[Washington Babylon ]UNESCO’s Award for the Worst of the Worst | Harper's Magazine

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[Washington Babylon]

UNESCO’s Award for the Worst of the Worst


Yesterday I posted an item about how UNESCO may allow Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the corrupt dictator who rules Equatorial Guinea, to endow a prize in his own name. In return, UNESCO would pocket $3 million in cash from Obiang.

Today Freedom House released a new report, Worst of the Worst 2010: The World’s Most Repressive Societies, which identifies “the world’s most flagrant human rights abusers.” Equatorial Guinea joined eight other countries and one territory — Burma, Eritrea, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tibet — in that illustrious category. To give you an idea of how bad the situation in is those bottom-dweller nations, wonderful countries like Belarus, Laos, and Saudi Arabia didn’t make the list.

Incidentally, for his $3 million Obiang wants UNESCO to name the prize the “Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences.” The prize is meant to reward scientific research that leads “to improving the quality of human life.”

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