Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rights group says democracies ignore abuses

Jan 25, 2011

BRUSSELS - DEMOCRACIES around the world are turning a blind eye to abuses by repressive regimes, opting for improved relations rather than condemning rights violations and curtailing aid, Human Rights Watch says.

The international watchdog decried in its annual review published on Monday the increasing use of dialogue and cooperation to urge reforms - but without any teeth to ensure that change occurs.

'Dialogue and cooperation have their place, but the burden should be on the abusive government to show a genuine willingness to improve,' Kenneth Roth, executive director of the group, said in a statement accompanying the report.

'In the absence of the demonstrated political will by abusive governments to make change, governments of good will need to apply pressure to end repression.'

But many democracies are abandoning political pressure, accepting instead the rationalisation of authoritarian governments, the report said.

It criticised UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in that regard. -- AP

[Idealistic. Chauvinistic. Evangelistic. And unrealistic. The pariah nations have sanctions against them, and the effect in terms of human rights improvements are as useless. Sanctions against N. Korea hurt the people more than the leaders that are abusive. Countries are sovereign nations. Sanctions are considered hostile and offensive. If you want to make the lives of the people better, the friendly approach is better. The alternative is to be prepared to go all the way, and that includes war. Going to war for human rights?

Well, there is the Iraq war. Not strictly for human rights, but one of the intents was to bring democracy there. Great how that worked out, eh?

What sort of "teeth" do they proposed?

A remarkably unhelpful and useless observation.

See also comments at Lessons for US in Tunisian Revolt]

No comments: