Let us have a look at the top 10 dictators who still maintain autocratic rule and power dominated by abuse and terror.
1. Omar al-Bashir, Sudan
Is in power since 1989 – His monumental abuses has led to mankind’s worst humanitarian catastrophe. Omar al-Bashir has launched colossal ethnic and religious cleansing that has uprooted over 2 million civilians and led to the death of more than 70,000.
2. Bashir al-Assad, Syria
This was a leader who never expected to be a head of state. He was the second oldest son of President Hafez al-Assad. It was only when his older brother and the heir to the head of state was killed in car crash that Assad was considered for the position. Since gaining power in 2000, Assad has lead a repressive regime which disregards human rights and economic lapses. Unopposed in 2 elections, he has resorted to force to squash opposition.
3. Than Shwe, Burma
Is in power since 1992 – For his dogged resistance to international pressure and continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, Than Shwe remains one of top pariah in the international community. The documented abuses of the military government included murder, rape and torture.
4. Hu Jintao, China
Is in power since 2002 – Amidst the economic liberalization and progress of the nation, the government of Hu Jintao remains as one of the most repressive. Thousands of Chinese still remain in labor camps serving sentences for a variety of political offenses.
5. Crown Prince Abdullah, Saudi Arabia
Is in power since 1995 – Facing international pressure, Crown Prince Abdullah has relented and announced the holding of the first elections in Saudi Arabia after 40 years. Saudi Arabia, under the leader of the Crown Prince, enforces the extreme form of Islam known as Wahhabism.
6. Hugo Chavez, Venezuela
He is one of the most controversial head of states, a position he has held since 1999 in Venezuela. In his election campaigns, Chavez promised to help the poor by eradicating illiteracy, providing access to universal and free health care and education. Furthermore, he promised to implement social programs which would benefit the working class, such as pensions. Most of his promises have not been fulfilled. In fact, Freedom of the World reports that Venezuela has seen a decline in civil liberties since Chavez took power.
7. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan
Is in power since 1999 – After seizing power after a bloodless military coup, Gen. Pervez Musharraf installed himself as President. His government is precariously engaged in the development of a nuclear program. Opposition to the government is considered as crime committed against the state.
8. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran
This man is the sixth President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a position he has held since 2005. He is a hotly debated figure in politics both domestically and internationally. He has been criticized for his blatant disregard to human rights as well as his lapses on economic issues. A Human Rights Watch report stipulated that the treatment of prisoners being detained has worsened in detention centres like Evin Prison. On the domestic front, he has been criticized for attacking plunderers and corrupt officials.
9. Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe
Is in power since 1980 – The quality of life and security has deteriorated immensely since Robert Mugabe assumed power. Press freedom is curtailed and opposition is outlawed.
10. Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Equatorial Guinea
Is in power since 1979 – Teodoro Obiang Nguema and his family continue to wield power and influence as they remain as the main beneficiaries of the countries vast oil reserves. His government commits torture and other human rights abuses to stifle any resistance to his absolute control of the country.