About this series

The coronavirus pandemic is testing the global boundaries of personal liberty, whether in the world's democracies or autocratic states. This series examines how efforts to stop the disease are expanding government powers — and creating long-term risks.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wears a mask as he looks on during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem Saturday,…
Jewish state’s cutting-edge internal security service, the Shin Bet, was put to work in fighting the pandemic, and it raised big concerns about
Linda Gradstein
Mon, 06/01/2020 - 10:22 AM
Pandemic May PushTurkey Further to Autocracy
Critics say the pandemic is accelerating Turkey's descent from democratic freedoms
Dorian Jones
Thu, 05/28/2020 - 06:46 AM
Mourners wearing protective clothing, face masks and gloves, pray over the body of a victim who died after being infected with…
Iran's government is facing a crisis of legitimacy over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic
Henry Ridgwell
Thu, 05/21/2020 - 03:47 PM
A protester is arrested by police officers as Stella Nyanzi (not visible), a prominent Ugandan activist and government critic,…
Rights groups and academics raise alarm over squeeze on  basic human rights in Africa's fragile democracies
Anita Powell
Thu, 05/21/2020 - 03:38 PM
FILE - Police officers check motorists on a road access point to Tandarei, eastern Romania, April 4, 2020, after authorities imposed a severe quarantine status on the city.
As governments mobilize resources and coerce people to take measures to contain the coronavirus and mitigate its impact, the state has been unbound
Jamie Dettmer
Fri, 05/01/2020 - 03:36 PM
A picture shows a surveillance camera in an underground passage in Moscow on January 27, 2020. - A vast and contentious network…
Moscow's virus crackdown: personal QR codes and face recognition, mask included
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Fri, 05/01/2020 - 01:14 PM
A couple in Korean traditional costumes, Hanbok, wearing masks to prevent contacting the coronavirus, looks at a mobile phone…
Seoul expanded surveillance, and voters said OK. But when will the monitoring end?
William Gallo
Fri, 05/01/2020 - 01:06 PM
People with masks, blow whistles to representing whistleblower during a vigil for Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, in Hong Kong,…
China's intrusive surveillance, censorship and crackdown on dissent halted the virus, but at what cost?
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Fri, 05/01/2020 - 12:40 PM
Police officers prepare a drone to find residents who fail to comply with the stay-at-home order implemented due to the…
The establishment of one-man rule in the heart of Europe has enraged civil libertarians and Hungary’s opposition leaders, who say Orbán aims to establish an elective dictatorship
Jamie Dettmer
Tue, 04/21/2020 - 08:00 AM
Police officers patrolling to control the observance of lockdown regulations introduced by the Hungarian government to contain the pandemic of coronavirus watch a customer buying vegetables at a market in the city centre of Szeged, Hungary, April 6, 2020.
New legislation enables Prime Minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree, with no time limit
Henry Ridgwell
Mon, 04/13/2020 - 08:28 AM