The UP CMC Office of Research and Publication presents:
The Brownbag Series December 2022
Human Rights Week Research, Data, and Analysis

The Pandora Accounting: The Unleashing of State Forces
against Netizen-Authors and Content-Creators
during the Darkest Days of the Pandemic:
A Legal Discursive Analysis (1)

by Marichu C. Lambino

Date & Time: December 7, 2022, Wednesday 1:00pm-3:00 pm
(SAVE THE DATE: Dec. 7, 2022)

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Abstract: While the pandemic response today has shifted to the lifting of health protocols to increase consumer spending and to attract tourists, in the early part of the pandemic, the unleashing of state might against netizens for their tweets, posts and other acts of expression in the form of arrests, physical punishment, and threats, has remained unaccounted for. This paper examines these cases of arrests, incidents of physical punishment, and threats of punishment of social media users for their social media posts during the darkest days of the pandemic in the period March 2020 up to May 2020 pandemic using the non-derogability framework of freedom of thought under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the non-derogability of freedom of opinion when it arises from the right to freedom of thought under the ICCPR. (2) It demonstrates how these arrests and forms of punishment in violation of freedom of thought run afoul of the State-Party’s obligation under the ICCPR, and are actionable violations under the ICCPR — for which the actors can be held to account for, and should be held to account for, under international law — in a time of reckoning.

Footnotes: (1) This paper uses data, expanded and updated, earlier submitted to the course Law 266
(2)See UNHRC, General Comment No. 22: Article 18 (The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion), 48th Sess, adopted 30 July 30 1993, CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.4, online:

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