Are Human Rights Getting Worse?

“2014 was a catastrophic year” for human
rights. That’s what Amnesty International said in its recent report. It was a record
year for human rights abuse, and for sheer numbers of refugees. Let’s a look at just
how bad 2014 was around the world. 1) Middle East In Syria and Iraq, ISIS attacked, kidnapped,
and executed scores of people who were perceived as disobeyers of Sharia (sha-REE-ah) law.
Many of the executions were videotaped and displayed online. In Iraq, Shi’a (SHE-ah) militias continued
to slaughter Sunni civilians with indirect support from the Iraqi government. In July, Israel launched an assault on Gaza
which killed about 2,000 Palestinians. In January 2015, the International Criminal Court
announced a preliminary investigation into these deaths as war crimes. Egypt’s new government imprisoned thousands
of activists throughout the year, and sentenced hundreds of them to death. More than 800 reportedly
died from violence during protests. In December, in Pakistan, the Taliban attacked
a public school resulting in the deaths of 132 children. It was the deadliest Taliban
attack in Pakistan’s history. 2) Africa In Nigeria, around eight thousand people died
last year, many from attacks by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Almost 300 schoolgirls
were abducted by the Islamic militant group in April, and many are still in captivity. In the Central African Republic, during conflicts
between Muslims and Christians, more than 5,000 people perished. Most were civilians. In South Sudan, fighting between government
and opposition forces left thousands dead and forced more than 800,000 to flee their
homes. 3) The Americas In Venezuela in February, mass anti-government
protests resulted in 43 deaths and 870 injuries. In Mexico, in September, 43 students enroute
to a protest were detained by police and later disappeared. They are thought to have been
killed by the local mafia, working with law enforcement. In the United States, the officer-involved
shooting of Michael Brown ignited racial tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, and prompted months
of rioting across the nation. In December, the US released the “Torture
Report”, which detailed many offenses committed by the CIA against prisoners, supposedly in
pursuit of information on terrorists. 4) Asia A UN report released in February detailed
the North Korean government’s “systematic, widespread and gross” human rights violations.
Hundreds of thousands of people remained in detention facilities in North Korea throughout
2014. In Hong Kong during September, thousands of
protesters took to the streets to demand universal suffrage. More than a hundred were detained,
and some are still incarcerated. 5) Europe In Kiev, Ukraine, anti-government protests
concluded, with more than 100 dead in 2014. Since April 2014, the UN reports that more
than 6,000 people have died from the conflict in eastern Ukraine with pro-Russian separatists. CONCLUSION: In an effort to improve conditions
in 2015, Amnesty International is urging UN members to not veto any Security Council measures
which take action against genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity. We’re really excited to announce that we
have officially launched a brand new network Seeker, and I really think you’ll want to
check out our new daily show. Here’s one of my episodes on a brand new temple to Thor
that Iceland is building. Make sure you subscribe to Seeker for more
interesting stories from around the world. There’s a link to that video in the description.
Thanks for watching!


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