Amnesty International on the state of human rights in 2021: the alliance of money and power over people

Political leaders in rich countries have teamed up with corporate giants to monopolize power and profits by promoting false promises of a fair recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to address entrenched inequalities.

The failure of the international community to confront the multiplication of conflicts in a way that paved the way for further escalation. The most marginalized groups in the world have been hit the hardest, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Offenders of crimes under international law and other serious human rights violations have won impunity in almost all countries.

And when the world desperately needed independent voices, the tendency to silence dissenting voices grew backwards.

These were the headlines of Amnesty International’s Stand of the World Human Rights Report 2021, Tuesday 29 March.

The 171-page report, in its analysis of the situation in 154 countries, found that rich country officials deceived people with hollow slogans and false promises to recover from the epidemic on a just basis while planning to profit and to gain influence “at the expense of people”, which it considered “one of the greatest deceptive operations.” In our era ”.

The report concluded that the alliance of power and money, represented by the giant technology companies, caused “deepening inequalities in the world” for several reasons, notably “hateful corporate greed, brutal nationalist selfishness and disregard for health and public infrastructure by governments. around the world. “

‘Deepening inequalities in the world’ … Amnesty International says political leaders and giant corporations have joined forces to make a profit and achieve ‘at the expense of people’ in 2021

The organization recorded a “worrying spread” of repression of freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly around the world, with 43% of the countries covered by the report introducing laws restricting freedom of peaceful expression, while excessive and unnecessary violence against protesters was used. in 55% of these countries, and human rights defenders are arbitrary in 54% of them.

Another major disadvantage identified by Amnesty International’s report is the undermining of vaccine successes, which it referred to as “corporate greed and the dominance of national interests”.

While the acceleration of the spread of vaccines against the Corona virus was apparently a scientific magic wand that revived the hope that the epidemic could be ended, and with the production of enough vaccines to infect the entire population of the world in recent years vaccinated, the year ended and less than 4% of the population of low-income countries were fully vaccinated.

The report emphasized that the damage was “more visible and severe” in Africa, where by the end of 2021 less than 8% of the continent’s population had received full vaccination, making it the least immunized continent.

The monopoly of rich countries in larger amounts of vaccine doses than they need, and the big pharmaceutical companies turning a blind eye to this to make profits, even at the expense of people, are two main reasons behind this, according to Amnesty International.

The report included detailed information on the right to life, the right to education, the right to food, the right to health care, violence against women and girls, the rights of migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons, the rights of children, the rights of LGBTQ people, environmental conservation, freedom of assembly and expression, and the death penalty in the countries covered.

Amnesty International: Officials of rich countries have deceived people with hollow slogans and false promises of a fair recovery from the pandemic while planning to take advantage at the expense of people in one of the greatest deceptions of our time

With regard to the Middle East and North Africa in particular, the annual report focused on four areas that saw more serious offenses. The first of these is the continuation of torture and other forms of abuse in official and unofficial places of detention in ten at least 18 states, including to withdraw forced “confessions”.

Amnesty International has accused the authorities in Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Palestine, among others in the region, of failing to investigate the causes and circumstances of suspected deaths in custody, with suspicions of torture and denial. of health care.
Amnesty International has also found evidence of the failure of authorities across the region to protect low-income workers from losing their jobs or wages, even from the economic downturn of the pandemic.

The organization monitored some governments’ repression of the rights of workers participating in strikes and their failure to support the unjust dismissed. In Egypt, for example, a new law has been passed that allows the automatic dismissal of workers in the public sector on “terror lists”.

Violence against women and girls did not improve, and impunity continued in criminal justice systems across the region. Alleged “honor killings” did not stop in Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait and Palestine.

In Libya, for example, Amnesty International has accused the authorities of failing to provide protection and redress to women and girls against rape and other forms of gender-based violence.

In addition, members of religious minorities across the region continued to face “endemic discrimination” in law and practice, including their right to freedom of worship. Amnesty International cited the example of Egypt, where “members of religious minorities and individuals born to parents who define the authorities as Muslims were arbitrarily arrested, prosecuted and detained because they professed their religious beliefs or because they expressed beliefs not expressed by the authorities have not been approved. ”

She added that ethnic minorities in Libya had suffered unfair discrimination, restricting their access to jobs, political positions and basic services, including education and health care, all of which represented a violation of their linguistic and cultural rights.

Agnes Callamard: The concrete resistance and perseverance of the people’s movements is a resounding cry for a more just world … We must resist every attempt to silence our voices, and every sign of deception.

Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, commented on the results of the annual monitoring of the human rights situation: “The year 2021 should have been a year of recovery and revival, but instead it has been a breeding ground for become more inequality. and instability, “expressing her pain that” The devastation of this legacy will continue for years to come. “

“One by one, world leaders have promised to ‘build back better’ to tackle the entrenched inequalities that have exacerbated the effects of the pandemic. Instead, they have shown a tragic form of deception and greed in collusion with giant corporations. . “

The human rights official accused the elite of countries and rich companies of making promises in public and secretly violating them, while pointing out that social media companies allow their algorithms to spread misleading and harmful information about Corona at the expense of achieve the truth of profits. She added that political leaders contributed to a large extent by spreading disinformation for their own political interests, which instilled fear and mistrust among citizens.

In Libya, “ethnic minorities have suffered unfair discrimination, restricting their access to jobs, political positions and basic services, including education and health care, all of which have represented a violation of their linguistic and cultural rights.”

At the end of its report, Amnesty International recommended that governments and institutions live up to their promises, build their policies to address and repair the epidemic based on human rights principles, and to facilitate a genuine dialogue with civil society institutions as a partner. for solutions.

Callamard stressed that “the concrete resistance and perseverance shown by the people’s movements is a resounding cry for a more just world … We must resist every attempt to silence our voices, and every sign of counteract deception. “

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