In March 2020, Index on Censorship partnered with Justice for Journalists Foundation to keep track of attacks on media freedom under cover of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Four months on and the project has recorded more than 230 physical and verbal assaults, detentions and arrests and fines around the world. Authoritarian governments are increasingly using the pandemic to clamp down on media freedom. The largest number of incidents are in Russia and the former Soviet Union. Here associate editor Mark Frary talks to JFJ’s director Maria Ordzhonikidze about why media freedom is in decline in the region.