Bahai News - Highlights of Human Rights Report
Highlights of Human Rights Report
The Associated Press
Friday, Feb. 25, 2000; 4:08 p.m. EST
Highlights of the State Department's annual human rights report:
China: Authorities broadened and intensified efforts to suppress
those perceived to threaten government power or national stability.
"Citizens who sought to express openly dissenting political and
religious views faced widespread repression." In the weeks leading up to
major events last year, including the 50th anniversary of founding of
the People's Republic of China, the government moved against political
dissidents across the country, detaining and formally arresting scores
Russia: Russian attacks on separatists in Chechnya included
airstrikes and indiscriminate shellings of cities inhabited mainly by
civilians. "These attacks, which in turn led to house-to-house fighting
in Grozny, led to the deaths of numerous civilians and the displacement
of hundreds of thousands more." Credible reports had Russian military
forces carrying out summary executions of civilians in Chechnya.
North Korea: Government repression is so severe that no organized
opposition is known to exist. "The government regards almost any
independent activity including listening to foreign broadcasts,
writing letters and possessing 'reactionary' printed matter as
crimes against the state."
Burma: The military intensified its systematic use of coercion and
intimidation to restrict further freedom of association. "Authorities
undertook a sustained, systematic campaign to destroy the National
League for Democracy without formally banning it."
Iraq: The regime continued to commit widespread, serious and
systematic rights abuses, summarily executing actual and perceived
Syria: The government uses "its vast powers to quash all organized
Sudan: The government continues to restrict most civil liberties,
including freedom of assembly, association, religion and movement.
"Government security forces regularly tortured, beat, harassed,
arbitrarily arrested and detained opponents or suspected opponents of
Sierra Leone: Rebel forces committed "numerous egregious abuses,
including murder, abduction, deliberate mutilations and rape."
Pro-government militias also committed abuses, albeit on a lesser scale.
Cuba: The government of President Fidel Castro continued to
suppress opposition and criticism. "Cuban authorities routinely harass,
threaten, arbitrarily arrest, detain, imprison and defame human rights
advocates and members of independent professional associations."
Iran: The government's record remained poor, but efforts within
society to make the government accountable intensified. Religious
minorities, particularly Baha'is, continued to suffer repression by
conservative elements of the judiciary and security forces.
Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire): Widespread
killing of Tutsis in 1998 did not continue in 1999, but the government
failed to prosecute any state officials or others in the killings.
©Copyright 2000, Washington Post
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