Sunday, December 04, 2005

(Some) Extreme Dictatorships

According to The Independent on Sunday these are the worst regimes in the world:

1. Belarus: Alexander Lukashenko, whose human rights record is nearly as bad as his comb-over, presides over Europe's last tyranny. Once, when likening Belarus's history to Germany, observed: "Germany was raised from the ruins thanks to firm aothority, and not everything connected with Hitler was bad." A Ukraine-style revolution is long overdue.

2. North Korea: While loathsome in everyway, Kim Jung-Il's regime can't be accused of doing things by halves. Not content with merely broadcasting propaganda, the amusingly named Democratic People's Republic of Korea manufactures televisions whose channels cannot be changed.

3. Turkmenistan: Not content with just renaming months of the year after members of his family, banning recorded music and commissioning an ice palace in the desert, darling of the foreign news pages President Saparmurat Niyazov's most recent noteworthy initiative was launching the Ruhnama - a compulsory book of his teaching - into space.

4. Libya: Self-styled "golden leader" Colonel Muammar Gaddafi may be an odd cove, but there's no disputing his diplomatic agility. Having spent years as the poster child for Arab terrorism, Gaddafi has reinvented himself as a moderate figure that the West can do business with.

5. Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe was once hailed as a Mandela-like reforming hero. Bishop Desmond Tutu characterises his decline most eloquently: "It is a great sadness what has happened to President Mugabe. He was one of Africa's best leaders, a bright spark, a debonair, well-spoken and well-read person. But he seems to have gone bonkers in a big way."

6. Saudi Arabia: Britain's profitable friendship with the Saudis means we rarely pause to consider just how Talibanesque the place really is: its recent judicial brainstorms include sentencing one teacher to 750 lashes and 40 months in jail for "mocking Islam". Interestingly, Saudi Arabia is still the British arms industry's best customer.

Do you agree with this list? Or do you think the journalist forgot some other dark corners like a non-Cuban lawless prisson in Cuba? What about China invading Tibet? And Morocco invading West Sahara? And... just let me know your opinion, ok? Cheers.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I wholeheartedly agree with this list. I also didn't realise that Morocco invaded West Sahara. I'll have to find out more about that.

You've got to laugh at Desmond Tutu's choice of words!!! What a man! :-)))