The punctures in the armor of authoritarian states of the past year should give the world hope that brutal regimes can be held to account, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its annual analysis of the state of human rights globally.
Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2023 lists a series of human rights crises that have affected millions of people in the past 12 months, most of them in afghanistan, Where the Taliban “consistently retreated from women’s rights since they came to power” and in China, where Mass internment of an estimated one million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, it is distinguished by its “severity, scope and cruelty”.
Fault lines have appeared in seemingly impenetrable countries, said Tirana Hassan, acting executive director of Human Rights Watch. Hassan cited street protests in Chinese cities against strict “zero Covid” lockdown measures and in Iran, where Mohsa Amini’s death22, is being held by the police for not wearing a hijab properly He unleashed the largest street protests in the country in years.
“What 2022 has shown us is that there are cracks in the authoritarian armour,” Hassan said.. “There has been a rise in the number of people who have expressed their commitment, desire and demands for the realization of human rights.” For change to happen, she said, countries around the world need their support.
“We can’t take it for granted, just because there is tension right now and people on the streets in Iran, for example, this will continue until 2023,” Hassan said.
Human Rights Watch also praised the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to protect refugees, investigate crimes, and impose sanctions, as a positive note in a year of dramatic decline in human rights around the world.
The organization also launched her 2022 Global AssessmentFor the first time in decades, Hassan said, countries have come together to ensure “justice and accountability” for war crimes and refugee protection.
“We have seen what is possible when the international community comes together to prioritize the safety and protection of people fleeing war,” Hassan said. She added that within weeks of the invasion, the international community had established criminal investigations and evidence-gathering mechanisms and mobilized the international tribunal. We have seen what is possible when you mobilize to ensure there is justice and accountability for the most egregious crimes, including war crimes. The bar has moved for the first time in decades and it’s not going down, it’s going up.”
Hassan suggested that governments should consider the likely outcome had they acted earlier, at the start of the war in eastern Ukraine, in 2014, or when Russian planes bombed civilian areas. in Syria in 2016. “What would have happened if the international community had held Putin responsible for these other crimes or even held Russia accountable for the initial invasion of Ukraine?” she asked.
“If autocrats and human rights abusers are not held accountable, it emboldens them,” Hassan said, and she challenged governments to provide a similar response to human rights abuses outside Europe.
We can expect the same kind of response to grave abuses in Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan and around the world. It is about how seriously the world takes its obligations. It is repeatable. Issue 23 provides an opportunity for countries to prove that this is not just about what happened in Europe.
the Armed conflict in EthiopiaIt has received only a “tiny fraction” of the world’s attention focused on Ukraine, she said, despite two years of atrocities, including a number of massacres by warring parties.
“We cannot underestimate the cascading impact of granting a free pass for some of the most serious crimes in the world,” Hasan said, reflecting that 2022 has been a “challenging year” for women’s rights – particularly in Afghanistan, which provides the “clearest picture” of what the complete erosion looks like. for women’s rights.”
“In Afghanistan, our job is to stay committed to human rights, to fortify them in whatever way we can, and to make sure that the Taliban are pressured to reverse their thinking. We often fall into the category of thinking the Taliban are untouchable. They are not.
“What I would say, is in the face of this incredibly dark time, we’ve seen some extraordinary counter-movements, to protect women’s rights all over the world.”
in general where The US Supreme Court has struck down 50 years of federal protection For abortion rights, Latin America has seen the so-called The “Green Wave” of women-led expansion of abortion rightsincluding in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, which provide a “road map” for other countries, Hasan said.