The U.S. State Department released its Human Rights Report for 2015 on Wednesday, April 13, written by the Secretary of State John F. Kerry, saying the world is heading to a governance crisis where some regimes are abusing human rights, adding that more people than ever around the world are demanding fair treatment and civil liberties.
Kerry gave an introductory speech and said that abusing human rights is what creates terrorism, letting terrorist groups flourish. He added that this is caused by authoritarian governments and abuses of human rights, which were found on every continent.
The review, named Country Reports on Human Rights, was the 40th review produced by the State Department, and it was posted on the department’s website. The document is a country-by-country assessment of every nation of the world, except the United States, that usually causes these countries to respond harshly.
The Middle East and other countries
Although the report found human rights abuses on every continent, Secretary of State John F. Kerry singled out the Middle East. Some if the countries targeted were Syria, Iran, China, North Korea and Russia, among others.
The State Department claims that, first, Russian authorities harass, discredit, prosecute, imprison, detain, fine, and suppress people and organizations that generate activities against the government, such as independent media outlets, bloggers, the political opposition, nongovernmental organizations, and activists.
As the second country hit by the report, Iran was also included, mentioning that the government in Tehran continues to refuse to work with human rights organizations at the most basic level. The State Department found and said that this government makes dubious detentions and uses capital punishments, as well as using torture processes.
About China was said that the government increased its methods of repression and extortion against people and organizations involved in civil and political rights defenses during the year.
Cuba was also mentioned in the report despite President Obama’s visit to the country. It was found that Havana continues to violate basic political freedoms, with the Communist Party’s monopoly on power very much still in force.
Asides from the previous countries, which were the ones mainly treated, other nations that received significant attention this year included Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, Uganda, Egypt and Vietnam. Regarding terrorist groups, the Islamic State, Nigeria’s Boko Haram, Somalia’s al-Shabab and the Taliban movement in Pakistan and Afghanistan were mentioned and attended. The abuses mentioned in the report included genocide and crimes against humanity directed at religious minorities, including Christians, in Syria and Iraq.
More specifically, Kerry said in the review, “Violent non-state actors do not come from nowhere. They flourish in the absence of credible and effective state institutions, where avenues for free and peaceful expression of opinion are blocked, where court systems lack credibility, where unchecked security forces instill fear in populations, and where even the most basic of day-to-day transactions by citizens with their government are characterized by corruption.”
Source: The Washington Post