Human Rights Watch condemns Bush and Belarus
The international human rights organization Human Rights Watch has released its annual report on the implementation of international agreements in the field of human rights throughout the world.
The report is marked by keen criticism towards the USA, the Bush administration, in particular. It mentions the violations of human rights committed by the USA during its war against terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. The violations registered at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and in the prisons across Iraq have contributed to the aggravation of the situation in the field of human rights in other countries, by showing to other, more repressive governments, that such policy may be acceptable in the modern world. Human Rights Watch called this ‘the enormous damage of the Bush years’. The organization addresses the incoming Obama administration with a call to ‘put human rights at the heart of foreign, domestic, and security policy.’
The report also covers the situation in Russia and China, the two countries trying to diminish the international human rights standards and justifying violations in other countries with non-interference or regional solidarity policies.
Human Rights Watch welcomes the release of all the Belarusian political prisoners, stressing the fact that at least 10 activists continue to serve "restricted freedom" sentences that permit them only to be at home or at work. According to Human Rights Watch, in 2008 Belarusian authorities continue to use the criminal justice system and onerous administrative demands to control civil society, political opposition, and the media. ‘In 2008, as in previous years, several opposition activists and journalists were arrested and jailed for participating in unsanctioned protests. Violence was used against some activists and journalists during demonstrations.’