments should release all persons detained without sufficient legal basis, including political prisoners and others detained simply for expressing critical or dissident views,” Bachelet stressed.
When people are released, they must undergo a medical examination and measures must be taken to ensure that, if necessary, they receive appropriate care and follow-up, including health monitoring.
“Under international human rights law, states have an obligation to take measures to prevent foreseeable threats to public health and have a duty to ensure that all those in need of vital medical care are able to receive it,” Bachelet ended.
URGENT: UN Human Rights Chief @mbachelet urges Governments to act now to prevent #COVID19 devastating the health of people in detention and other closed facilities, as part of global efforts to contain the pandemic.
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) March 25, 2020