Friday, February 18, 2011

Human rights abuses prevail in China as well

White House photo by Pete Souza
While the crackdown on demonstrations continue in Bahrain, Iran and Libya, focuses about human rights issues is diverted from China.
The New York Times reports that Chinese dissidents are increasingly finding themselves under house arrest, with no access to the Internet, effectively isolating them from the outside world without judicial due process.
It’s not that the United States, for example, isn’t aware of the issue. It’s just that there’s little Washington can do.
President Obama climbed out on a diplomatic limb in January, when he said during a state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao that human rights values need to be recognized. He also urged Hu to engage in talks with the Dalai Lama over Tibet.
The role of the United States with regard to human rights is a topic that’s now being discussed as a result of the ongoing clashes in the Middle East and Africa. The Brookings Institution just convened a two-day long international conference on just this matter. Participants concluded that the Obama administration took encouraging early steps to address human rights violationsaround the world. But that the U.S. needs to get its own house in order as well.
They are not alone.
In November, the UN Human Rights Council took the United States to task for Human Rights violations – citing – in particular – the treatment and the extra-judicial detainment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

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