Top 5 Countries with the Worst Human Rights Violations

Top 5 Countries with the Worst Human Rights Violations
Top 5 Countries with the Worst Human Rights Violations

The world witnessed a shocking rollback of human rights last year, according to Amnesty International’s latest annual report, with signs of regression across the globe.

“Leaders have pushed hate, fought against rights, ignored crimes against humanity and blithely let inequality and suffering spin out of control,” the campaign group said in its yearly audit of human rights.

Amnesty’s State of the World’s Human Rights report, published Thursday, assessed human rights violations in 159 countries in 2017. It claimed a broad clampdown on human rights had created a “more dangerous” world.

CNBC takes a look at some of the major human rights hot spots identified by Amnesty International.

2. Russia


Russian President Vladimir Putin’s clampdown on free speech showed little sign of abating throughout 2017, Amnesty said.

Ahead of a presidential election next month, the government has arrested hundreds of peaceful protestors at a time. The campaign group said those arrested frequently faced “arbitrary detention, beatings and intimidation.”

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Jonathan Ernst – Pool | Getty Images

Saudi Arabia

Amnesty International accused Saudi Arabia of unfairly detaining human rights defenders and executing Shi’a activists. It also said women were still facing “systemic discrimination” both in law and in practice.

Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is currently pushing through substantial social and economic reforms in a bid to transform the kingdom. Late last year, bin Salman detained scores of top princes, businessmen and government officials in a so-called clampdown on corruption.

Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman (2nd L) takes his seat to meet with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and his delegation on April 19, 2017 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Jonathan Ernst – Pool | Getty Images

In September 2017, the UN described a security operation in Myanmar that targeted Rohingya Muslims as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

When violence erupted in Rakhine state in August 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled crimes against humanity to neighboring Bangladesh. Amnesty said the country’s army committed “extensive violations” of international humanitarian law and authorities were continuing to restrict humanitarian access in the Asian country.

A woman collapses from exhaustion as Rohingya refugees arrive by a wooden boat from Myanmar to the shore of Shah Porir Dwip, in Teknaf, near Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, October 1, 2017

Mohammad Ponir Hossain | Reuters

1. EU, Australia

Amnesty accused both the European Union and Australia of adopting an “outright callous” approach to the global refugee crisis. The group said refugees were not being treated as human beings but instead as “problems to be deflected.”

Greenpeace members unfurl a sign protesting the detention of asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat. The February 2016 protest was one of many held against the country's tough border protection policies.

Peter Parks | AFP | Getty Images

Under the guise of national security, Amnesty warned Chinese Premier Xi Jinping had enacted “serious threats” to human rights into law last year.

In October, President Xi laid out China’s new policy direction for the next five years during his maiden party congress speech on the opening day of the Congress. He stressed the need to tighten supervision of party members and institutionalize anti-corruption work.

Xi Jinping delivers a report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on behalf of the 18th Central Committee of the CPC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 18, 2017.

Xinhua | Ju Peng | Getty Images


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