HUman rights violations: Abuse of power freedom of expression and discrimination-is your voice being heard?

Human rights are the inalienable freedoms that all men and women are born with. Freedoms that cannot be taken away.
Freedom of Speech and Expression(what?)

Throughout the world there is a lot of corruption when it comes to recognizing that every person has undeniable human rights. Today, even in our modern society certain groups of people still face discrimination, even though under the law they are equal to any given person. Everyone deserves the same amount of treatment, respect, and resources as anyone else. Most third world countries are based on materialistic things, and money, rather than the value of any individual person, if one doesn't have money then they aren't even considered an important part of society and that is wrong. The people of these countries experience the constant disregard of their human rights, specifically the right to freely express their opinions and views. This happens because those in government, or those who hold a powerful position, take advantage of their authority, and remove basic human rights from their people, just because they are capable of doing so.

At least 156 human rights defenders died in detention or were killed
Who is this happening to?(1st example)
  1. "Syrian writer Habib Saleh was sentenced to three years in prison on Sunday for criticizing the country's government in a series of articles published on the internet."(Amnesty International)

Saleh is part of an organization called the National Dialogue Forum, and although they are presumed unauthorized, the members of the group openly and freely discuss political affairs, and Saleh is one of their key activists. Habib is considered a prisoner of consistence, jailed for simply expressing his political views in a peaceful manner. The fact that he was sent to jail for 3 years, just for indulging in his right to express himself and speak freely without judgement is alarming. The accusation was made by soldiers who came across the articles, even though he didn't violate any laws they continued to arrest him and charge him with “broadcasting false or exaggerated news which could affect the morale of the country”. This accusation is insinuating that Habib has spread false information on such a large scale that the effects of this information, could jeopardize the sanity and emotional state of its viewers. The only reason the authorities arrested him was because his articles exposed the government of their corruption. In order to keep the people ignorant of the injustice, they put him in jail to stop him from informing the people of their own rights. This case is just one of many cases that demonstrates corruption and the abuse of power, the effects of this is the failure of the government to its people.

61 or more countries locked up prisoners of conscience – people who were exercising their rights and freedoms
Who is this happening to?(2nd example)

2. "Thousands in need of aid following the Nepal earthquake risk being left to fend for themselves amidst worrying signs that gender, caste and ethnic discrimination are inhibiting the aid effort"(Amnesty International)

On April 25 of 2015, disaster struck the people of Nepal as a massive earthquake crumbled the lives and homes of the people living and surrounding the area. The natural disaster left the country grieving and in devastation, as thousands of people were killed and injured. Although this misfortune is tough to fathom, the aftermath of the situation was even more horrific. Survivors of the earthquake are being left to recover from this tragedy on their own, they are being abandoned by their government to find resources that were destroyed in the quake. Despite their suffering, government and authority aid has been limited to nothing based on discrimination of the people. The fact that these people are suffering and in dire need of relief, and are being refused supplies because they aren't ideal to those in power, is injustice at its finest. People deserve to be treated equally especially if it's a life or death situation, with hundreds of people severely injured, it's critical that the government recognizes that every life matters. Authorities are putting the lives of innocent people at risk, based on petty judgment. The amount of corruption in the justice system of Nepal is vile, it is a demand not a matter of question, that the rights of these people are honored and protected, “Playing politics with people’s lives is deplorable”.(Amnesty International)With law enforcement neglecting them, their voice and cry for help, cant be heard. The government shouldn’t be taking advantage of the power they have to govern unfairly.

Who is this happening to?(3rd example)

3."Jatupat (Pai) Boonphatthararaksa faces up to 15 years in prison for lese majeste (insulting the monarchy) charges initiated by the military."

Jatupat is part of two activist movements, the “Dao Din Movement and the New Democracy Movement (NDM).” He plays a key role in the success of these operations and is a vital part of the progress that has come from both groups. On December 3, his plans for the groups came to an abrupt halt when he was arrested. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail without bail for ‘insulting monarchy’. Authorities made this allegation based on an article that he wrote voicing his personal thoughts and feelings on how he felt the government was extremely corrupt and unjust in their political decision making. This accusation was filed by army officers after they arrested him, solely based on the fact that he published an article that exposed the government's violation of human rights in the way they governed the people of Thailand. Even though he didn't break any laws he was arrested on an account of personal disagreement. The authorities did not agree with what he discussed in his article because it made them look bad. As a result they detained him in order to stop his research from affecting the general population's knowledge. The Court withdrew bail after, “he had made other Facebook comments satirizing the authorities.”(Amnesty International) During his arrest, when he was being held in the, “Khon Kaen provincial correctional institution”(Amnesty International) he continued to fight his persecution by writing about his trials and his unjust detention. He posted this on Facebook and to the authorities, this was a vast offense. His right, to the right of freedom of speech was repeatedly violated because those in command abused their power and privilege. The authorities shouldn’t feel that they can completely disregard the human rights of their people, simply because they have the power to.

58% of countries (93) conducted unfair trials. In unfair trials, justice is not served for the accused, the victim of the crime or the public.
Where is this happening?

In the cases that were mentioned, Thailand, Nepal, and Syria, but this is a common issue all over the world. People from all over experience this violation on a daily basis, when people think of human rights violations the first thing that comes to mind is third world countries, and while that is where the majority of things happen, when it comes to freedom of speech and discrimination, most if not all people from different countries around the globe have or are currently experiencing it. According to researchers from Amnesty International, protesters of repressive governments across the Middle East and North Africa have been killed, beaten, and arrested by police in the streets for voicing their opinions of reforms.

Why is this happening?

This happens because those in power feel that people of lower social stature, or even a social state that is less than the most influential in that specific place, are not considered to be of importance or credible just based on their social class, rather than who they are as an individual. This is a concern that multiple groups of people face. Some of these people aren't even knowledgeable of some of their human rights. Despite that fact, even if they were informed of their privileges, without the government protecting and enforcing those rights, they have no power. The people may be aware of what should be happening, but if they “express dissenting views [they] run a high risk of being arrested by the security forces”(Amnesty International). Living in constant fear, and witnessing the severe consequences that would occur if they did act on their rights, holds them back. This a major problem, if people can't rely on their government to deliver justice, and to be their voice, then who can they turn to?

WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Many groups and organizations are working together by bringing different people and activists who want to make a difference together. In order to help resolve this issue in their communities as well as all over the globe.

You can help by visiting Amnesty.org/what-we-do or get involved, to help relieve people all over the world and in your community from oppressive governments.

Bibliography

“Freedom of Expression” [“Freedom of Expression”]. Amnesty International, 2017, www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/freedom-of-expression/. Accessed 2017.

“Get Involved” [“Get Involved”]. Amnesty International, 2017, www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/. Accessed 2017.

“Human Rights Facts and Figures for 2014” [“Human Rights Facts and Figures for 2014”]. Amnesty International, 2015, www.amnesty.ca/sites/amnesty/files/airfactsfigures.pdf. Accessed Feb. 2015.

“Human Rights Protection” [“Human Rights Protection”]. Beyond Intractability, 2004, www.beyondintractability.org/essay/human-rights-protect. Accessed June 2004.

“Middle East and North Africa” [“Middle East and North Africa”]. Amnesty International, 2014, www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-human-rights-violations. Accessed 28 Apr. 2014.

“Nepal: End of Discrimination in Earthquake Relief Effort.” Amnesty International, 2015, www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/06/nepal-end-discrimination-in-earthquake-relief-effort/. Accessed 1 June 2015.

“9 Shocking Human Rights Statistics from the past Year” [“9 Shocking Human Rights Statistics from the past Year”]. Third Force News, 2016, thirdforcenews.org.uk/lists/10-things-we-learned-about-human-rights-around-the-world-this-week. Accessed 24 Feb. 2016.

“Syrian Activist Jailed for Three Years.” Amnesty International, 2009, www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2009/03/activista-sirio-condenado-3-anos-carcel-20090317/. Accessed 17 Mar. 2009.

“Thailand: Activist Unjustly Jailed for ‘Insulting Monarchy.’” Human Rights Watch, 2017, www.hrw.org/news/2017/01/22/thailand-activist-unjustly-jailed-insulting-monarchy. Accessed 22 Jan. 2017.

“Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” United for Human Rights, 2017, www.humanrights.com/what-are-human-rights/universal-declaration-of-human-rights/preamble.html. Accessed 11 Jan. 2017.

All pictures used in the presentation were produced by Adobe Spark. With the exception of the poster concluding the presentation, created by Maleenah Ortiz

Credits:

Created with images by Alexas_Fotos - "bullying stop violate" • jodylehigh - "prison fence razor ribbon wire" • DFID - UK Department for International Development - "Collecting clean water in rural Sindh" • 15299 - "moore oklahoma tornado" • 15299 - "moore oklahoma tornado" • Taken - "jail prison ruin" • Keith Williamson - "The world through a lens Project 365(2) Day 356" • DFID - UK Department for International Development - "A young woman waits to receive UK-funded food aid in Dolow, Somalia, 28 January 2012" • anil bhatt - "“There are hundreds of languages in the world, but a smile speaks them all.”"

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