A son shot while demonstrating in the streets of Iran. A husband jailed and beaten to death after demanding free elections in China. And a Venezuelan who died in prison after protesting the illegitimate Maduro regime’s denial of humanitarian aid to a starving people.
Those cases are among those cited in the U.S. State Department’s 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices issued March 11. Now in its 44th year, the reports detail nearly 200 countries’ violations of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“Nothing is more fundamental to our national identity than our belief in the rights and dignity of every single human being,” U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said in announcing the report. “We all know the rights of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness don’t just belong to Americans. They belong to everyone everywhere.”
Here is a look at some of the most persistent violators, as outlined in the 2019 report.
China’s Communist Party continued to surveil and detain Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in a campaign to eradicate cultural identity.
The Islamic Republic of Iran ramped up its human rights abuses in 2019, killing protesters during demonstrations against the regime’s corruption and mismanagement.
And the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro continued its use of extra-judicial killings and torture to maintain control, imprisoning and killing dissidents.
In issuing the reports, Pompeo also noted the case of José Daniel Ferrer, a human rights activist, who is one of thousands of political prisoners in Cuba who have been beaten and jailed for criticizing the regime.
“We pray for a day when Cubans, Venezuelans, Chinese, Iranians and all peoples can speak and assemble freely without fear of their own governments,” Pompeo said. “America remembers those lost and stands for their freedom.”