Updated: Feb 9
This article was published earlier this year here, on online opinion , but it is still relevant for our considerations .... the human rights violations under COVID are exhaustive ... the question of proportionality is an important one for our legal, human rights, due process and transparency considerations.
At midnight, on 23rd of April 2021, Western Australia's State of Emergency was set to
expire. Just in time, another alleged spread here OVID occurred from our hotel quarantine facilities on that same day, triggering an extension of the State Government’s Emergency Powers.
I say alleged, because I have not seen the scientific evidence proving that there has been a spread of coronavirus, and suspect that the last lockdown in Perth in February was based on a false positive reading of the test.
Western Australia’s Chief Health Medical Office Andy Robertson was once again nowhere to be seen when the restrictions were announced.
In fact, Perth’s Chief Health Medical Officer has not spoken to the media in over 200 days. Why is that?
An estimated $200 million potential revenue across the long weekend was lost due to the lockdown, and small and local family businesses are furious - they are demanding compensation from our government - and rightly so.
This last year has been one of the strangest in history. We have willingly given up the majority of our rights and freedoms in response to the fear of death: due to a virus that has statistically taken mostly the elderly, with the majority who contract it: surviving and thriving.
During COVID, we have been confronted with the philosophical question of: what do we value the most? As a refugee kid from a communist dictatorship regime, I value my freedoms the most.
Under COVID, government restrictions are cumbersome, disproportionate and illusive. Members of parliament restrict our freedoms of movement, association, freedom of speech and political communication and even our freedom of religion - with impunity. Are you ok with this?
And, for how long? Human Rights Watch have condemned the measures!
Why of the talk of further future restrictions, and when will it end?
Premieres such as Andrews in Victoria and McGowan in Western Australia have acted with impunity, arresting, imprisoning and fining persons for not wearing masks, for protesting and even for exercising their freedom of speech on social media.
When will this end?
Make no mistake: your rights and freedoms have been taken away from you disproportionately and illegally by governments who have overreached their powers constitutionally, cannot medically or scientifically not justify an ongoing use of Emergency Powers, and have left families socially and economically suffering.
Let’s look at what we have lost under COVID:
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person (Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)).
Except under COVID. Under Covid, we have been harassed, intimidated and threatened by our own governments. We have been silenced. This is evidenced by pregnant lady being arrested in Victoria for organising an anti-lockdown rally on Facebook.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. (Art. 7 of the UDHR).
Except under COVID. Under COVID, if you have a medical condition and cannot wear a mask, if you exercise your freedom of speech, or if you rally or protest, you will be fined, harassed and even imprisoned by the authorities.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. (Art 9; UDHR).
Except under COVID. Under COVID, you may be forcibly restrained, detained and forced to take a vaccine and be subject to medical procedures without your consent according to section 158 of the Western Australian Public Health Act 2016.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. (Art. 10 & 11; UDHR).
Except under COVID. Under COVID, you are guilty, without the presumption of innocence or without a fair trial or hearing before a fine is issued for arbitrary matters, or for being at a place where the government has restricted our movement.
In the case of Dr Nataliia Narin who is a dentist originally from the Ukraine, she has lost her practicing certificate due to work travel that she undertook during COVID restrictions. She has lost her livelihood and profession.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. (Art. 12; UDHR).
Except under COVID. Under COVID, your private information must be given out every time you leave the house and enter any new premises - in direct violation of section 13 of the Privacy Act.
Serene Tefeaha, a lawyer based in Victoria has had her legal practicing certificate stripped, due to her advocacy work with people who have been ill-treated by the government under COVID restrictions. No clear charges have been laid against her, nor is there any evidence of fraud or malpractice.
Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. (Art.13; UDHR).
Except under COVID. Under COVID, we cannot leave our borders or move freely without interference, or engage in trade and commerce in Australia - violating section 92 of the Australian Constitution. A friend of mine hag guests arriving recently for her wedding in Perth, and were met with hostility, bullying and harassing behaviour from officials at the airport for not wearing a mask.
In her own country! As a citizen travelling between states!
In accordance with the Biosecurity Act and the Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014, a biosecurity officer can issue infringement notices in the airport for: not answering questions or providing information in relation to goods when requested s 126(2); not following directions given by a biosecurity officer in relation to your goods or baggage s 128(2); knowingly providing false or misleading information or omitting information when asked s 532(1); knowingly producing a false or misleading document, including your Incoming Passenger Card (IPC) or Crew Declaration s 533(1).
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom … either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. (Art. 18; UDHR).
Except under COVID. Under COVID, it became illegal to congregate with those who have common religious beliefs, with one Canadian Pastor imprisoned for holding Church during restrictions.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. (Art. 19; UDHR).
Except under COVID. Under COVID, if you ask questions publicly or on social media, you are damned as a conspiracy theorist, threatened and may loose your job for questioning tyrannical dictatorship rule. At least 83 governments worldwide have used the Covid-19 pandemic to justify violating the exercise of free speech and peaceful assembly, Human Rights Watch has said.
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. (Art. 20; UDHR).
Except under COVID. Under COVID, silent protests or rallies became illegal, with citizens being threatened with imprisonment and heavy penalties, most recently witnessed in London.
Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government. (Art. 21; UDHR).
Except under COVID. Under COVID, no one is allowed to question government control or force. No one has a say in the restrictions, laws or amendments currently taking place to restrict our rights and freedoms disproportionately and with impunity.
Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. (Art. 23; UDHR).
Except under COVID. Under COVID, the government restricts our work, our business, economy, trade and commerce - disproportionately and with impunity. Families and businesses continue to suffer, while the elite profit off of our misery. Job loss is only part of the problem.