News24

Russia slams US for its rights record

2011-12-29 07:46

Moscow - Russia's foreign ministry has attacked United States' human rights record in its first report on injustice elsewhere in the world, offering examples such as the Guantanamo Bay prison and wrongful death row convictions to paint the US as hypocritical for lecturing other nations on the subject of rights.

"The situation in the United States is a far cry from the ideals that Washington proclaims," says the report released on Wednesday.

Moscow has previously reacted angrily to the accusations of human rights breaches that the US state department has levelled at Russia in its annual reports.

The state department has expressed concern about the violent attacks on rights activists and journalists in Russia, most of which go unpunished. It also has criticised abuses in Russia's Caucasus, including extrajudicial killings, kidnappings and torture.

The 90-page Russian report slams EU nations, Canada and Georgia, but reserves its longest section of 20 pages for what it says are violations by the United States.

The report does not cover Asia, Africa or the Middle East, other than a five-page section criticising the Nato operation in Libya.

Moscow laments the ongoing operation of the "notorious" prison in Guantanamo Bay, where terrorism suspects have been held since the September 11 2001 attacks, and criticises President Barack Obama for "legalising indefinite and extrajudicial custody and the return of court martials".

The report accuses the US of prying into citizens' personal lives and violating the rights of Muslim Americans in the fight against terrorism. It also points to errors made by American courts.

"Judicial errors are the Achilles heel of American justice as concerns capital punishment," the report argues.

It notes the roughly 130 people sentenced to death in the past 30 years who were later cleared of the charges, some after they were executed.

The foreign ministry also struck back at international criticism of Russia's recent parliamentary election, which independent observers said involved widespread fraud.

Outrage over the vote set off a spate of protests led by citizens unhappy with Vladimir Putin's rule.

The report accuses the US of blocking independent candidates from elections and criticises the practice of allowing governors to nominate senators when a Senate seat is vacated, as when Obama became president.

It refers to the conviction this year of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was accused of trying to auction off Obama's Senate seat.

Comments
  • Merven - 2011-12-29 07:56

    Human Rights is a illusion anywhere, just a illusion.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-29 08:46

      Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Russia is a basket case, run by the Mafia.

  • Garth - 2011-12-29 08:36

    It is puerile for the `super powers' to engage in tit-for-tat politicking. Really makes one worry when people with the death of the world at their behest, act like primary school children in a playground.

  • zipho.sidumo - 2011-12-29 09:12

    I'm so glas Russia stood up to the U.S.A, its about time someone did! They've been going around meddling in other country's business and causing irreversable damage. America is egotisical and Russia beat them at they'r own game. If America wants to help the world -decrease all the debt they put on Africa so we can thrive, we were colonised and raped of our resources but no-one ever said sorry. I understand the that America is trying to help but how can you help with out asking us what we need to get better and recover from the damage their for fathers put on us. America should'nt think they know whats best for everyone, nobodies perfect and nobody knows everything!

  • Bruce - 2011-12-29 09:14

    Thats rich coming a state that slaughtered 20 million plus people under their leader Stalin. Thug state.

      dmwiggett - 2011-12-29 09:45

      Wow, thats amazing bring up something that heppened over 50 years ago.. How about the nukes USA dropped on Japan now that isn't bullying or is it, do what we want or we will kill innocent woman and children, hell we will poisen the land. The past is in the past, live and learn..

  • Pierre - 2011-12-29 09:40

    Sure one can quickly dismiss Russia as the pot calling the kettle black and rightly so as Russia’s record is a far cry from being good. However it is good somebody at least is standing up and point at the atrocities of the US. Sure it is just political games as human rights have become a political tool and even a weapon. However in the process real human rights issues can be exposed, and definitely somebody needs to take the US to task. The recent kidnappings and torture in Europe under rendition, Guantanamo Bay “interrogation” camp, the little reported internment camps in Iraq where up to 20000 people at a time and probably in the 100000’s in total were held without trial. The last point basically harassing and locking up all men of fighting age; the age old trick of an invasion army. Not to mention the around 110000 to 130 000 acknowledged deaths, but some studies put total deaths in Iraq due to the war's instability at over 600 000. Then looking back at Vietnam with a staggering 3 million deaths, Korea in the millions. Not even counting all the secret service operations in South America and destabilising of Africa, the death toll directly caused or secondary induced by the US since WWII can easily be between 5 and 7 million.

      Graziella - 2011-12-29 09:46

      The US has been the biggest terrorist in the world since WWII.

  • Jeanne van Jaarsveldt - 2011-12-29 10:09

    Ironic how Russia is becoming the voice of reason in a troubled world.

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