Read the stories of men, women and children who had their basic rights stripped from them including the right to life.
People’s rights are abused everyday on varying levels. Devastating cases of Human Rights Abuse have been recorded for centuries. To prevent history from repeating itself, we must know the stories. We should remind ourselves of the lives that were lost and the people who suffered in the course of fighting for our rights. They remain our heroes.
This refers to the regime of Adolf Hitler between 1933 and 1945 when the Jews were subjected to extreme persecution which led to the massacre of about 6 million Jews. The Jews were subjected to extremely harsh conditions. They were segregated and dehumanized. Their businesses were taken away from them, their homes robbed and destroyed, families were torn apart and their sources of livelihood taken from them. Hitler systematically planned the annihilation of all Jews in his plot which he called the “Final Solution”. Death Camps were constructed for the massacre and gassing of Jews to death.
The Rwanda Genocide
In 1994, 800,000 Rwandans lost their lives in the tribal killings between the Hutus and the Tutsis. The Hutus went on a rampage for 100 days, killing Tutsis in Rwanda with machetes, clubs and guns.
South Africa was beset with the Apartheid Policy from 1948 to 1991. This was a period of racial discrimination experienced by the Blacks in South Africa. They were oppressed, humiliated and ostracized. Their basic rights, including where to work, where they could enter, and who they could marry were stripped away from them. There seemed to be no justice for them. Thousands of Blacks who protested were killed and imprisoned during the Apartheid regime.
The War in Bosnia
2 million Bosnians were rendered homeless, over 20,000 women were raped and over 210,000 Bosnians were killed. Several Human rights violations were committed by Serbian and paramilitary forces. The war crimes include rapes, gang rapes, mass murders, forced eviction of people from their homes, land grabs, destruction of houses, hospitals, schools, etc
The Taliban & Afghan Women
The Taliban were notorious for their reign of terror in Afghanistan in the early 90s. Afghan women were treated less than humans and were viewed as possessions. They were made to live under strict and absurd rules and regulations. They were forced to cover themselves from head to toe, girls were not allowed to go to school or perform in any social activity, they could not come out of their houses or visit male doctors unless they had male escorts, their voices were not allowed to be heard in public, they could not wear high heels or lick ice-cream outside their homes lest they attract men.
Abuse of Human Rights in Iran
Since 2000, the Government of Iran successfully employed means of depriving its citizens of Freedom of expression. Protestors were arrested, tortured and detained for protracted periods of time. Illegal centers were run for questioning, torturing and coercion of dissidents. Newspaper houses were closed and editors and journalists were locked up. Even the internet bloggers were not spared.
Human Rights Abuse in Cambodia
During the Cambodian Genocide which took place between 1975 and 1979, up to two million lives were lost. The Cambodian Government under Pol Pot engaged in several civil rights violations including the ban of religion, shut down of newspaper houses, schools, hospitals and TV stations, and the prohibition of foreign languages. Other atrocities like land grabs, forced evictions, corruption amongst government officials, torture of arrested individuals, subjection of detainees to harsh prison conditions, and rampant killings were committed.
The above are just a few case studies. There are more cases, some are still happening today. An example is a group known as the Janjaweed who have currently murdered a total of 400,000 people in Darfur and are still at large. Other 20th Century genocides are The Armenian Genocide, where Armenians, mostly Christians, where massacred by Muslim Turks, recording a death toll of about two Million; the Ukraine Famine, where Joseph Stalin starved about seven million people in Ukraine to death; the Nanking massacre, where Japanese troops killed 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers like sport; Idi Amin, the brutal president of Uganda, also killed up to 400,000 Ugandans during his regime.
You may want to ask, “Can it get worse?” Yes it can. In order to avert these violations, please spread the word and don’t ignore the signs.