Increasing Authoritarianism and Futile Sanctions

Protesters who gather in Russia against the authoritarian regime of President Vladimir Putin blocked by Russian security forces on January 23, 2021. Photo: Anti-Corruption Foundation of Russian activist and opposition leader Alexei Navalny. (Representational Image)
Protesters who gather in Russia against the authoritarian regime of President Vladimir Putin blocked by Russian security forces on January 23, 2021. Photo: Anti-Corruption Foundation of Russian activist and opposition leader Alexei Navalny. (Representational Image)

Dictators are using police and security forces as gangs of criminals to imprison, attack, and kill peaceful protestors. 

By Rakesh Raman

In order to check the crimes of autocrats, world leaders keep imposing sanctions on autocratic states and their leaders. However, the imposition of sanctions is a weak punishment, which is ignored by the authoritarian nations. In the past, countries such as Belarus, Myanmar, Cuba, Nicaragua, Paraguay, China, Russia, and North Korea have been sanctioned, but authoritarianism, corruption, and human rights violations have only increased in these countries. 

The traditional U.S. and European leaders as well as the UN bureaucrats have completely failed to stop human rights violations in an increasing number of autocratic countries. These delinquent leaders keep issuing casual copy-paste condemnation and sanction statements to condemn the violations of despotic regimes. But they cannot protect people and their rights. 

Since these careless world leaders do not have any accountability, they keep clinging to their positions like parasites while ordinary citizens are being harmed and killed in different countries. In fact, they should take moral responsibility for the mayhem taking place across the world and quit their positions. 

But these greedy leaders do not relinquish their posts and keep watching extreme excesses committed by cruel rulers on their populations. Thus, in a way, they are complicit in the crimes of different authoritarian heads of states.

It is also being observed that the peaceful agitations of persecuted citizens in authoritarian countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Belarus, Russia, Israel, India, Hong Kong, and Brazil did not succeed, as citizens failed to protect their fundamental rights. Dictatorship is becoming a new normal even in the so-called democratic nations. 

Dictators are using police and security forces as gangs of criminals to imprison, attack, and kill civilians and peaceful protestors. Since the state-sponsored criminal forces benefit from false alarms of terrorism, they label journalists, activists, peaceful protesters, and human rights defenders as terrorists. 

Huge public funds are being embezzled to combat fake terrorism while there is no real terrorism in the world. The people who are branded as terrorists are, in fact, victims of state terrorism inflicted by the despotic regimes which brutalize the innocent citizens and deprive them of their fundamental rights. 

When police and security forces behave as criminals and justice systems fail, the ordinary citizens react aggressively. Such citizens cannot be called terrorists. Rather, the cruel rulers and their security forces are terrorists. With the evil aim to continue their oppressive acts against their opponents and civilians under the garb of counter-terrorism operations, the corrupt rulers create a false scare of terrorism in their countries and raise terrorism issue in every global forum. 

As judicial systems have collapsed under the dictatorship regimes, the local courts and judges are complicit in state crimes. But there is no international forum where the harassed citizens could go and complain for the protection of their rights.

Therefore, a new globalized system of governance is required to protect ordinary citizens and their rights in different countries.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also runs Green Group of Delhi.

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Rakesh Raman