US and Russian human rights record not good
STOCKHOLM: Respect for human rights is on the rise in most countries, but glaring exceptions are the illegal detention of prisoners by the United States and Russian operations in Chechnya, a Swedish report said Friday.
“The great majority of the world’s countries are gradually moving towards more respect for human rights,” Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Feivalds said in a statement accompanying a ministry report compiled from contributions from Swedish embassies around the world.
“But it is important that we are aware of the setbacks in this long-term positive trend. Over the past year, for instance, the threat of terrorism has led to a deterioration of the respect for human rights in several countries,” she said.
“It’s important that Sweden continues to point out that the fight against terrorism must be conducted in accordance with international, humanitarian laws and human rights,” Freivalds said.
According to Maria Haakansson, editor of the report, the detention by the United States of some 600 suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo base on Cuba is a glaring example of how the so-called war on terrorism has led to the deterioration of human rights.
The Russian operations in Chechnya are another example of how “fighting terrorism” can be used to justify human rights violations, she told AFP.
There were many other examples of human rights violations in the world, she added.
Sweden’s foreign ministry regularly compiles an annual report on the human rights situation around the globe based on information sent from each of its 190 embassies worldwide. This year is the second time the report has been made public.
“We’re not saying that this report covers everything, but it’s our ambition that it draw as clear a picture of the situation as possible,” Haakansson said.
The United States is the only other country that publishes a report on the global human rights situation each year, she said. —AFP