12 March 201015:01

Russian MFA Information and Press Department Commentary Regarding Publication of the US State Department Report on Human Rights Around the World in 2009

298-12-03-2010

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The Russian Foreign Ministry has familiarized itself with this year's annual US State Department report on human rights in the world.

Everything in the report fits tradition and ritual – the approaches, the theses, the conclusions, the sources. From this perspective we noticed no big difference, despite the current Administration's declared "reset" in our relations.

It's no secret that this opus is primarily intended to solve the internal political problems of the American establishment by the use of the subtle matter of human rights for constructing the necessary political framework to forward quite concrete, material foreign policy interests.

However, it is gratifying that the State Department announced its intention to publish a report on human rights in the United States too. We hope that both facts and their critical evaluations will find reflection in it.

For example, it would be interesting to know how the Foreign Service, which loves to moralize on human rights issues, will comment on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment in the United States itself. And not just the widely known cases in Bagram and the special prison in Guantanamo – which, contrary to the Administration's promises, just doesn't close – but also in US prisons and on American streets. We hope a report on human rights in the United States will not omit domestic violence leading to the murder of children, including those adopted in Russia; or racism and xenophobia toward migrants, Islamophobia, privacy invasions by security services, as well as the restrictive measures that are imposed on journalists in covering US foreign operations. Maybe this report will also carry recommendations that the US should finally adopt an Ombudsman institution and accede to several international human rights treaties in the lead-up to the Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council; as well as specific proposals not so much to rectify the country's profile as to correct the real state of affairs.

March 12, 2010

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