Holding President Trump accountable for anti-democratic actions is crucial to any hope of restoring the credibility of the United States in the fight against human rights abuses around the world, a leading advocacy group argued on Wednesday. plan by posting its annual compilation of the world’s worst rights violators.
Human Rights Watchs annual report detailed a heartbreaking litany of rights abuses, including China’s oppression of its Uyghur minority, the imprisonment in Saudi Arabia of rights activists, and Turkey’s massive persecution of officials and civilians. journalists.
In the compilation of more than 750 pages covering more than 100 countries, the Chinese government has been criticized for the secrecy surrounding the coronavirus epidemic which has so far killed nearly 2 million people around the world and for its aggressive assault on the freedoms of the Hong Kong people, among other actions.
But the group’s executive director, Kenneth Roth, also noted that the release of the reports coincided with a particularly busy time in American political life. The House of Representatives impeached Trump on Wednesday for incitement to insurgency, with lawmakers meeting in the heavily fortified U.S. Capitol a week after a violent riot the president is accused of instigating. Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
Trump’s tumultuous exit and the advent of the administration of President-elect Joe Bidens have powerful implications for human rights around the world, Roth said at a press conference in Geneva, citing a crisis of credibility for the United States in defending rights elsewhere.
The report criticized the United States on issues such as racial disparities in police services and the disproportionate toll of COVID-19 among communities of color. Even though the document, covering 2020, was drafted ahead of last week’s mob attack on the Capitol, the group expressed concern over Trumps’ false claim that he won the election.
President Trump has made unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud and brought lawsuits against the electoral process in some states, according to the report. During his press conference, Roth said that the accountability of Trump and extremist supporters under the law was inextricably linked to the role of the United States in defending rights elsewhere in the world.
Biden, he stressed, should not order prosecutions against Trump and the violent supporters, but should stand aside and let the legal process unfold, demonstrating to the world that the president is not king.
Calling Trump a disaster for human rights, Roth said the occasional US condemnation of human rights in countries like Venezuela, Cuba or Iran sounded empty when parallel praise was granted to people like Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
But a new US president is not a panacea for remedying rights violations, Roth said. He urged the incoming administration to seek ways to embed the defense of human rights around the world into long-term policies that could not be easily undone if another autocratic figure took the presidency, and to be a partner in strengthening regional self-action efforts. the human rights police.
Fortunately, over the past four years, many governments have treated Washington’s unreliability as a cause for resolution rather than desperation, Roth said.
Leaving aside the drama of American impeachment, rights groups report intensified criticism of several authoritarian governments.
Beijing’s crackdown on insisting on political loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party has deepened across the country, the group said, adding that the Chinese government’s authoritarianism is fully displayed in 2020.
In Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of the kingdoms, continued last year to evade responsibility for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, according to the report.
Saudi authorities have failed to hold senior officials responsible for the brutal murder of Khashoggis at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Instead, eight lower-level officers were sentenced.
At the same time, the Saudi government last year stepped up its campaign against dissidents, human rights activists and independent clerics. Prominent women’s rights activists, including Loujain Hathloul, stayed behind bars under difficult conditions without significant legal recourse.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as in recent years, has been castigated in the report on his government’s ongoing crackdown on suspected opponents, nearly five years after an attempted coup against him led to the most sustained and sweeping campaign of repression in the country’s history as a republic.
Turkey has been criticized for its systematic practice of detaining, prosecuting and convicting fictitious and excessive terrorism and other charges, individuals whom the Erdogan government sees as critics or political opponents.
In Russia, one of the most publicized rights violations of the year was the August poisoning of opposition leader and anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny. The report also highlighted damaging developments, including abusive laws that found a foothold in constitutional amendments intended to consolidate the power of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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