Use the state-administered quarantines as a form of repression. This is what Latin American countries like Venezuela, El Salvador and Paraguay have been doing in recent months as part of measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Amnesty International said in a new report.
According to the NGO, these countries have arrested tens of thousands of people in state-run quarantine centers, inadequately and without adequate guarantees against human rights violations that may constitute ill-treatment and at the risk that the arrests are arbitrary.
Amnesty has documented in its report “When Protection Turns into Oppression: Mandatory Quarantines During COVID-19 in America” how authorities in these three countries have disproportionately subjected migrants and refugees who have returned from their countries to low-income communities government quarantines, often in unsanitary and sometimes inhuman conditions, without adequate food, water or medical care, which can constitute ill-treatment.
Amnesty America Director Erika Guevara Rosas has denounced that “if states imprison tens of thousands of people without guaranteeing the necessity and proportionality of the measure, they are discriminated against in appalling conditions under military or police supervision and in custody they or use quarantine as a punishment, they turn a public health intervention into a repressive and punitive tactic. “