Freedom of Speech and Human Rights are taken for granted in the west, but recent years have seen conditions deteriorate around the world. As early as 1997 for example, Human Rights conditions were reported to remain unchanged compared to previous years, or in some countries, actually worsen, around the world. In 1998 for example, the UN reported that even though over a hundred governments had agreed to help outlaw some of the worse violations of rights, torture was still on the increase.
With the war on terror triggered by the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, the situation for human rights seems to have deteriorated, with not only terrorists committing human rights violations, but also powerful governments who are sacrificing rights for security. Amnesty International, in its 2004 report noted the set back for international values of human rights:
Human rights include a variety of aspects, from civil and political rights, to socio-economic rights. (Interestingly, as the Human Development Report 2000 from the United Nations points out, during the Cold War, the rich western nations were arguing basically for civil and political rights, while the socialist countries, and some developing countries, were demanding more social and economic rights. Human rights then, was a propaganda tool with both sides using the same words, but for different reasons.)
There are so many abuses that it would take too long to mention here. However, a few that do come to mind that have even made it into the mainstream media (although not always accurately) include those that are presented on this site. The links to these can be seen below. Over time more will be added.