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‘Over 2,000 submissions urge Royal Commission’s COVID Inquiry to examine speech rights’

In 24 hours, over 2,000 Kiwis have submitted feedback using the Free Speech Union’s online tool to ensure the Royal Commission’s expanded terms of reference for the COVID-19 Inquiry includes an examination of speech rights, says Jonathan Ayling, Chief Executive of the Free Speech Union.

“Arguably, no single event in recent history has had such an impact on our speech rights than the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Whether it was the Prime Minister’s message that the Government was the only reliable source of truth, academic freedom being suppressed on university campuses, or threats from professional bodies against individuals dissenting against the Government’s COVID-19 response, our right to openly receive and exchange information was undermined.

“We’re calling for the Royal Commission’s COVID-19 Inquiry to consider whether Government policies surrounding COVID-19 inhibited free speech in New Zealand.

“Thousands have echoed our concerns that the Government’s response to COVID-19 created clear divisions in our society and has influenced how we continue to communicate with each other.

“This is Kiwis’ chance to make their voices heard.”

Submissions can be made in less than three minutes at www.covidsubmissions.nz.


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