Just beginning 2022 – Human Rights hot spots all over the World

  • The ominous shadow that stretches in 2022 over Hong Kong – Russia – Myanmanr – Afghanistan - Belarus - Cuba - etc.

Demanding respect for human rightsHong Kong held its first election since sweeping reforms to the city’s electoral system. Asked to select from a reduced number of pre-vetted and "patriotic" candidates, only 30.2% of voters participated, with pro-Beijing and pro-establishment figures winning 89 of 90 seats. “The boycott from Hong Kong people shows there’s no mandate to this legislature,” declared exiled activist Nathan Law.

Russia liquidated Memorial, the country’s oldest human rights organization and a record keeper for crimes committed under Soviet rule. The decision from a Kremlin-controlled Supreme Court was unsurprising, and “confirms that the people who are sitting in the Kremlin today consider themselves to be the direct successors to Stalin,” according to prominent dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Myanmar saw a nationwide “silent strike” after the military junta massacred 11 villagers. Businesses shut between 10 am and 4 pm on the 10th of December to signal defiance and normally congested roads in the cities of Yangon and Mandalay were deserted. “Today’s silent strike shows how the Burmese people are against the terrorist military,” Ko Bo Kyi commented.

Afghanistan is one of the worst places on earth to be a child and in recent months it's become a much darker place, so it's important that the eyes and ears of the world remain focused on the most vulnerable and how best to help them. It’s not easy, especially for young women who in their desire to learn and seek new opportunities confront daily threats, hardships and challenges. Their confidence is remarkable. The bravery of Afghanistan's girls and women surpasses whatever observers have seen anywhere else because the fears and pressures are real and they acknowledge them, but they keep moving forward anyway.

Belarus is one of the worst countries in violation of freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Two Belarusian journalists were arrested while broadcasting violent police interference during an anti-government rally protesting police brutality. Darya Chultsova and Katsyaryna Andreyeva were apprehended in Andreyeva’s apartment. Police searched Andreyeva’s apartment and detained Andreyeva’s husband, Igor Ilyash. He was sentenced to 15 days in prison for allegedly participating in another protest, despite his claims that he was not there. Protests had erupted in Minsk after the sixth presidential election in Belarus perpetuating. President Alexander Lukashenko rule, who has been president since 1994. Prior to their arrest, Chultsova and Andreyeva reported the news regarding his presidency.

Cuba continues to be one of the countries with the most political prisoners. Prisoners Defenders, the organization that overcoming tough official obstacles keeps track of this sad reality, points out that in 2021 there were 955 political prisoners on the Island. In their recent report in January, they indicated that 842 were still political prisoners and that 700 of them have been in prison for six months since the peaceful protests that took place across the country on July 11.

Human rights violations occur in all parts of the world, but while democracies have effective defense mechanisms that remedy abuses of power and punish abusers, in countries designated as "human rights violators" the authorities can violate them with impunity. Mentioned here are just a few of them, not to mention Vietnam, North Korea, Venezuela, Nicaragua, or the cruel Chinese rule over Tibet, etc., etc., where human rights are crushed day after day with absolute impunity.

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