10 Countries With The Worst Human Rights Records

When a country tries to ban Winnie the Pooh, you know its commitment to free speech is a fairly low priority After all, the silly old bear is hardly the most subversive or divisive figure in the world

Next they’ll be declaring Tigger an anarchist, and executing him in the street With the rise of the internet, China’s approach to censorship has only grown more extreme Mainstream websites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are all blocked by the government’s “Great Firewall of China” Even Pornhub is off limits, a ban that would set loads of us rioting on Day One All internet use in China is monitored by the government, with two million people employed by the state to police internet use

General Secretary Xi Jinping even has plans to give every person in China a trustworthiness score based on their internet use A low score, caused by doing things like criticizing the government, would prevent someone from taking out loans, travelling freely, or sending their child to a good school Outside of the web, China has the death penalty and uses it regularly on political dissidents In 2013, China executed 2,400 people, more than the rest of the world combined Here’s something you probably didn’t know: Africa has its own North Korea

It’s not a country many of us know about, but since its independence from Ethiopia in 1993, Eritrea has descended into an authoritarian nightmare Although Eritrea’s constitution proclaims the nation a multi-party democracy, there is only one party and President Isaias Afwerki is a straight-up dictator Elections were planned for 1995 and 2001, but Afwerki used largely trumped up fears of a war with Ethiopia as a justification for postponing them indefinitely The lack of democracy isn’t Eritrea’s only problem 400,000 of Eritrea’s 5

8 million people have been press-ganged into the country’s army Although called “military service”, conscripts are forced to serve for the rest of their lives and earn only the equivalent of £30 a month And since Eritrea is not at war, these soldiers are mainly used as a source of cheap manual labour for the government So maybe “military service” isn’t quite the term they’re looking for Try “indentured servitude”

Part of the reason Eritrea’s dictatorship is little known is that Eritrea has arguably the most restricted media in the entire world In 2015, Reporters Without Borders placed them dead last in press freedom Although to be fair, in 2016 they only came second to last, overtaking that other bastion of free speech, North Korea According to the NGO Human Rights Watch, the modern Russian government is now more repressive than it was when it was part of the USSR A big part of that staggering claim is the continued abuse of homosexuals in the semi- autonomous region of Chechnya

While Russia in general has an approach to gay rights ripped straight from the Middle Ages, the situation in Chechnya makes the rest of the country look like a giant Pride Parade In February 2017, more than 100 Chechnyan men suspected of homosexuality were rounded up and detained in what eyewitnesses describe as a “concentration camp” There the men were beaten, electrocuted and stamped on and at least three people have died from the abuse The Chechnyan leadership has denied the existence of the camps, with the spokesman for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, even trying to claim Chechnya has never had gay people in it Large pockets of Somalia are controlled by Islamic terror group Al-Shabaab, and the coast is overrun with pirates

With those two facts in mind, it’s not that surprising Somalia has a poor record of maintaining human rights The country has been engulfed by civil war since 2009, and hasn’t had an effective national government for 20 years Somalia’s government hasn’t even been powerful enough to hold a national election since 1969 Even in the safest government-controlled areas, like the capital Mogadishu, basic civil services like bin collection and street lighting have only just returned And the government is far from a bastion of human rights

Homosexuality, for instance, is punishable with three years in jail Of course, these violations pale in comparison to the abuse occurring in Al-Shabaab’s regions The terror group enforces a strict version of Sharia Law over its provinces, banning independent media, forcibly recruiting child soldiers, and executing homosexuals When it comes to human rights, Congo is happy to say one thing, and do another In 2010, Congo passed a law supposedly ensuring the protection of its historically oppressed pygmy population

Considering that, in 2003, the United Nations reported that the pygmies were being enslaved, massacred, and even eaten bin their thousands, that seemed a pretty major step in the right direction However, a 2015 report by Survival International claims that little has changed for Congo’s Pygmies They still primarily have to work as the slaves of the other races, often only being paid in cigarettes and clothes Meanwhile, Congolese President Joseph Kabila said that he would hold a Presidential election by the end of 2017 But the country’s electoral commission has already come out and said that probably won’t happen

And every day the election doesn’t happen, Kabila is dismantling any opposing parties and negative media outlets that pose a threat to his victory All this is just more proof that Congo deserves to be called ‘Democratic’ about as much as ‘Taco Bell’ deserves to be called Mexican food You might think it’s pretty hard to take a nation literally sitting on top of the largest oil reserves in the world, and turn it into a place where people have to eat their pets to survive But President Nicolas Maduro and his socialist government were certainly up to the challenge After the price of oil collapsed in 2014, so did Venezuela’s economy

Panicking as his country was thrown into hyper-inflation, Maduro declared a nationwide state of emergency Hoping to keep control, he started seizing private businesses and using the police to tear gas and beat up protesters This had the opposite effect, driving companies out of the country and people into the streets In March 2017, Maduro tried to disband Venezuela’s Congress Though the decision only lasted three days, the move towards dictatorship led to further protests and rioting

Meanwhile, the country’s citizens have been left to starve Most people only have access to running water one day a week, and even then the water is brown and likely to make people vomit Food is so scarce that the average Venezuelan has reportedly lost 10 kilograms People have allegedly taken to eating their own pets and even zoo animals just to survive After 54 years of brutal military rule, human rights in Myanmar were almost non-existent

Over a thousand political prisoners had been jailed by the regime, trade union membership was banned, and all media was censored by the Ministry of Information before publication Most shocking of all was the treatment of the ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims, who the government has spent decades repressing The Rohingya have had to face the military- organized rape of their women, and even attempts at ethnic cleansing So, in March 2016, when the first civilian-government since 1962 took power, hopes were high that the country might finally see some respect for people’s rights That didn’t happen

Under the nation’s constitution, the military retains full autonomy That means they can do whatever they want, and what they want is apparently to continue their genocide against the Rohingya Despite the release of 220 political prisoners, and the fact Burma moved 12 places up the Press Freedom Index last year, much more needs to be done Things in Syria aren’t great The bloodiest conflict of the decade has already claimed 470,000 lives, and doesn’t shown signs of ending any time soon

Part of the country’s problem is that humanitarian threats seem to be coming from all quarters ISIS have murdered their way through much of the Middle East The Syrian government has used chemical weapons on its own citizens on more than one occasion And the Kurds have allowed Female Genital Mutilation to run rampant in their lands Even the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group who have received US funding and weapons, have been torturing and executing enemy soldiers and in 2014, Human Rights Watch accused the rebels of recruiting child soldiers into their army

With no side on the verge of victory, and no strong advocates of rights rising to power, it looks as if Syria’s people will face this humanitarian crisis for years to come We all knew North Korea had to be on this list somewhere The creepy choirs, ridiculous propaganda, and existence of Kim Jong Un have all turned North Korea into a global punchline But the Asian state is also a decades-old totalitarian dictatorship We’ve done a whole video on the insane list of things you can’t do in North Korea, but here are a few highlights: Driving a car, having a mullet, watching porn, and listening to Western music

Basically anything that isn’t marching around pretending you believe Kim Jong Un’s drinking stories Breaking any of these rules will either result in you being publicly executed or sent off to a work camp for life And you wouldn’t be the only one punished for having the audacity to listen to Beyoncé North Korea’s Three Generations of Punishment system means that it isn’t just the offender sent off to a modern-day gulag Their children and their children’s children will also be packed off there

That means it’s theoretically possible for a North Korean to be born, grow up, and die without ever leaving the work camp Saudi Arabia is not a great place to be a woman Or an atheist Or LGBT Or a journalist

Or basically anything expect a straight Muslim man who likes the government The country has long been infamous for its restrictions on female rights Although women were allowed vote for the first time in 2015, they still can’t drive, mix freely with men, or wear any clothing that “shows off their beauty” Meanwhile “crimes” like homosexuality or atheism carry the death penalty In 2016 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia beheaded 157 people for various crimes, the most it has executed in 20 years

Even minor offenses like drinking, consuming pork, and watching movies or listening in music in public are all met with severe punishment And when we say “severe”, we mean it Saudi Arabia tends to flog or de-limb its criminals Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations are so numerous we haven’t even had time to discuss their involvement in the slave trade, their suppression of the press, or the fact they’re likely funding ISIS Yet, despite all these blatant abuses of human rights, Saudi Arabia still has a seat on the UN’s Human Rights Council

A decision that was presumably made by the UN’s Irony Council

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