Federal government complains about human rights decline | Free press


In the aftermath of the corona pandemic, the human rights situation has deteriorated in many countries. This is also reflected in the federal government’s human rights report. Minister Maas of Foreign Affairs rings the bell.

Berlin (dpa) – The federal government is complaining about a significant deterioration in the global human rights situation over the past two years.

“Everywhere we look, there is deterioration,” said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) Wednesday after the government’s human rights report was passed in the cabinet. Increasing conflicts, flights and displacement deprived many people of their rights. “In the United Nations, universal values ​​and norms that seemed self-evident are suddenly called into question again.”

The corona pandemic has made things much worse. “They use repressive regimes as a cover to harass human rights defenders and to silence the free media,” said Maas. Women are especially affected by the pandemic: caring for children and families is usually left to them alone and they are much more likely to lose their jobs than men.

“The past two years have been a difficult time for human rights worldwide,” said Maas, summarizing the results of the report that the German government has produced every two years since 1991. The now 14th report covers the period from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2020 and spans approximately 300 pages. It also names individual countries where the human rights situation has deteriorated significantly over the past two years. Here are some examples:


The negative trend seen in the most populous country in the world since 2012 continues, the report said. “Individual rights are increasingly restricted. This applies in particular to civil and political rights, such as freedom of expression and freedom of the press, but also freedom of science and freedom of religion. “Human rights defenders sometimes receive long prison sentences for their efforts.


In Russia too, “the worrying human rights situation” continued to deteriorate. “Especially in the context of the regional elections in 2019, freedom of assembly was restricted.” Criminal proceedings have been initiated against participants in protests, some of which have resulted in imprisonment for several years. In addition, the 2019 “Sovereign Internet” Act significantly expanded the possibilities for Internet censorship in Russia.


In Turkey, the negative development of the human rights situation after the failed coup attempt in 2016 continues, despite the repeal of the emergency laws in 2018. “Critical voices on the government still face the risk of prosecution and arrest. Investigations and legal proceedings with a political dimension cast doubts about the independence of the judiciary and have an intimidating effect on Turkish civil society, ”the report said.