Monday, March 21, 2005

Tom Regan: Is US Losing Moral Authority on Human Rights?

Is US Losing Moral Authority on Human Rights?: Experts say prisoner abuses, war in Iraq undermine effectiveness of State Department human rights report.
Tom Regan
Christian Science Monitor

Normally when the US State Department issues its annual report on human rights abuses around the world, those nations named in the report can be counted on to dismiss any claims made in the report. But the chorus of those damning the State Department's effort this year have been much louder and more aggressive because of one country these critics claim the report excluded - the United States itself.
The Washington Post reported last week that countries like China, Russia, Mexico and others accused the US of a double-standard in talking about human rights abuses, after a year that saw the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, as well as questions raised about the level of force used by US troops in Iraq in dealing with journalists and Iraqi civilians.

'The US State Department in its human rights report blames countries such as Egypt and Syria for using torture; however, there is not even a mention of the incidents in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq,' complained the mainstream Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. 'Of course, there is no mention of Guantanamo, either.'

The Post reports that Jose Luis Soberanes, president of Mexico's Human Rights Commission, citing the "treatment of Mexicans who sneak across the border" into the US, referred to the US report as "the donkey talking about long ears" – the Spanish-language equivalent of "the pot calling the kettle black" – "because the United States violates human rights, especially those of our countrymen."

Entire Article

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