Sense of Impunity Emboldens Autocrats to Get Rid of Enemies
The disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist raises a dark question for anyone who dares criticize governments or speak out against those in power: Will the world have their back? Dictators and autocrats have always sought to silence dissenters, even ones that flee abroad to escape their grasp. They seem to only get bolder in turning to their playbook of detention, threats and killings. That may in part be because, despite decades of talk of human rights in international circles, violations get only muted reproaches. In the United States, the Trump administration avoids strenuous criticism of human rights abuses by allies, like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and the Philippines, or leaders it seeks to cultivate ties with, like Russia, China and North Korea. President Donald Trump's denunciations of "globalism" and tough stance against the International Criminal Court also have signaled that Washington has little interest in international enforcement against violators...
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