US allies question its human rights record post-CIA report

WASHINGTON, Dec 11:  The US is facing a tough time to defend its human rights record which is being questioned by many countries, including some of its allies, following the release of a damaging report on CIA’s detention and interrogation programmes.
Top US government officials including President Obama have acknowledged having made mistakes with lawmakers conceding that some of the interrogation techniques amount to torture.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani yesterday said the CIA interrogation techniques were a violation of international laws while countries like China and Iran have slammed the US for its human rights violation.
Putting a brave front, both the White House and the State Department asserted that it stood by its human rights record and would continue to strongly take up the human rights issues of countries across the globe.
“If the US moral authority had been substantially diminished, we would not have had so much success in building a coalition of more than 60 countries, including many Muslim majority countries in the Middle East joining us in the fight against ISIL. So, we’ve made substantial progress,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said when asked if the US had lost its moral authority.
“The president did take these steps in early 2009 to put in place a task force that later in 2009 announced significant reforms to the way that US personnel interrogate and detain individuals that happen to be in the custody of the United States government,” he said.
He said the President was very clear in outlawing unequivocal techniques substantially rebuilt US’ credibility and moral authority around the globe.
“We have evidence that this effect is having an impact on our ability to protect American national security interests around the globe,” Earnest said.
Noting that the US moral authority is one of the most powerful tools in the country’s arsenal for protecting and advancing American interests around the globe, Earnest said the President believes that there is more that we’re going to continue to do.
“I think in all of our conversations with countries around the world we’ll continue to convey that we ended this practice. It was one of the first steps the President made. We’re willing to be open and transparent about our mistakes and make changes. And that’s exactly what we did here,” State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki said.
She said if other countries wanted to put out a report on their human rights practices or on their intelligence gathering practices, the US would certainly welcome it.
“We haven’t seen that from anywhere in the world,” she said. (PTI)


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