The persecution of dissidents in China, Russia and Venezuela, the fall of fragile democracies in Myanmar and Sudan, and autocratic governments in Brazil, Hungary or El Salvador are some of the trends a new Human Rights Watch annual report published Thursday denounced.
The 700-page document, which reviews the situation of most of the countries in the world 2021, also highlights the deterioration of freedoms in countries such as Turkey, Thailand or Egypt, the "undemocratic" transfers of power in Tunisia or Chad and worrying abuses in the Philippines and India.
Despite this, the organization’s Executive Director Kenneth Roth said at the beginning of the report that "the popular demand for democracy remains very high," as protests in Cuba showed last year, or those that defied military coups in Myanmar and Sudan.
The report said that in the second year of the pandemic, many dictatorships or leaders with autocratic tendencies threatened, silenced, or detained health workers, journalists, and other voices critical of the authorities' response to the crisis when it turned out to be unsuccessful.
Countries such as Egypt, India, Hungary, Mexico, Nicaragua and Venezuela were examples of these practices, while in some cases "the pandemic was used as a pretext to end protests against the government while allowing others in its favor", as happened in Russia or Cuba.