Europe’s rights body fears virus measures hurting democracy

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Europe’s human rights watchdog is warning that democratic rights and personal freedoms have been eroded during the coronavirus pandemic. In a new report Tuesday the 47-country Council of Europe says some governments have used restrictions meant to fight the spread of the disease to advance undemocratic political agendas. Council Secretary-General Marija Pejcinovic Buric says “the danger is that our democratic culture will not fully recover.” The report says some governments used health measures to concentrate power. Buric also says that violence against women worsened due to lockdown confinement, and that migrants and other vulnerable groups were facing more frequent abusive behavior at the hands of authorities.

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