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Boschwitz On Iran Rights

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that the United States will not "turn a blind eye to the human desire for freedom anywhere in the world:"

"We are going to proceed from the belief that individuals…by their very nature, want to be free, they want to live in liberty. And if you proceed from that, then there is no corner of the globe, whether it is the Middle East, or Burma or North Korea or wherever, that you should not be devoted to speaking out for those people."

The head of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, former Senator Rudy Boschwitz, recently spoke of the same duty. Mr. Boschwitz told commission members currently meeting in Geneva that the United Nations has a commitment "to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to those who live in tyranny and hopelessness. . . .Our message to these true patriots of their nations," he said, "must be that you are not ignored and you are not forgotten and we will not excuse those who are responsible for your oppression."

Mr. Boschwitz emphasized that it is not enough for the U-N Commission on Human Rights "to condemn abuses, but shy away from naming abusers." He set an example by naming some major human rights violators -- including North Korea, Sudan, China, Russia, Burma, Zimbabwe, Cuba and Iran.

"In Iran," said Mr. Boschwitz, "the regime's poor human rights record worsened in the last year and a resolution on the disturbing human rights situation in Iran was successfully passed at the U-N General Assembly." Mr. Boschwitz pointed out that Iran's clerical rulers "continued their crackdown on free speech, including closing independent domestic media outlets, and harassing journalists and web-log authors." He said "the [Iranian] government continues to engage in particularly severe violations of religious freedom," and that "[r]egime hardliners continue to exert undue influence on the electoral and legislative processes, hindering the Iranian people's ability to assert their democratic will."

As head of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Rudy Boschwitz says the commission needs to speak clearly about "all…regimes that commit such abuses." "Putting dictators and other human rights violators on notice that the international community is watching and that there will be consequences for their misdeeds…brings us closer to the day when all nations are part of the growing community of democracies, and tyranny and slavery exist only as sad chapters in human history."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.