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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    Party's presumptive presidential nominee, her vice presidential pick deliver optimistic message in Florida as they campaign for first time together

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora