A new report by the Washington-based watchdog Freedom House has identified nine countries and one territory as being the world's worst human rights abusers. According to the 36-page report released Thursday, the citizens in these places live in "extremely oppressive environments, with minimal basic rights and persistent human rights violation."
Freedom House's report -- entitled "Worst of the Worst 2010: The World's Most Repressive Societies" -- ranks each country and territory on a scale of 1 (most free) to 7 (least free), according to an assessment of its political rights and civil liberties. The 10 worst abusers scored sevens in both categories.
Ranking just below these countries were three of the members of the UN Human Rights Council: Cuba, China and Saudi Arabia. These countries received a 7 for political rights, but a 6 for civil liberties.
"By highlighting these countries, we hope to give advocates a tool they can use to shine a light on these abuses at the world's only global human rights body," Paula Schriefer, Freedom House's director of advocacy, said in a statement.
See the 10 worst abusers, and a few other notable human rights violators, below.