Amnesty lambastes Bushs hollowness for overlooking Musharrafs HR violations

May 28th, 2008 - 2:34 pm ICT by admin  

Pervez Musharraf

London , May 28 (ANI): International human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) has criticised Washington s support for Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, at a time when the country was moving towards restoration of democracy, after the February 19 general elections.

In its annual report released yesterday, the Amnesty said: The hollowness of the US administrations call for democracy and freedom abroad was displayed in its continued support of President Musharraf as he arrested thousands of lawyers, journalists, human rights defenders and political activists.

Describing US President George Bushs track record as dismal in terms of torturing terror suspects at prisons like Guantanamo Bay and asserting its authority round the world, it appealed that whoever assumes the highest US office after November presidential elections must desist from such acts, and ban all forms of torture and stop propping authoritarian regimes.

In its annual report, AI said that it was crucial for the new US leader to restore America s moral authority around the world following Bushs administrations dismal record over the past three years.

As the worlds most powerful state, the USA sets the standard for government behaviour globally. With breathtaking legal obfuscation, the US administration has continued its efforts to weaken the absolute prohibition against torture and other ill-treatment. The world needs a USA genuinely engaged and committed to the cause of human rights, at home and abroad, The News quoted the AI report as saying.

It added: In Nov 2008, the US people will elect a new President. For the USA to have moral authority as a human rights champion, the next administration must close Guantanamo and either try the detainees in ordinary federal courts or release them. It must ban evidence obtained through coercion and denounce all forms of torture and other ill-treatment no matter to what end. It must ditch support for authoritarian leaders. And it must be ready to end US isolation in the international human rights system and engage constructively with the UN Human Rights Council, said the report.

According to the paper, while McCain, Clinton and Obama have all vowed to close Guantanamo , they have not indicated what they would do with the hundreds of detainees. All three candidates have denounced the use of torture, although McCain, who was tortured while a prisoner of war in Vietnam , refused in February to support legislation limiting the type of interrogation methods available to the CIA.

Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan said that regardless of who gets into the White House, Washington needs to realise that Guantanamo Bay is a millstone around the neck of the US administration and it needs to be shut. The US is the world superpower which sets the agenda for other states behaviour also, Khan told AFP. The world needs the US to be engaged on human rights issues for example through the UN Human Rights Council, she said. (ANI)

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