U.S criticizes Russia in its annual Human Rights Report

US criticizes Russia in its annual Human Rights Report

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken presented a report on the observance of human rights in 2020 in almost 200 countries

The United States notes that in 2020, the human rights situation has worsened around the world. This is stated in the annual report on the human rights situation, published on Tuesday by the Department of State and presented by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

The report highlighted Russia for persecuting political dissidents and China for persecuting Uighurs in Xinjiang.

The State Department released a report on Tuesday on how human rights were respected in about 200 countries over the past year. The document includes detailed reports on human rights violations in Russia, Belarus, China, Iran, and other states.

“Too many people continued to suffer under dire conditions in 2020,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said as he presented the report.

Blinken stressed that some governments have used the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to curtail human rights and strengthen the authoritarian rule.

“President Biden is committed to putting human rights back at the center of American foreign policy. Both I and the entire State Department take this commitment very seriously, ”Blinken said. “We will use all the tools of our diplomacy to protect human rights and bring those responsible for abuses to justice.”

During his speech, Blinken especially noted “attacks on opposition politicians, anti-corruption activists, independent journalists and their imprisonment in countries such as Russia, Uganda, Venezuela.”

“We see this in arbitrary arrests, beatings, and other forms of violence against protesters in Belarus, as well as in the violations and abuses suffered by the people of Yemen,” the secretary of state added.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State Lisa Peterson, head of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Relations, which was responsible for preparing the report, answered reporters’ questions immediately after Secretary of State Blinken spoke.

Republican Senator Jim Risch, deputy head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted that the State Department report, as always, provides an opportunity to reflect on the fact that Americans are “lucky to be able to exercise their inalienable rights on a daily basis. Freedom of assembly, speech, religion, and press is the foundation of our lasting democracy. ”

Riesch noted that, unfortunately, “freedoms are constantly under attack around the world” by dictators, authoritarian regimes, kleptocrats, and autocrats who “deny their citizens access to the most basic human freedoms.”

“This report serves as an important diplomatic tool that gives us the resources to name … those who suppress the will of their peoples,” Riesch said. “The United States will always defend those who cannot defend themselves. We will continue to hold accountable those who abuse their power. ”

The Department of State annually documents the state of human rights in nearly 200 countries and territories in accordance with the requirements of US law. The United States attaches fundamental importance to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and will support all those who fight for human dignity and freedom, the State Department said in a report.

In the Russia part of the report, the State Department highlighted the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, a longtime Kremlin opponent, and opposition politician who was imprisoned earlier this year after returning home from Germany, where he was receiving treatment for neurosis poisoning. paralytic substance.

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As noted, “it follows from reliable reports that employees of the Russian Federal Security Service used a nerve agent to poison Navalny. Industrialized democracies and NATO countries condemned Navalny’s poisoning and called on Russia to bring those responsible to justice. ”

Another factor negatively affecting the human rights situation in Russia is the continued occupation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula, as well as support for separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

“Observers report the deaths and injuries of thousands of civilians, as well as numerous abuses committed by Russian-led troops in the Ukrainian Donbas region … The authorities also carried out politically motivated arrests, detentions, and trials of Ukrainian citizens in Russia, many of whom alleged that they were tortured, ”the document says.
The list of human rights violations includes dozens of items, among which the State Department names executions without trial, illegal detention and torture, including against members of the LGBT community, committed by local authorities in Chechnya, brutal suppression of freedom of speech and violence against journalists, blocking and filtering Internet content, brutal suppression of the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including the enactment of laws on “foreign agents” and “undesirable organizations.”

At the same time, the Russian authorities do not take “adequate measures to identify, investigate, prosecute or punish the majority of officials who committed abuses, which has led to an atmosphere of impunity,” the report emphasizes. Moreover, the State Department emphasizes that the United States has information that the Russian government itself or its agents “committed or attempted to commit … unlawful killings.”

The part of the document dedicated to the state of affairs in Belarus states that this country today is an “authoritarian state” in which, since 1994, President Alexander Lukashenko has been able to establish his power over all institutions, using authoritarian methods, including “falsification of elections “And the adoption of illegal decrees.

All elections held in Belarus since 1994, including the last presidential elections held on August 9, “did not meet international standards,” the authors of the report emphasized.

The situation in Belarus has deteriorated sharply after the mass civil unrest that followed the elections. Peaceful demonstrators protested against large-scale falsifications, thanks to which the authorities announced another victory for Lukashenka, as well as against the use of force, with the help of which the authorities began to suppress the protests. Hundreds of thousands of protesters took part in weekly protests.

The country’s security forces have committed many crimes related to human rights violations, including unlawful killings, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, arbitrary arrest and detention of people who participated in the protests, the document says.

The authorities at all levels acted with impunity. Not a single person violating human rights in the government or security forces of Belarus has been brought to justice, the report of the US Foreign Ministry says.