News / Africa

17 Countries Top List Of World’s Worst Human Rights Abusers

Freedom House's 'Worst of the Worst 2011: The World’s Most Repressive Societies' report
Freedom House's 'Worst of the Worst 2011: The World’s Most Repressive Societies' report
Lisa Schlein

An independent watchdog organization, Freedom House, has named 17 countries and three territories as the world's "most repressive societies."  Among those topping the list of the world’s worst human rights abusers are Burma, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan. The annual report was launched in Geneva.

The countries on the list are those that have received the lowest rankings on political rights and civil liberties.  The report notes that unfortunately, the same countries keep appearing on this hit parade of violators year after year.

It says countries such as Syria, Somalia, Turkmenistan, Libya, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia are places where people suffer from some of the most severe, systematic abuses of human rights on the planet.

The director of advocacy at Freedom House, Paula Schriefer, says she is pleased the U.N. Human Rights Council is becoming more active in shining the light of shame on these countries.  

In the past few months, she notes, Burma, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and North Korea have been the focus of resolutions or special sessions by the Council.  

But, she says, Freedom House regrets the Council’s reluctance to go after the most powerful country on the group's list, China.

“It has never been the target of a successful resolution or a special session at the Human Rights Council or previously at the Commission on Human Rights despite the fact that egregious violations take place in the country," said Schriefer. "Groups like the Falun Gong, the repression of minorities, such as the Uiguars, Tibetans are common.”  

Seven African countries figure among the list of the world’s worst violators.  Osman Hummaida, the executive director of the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies, is from northern Sudan.  He lives in exile in Uganda.

He says he is sorry his native country is on top of the worst country list.  He says the government has been employing more repressive measures in reaction to the so-called Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt,

“Since January, the government has opted to use different tactics and mechanisms to stay in power," said Hummaida. "They have been very disturbed by the situation in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.  And, their response and crackdown on the demonstrations and protest by civilians, particular among students, have been associated with a very disturbing pattern of torture and other measures the government has taken against these groups.”  

The Freedom House report says there has been an overall decline in global respect for the values of liberal democracy in the last five years.  It says new threats have emerged in nearly every region of the world.  

These include heightened attacks on human rights defenders and civil society, increased limits on press freedom and attacks on journalists.

Despite recent setbacks, the report says the world in 2011 is still significantly freer than it was 30 years ago.  It says dozens of states have replaced dictatorships and authoritarian regimes with democratically-elected governments.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid