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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid