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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
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.
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.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid