The United States called to account governments who fail to protect, and in too many places, violate and abuse, the fundamental freedoms and human rights of their citizens.
In a speech in Washington emphasizing the centrality of human rights in the foreign policy of the United States, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the United States called to account governments who fail to protect, and in too many places, violate and abuse, the fundamental freedoms and human rights of their citizens.
For example, in regard to China, she noted that while recognizing the need for a constructive relationship between the U.S. and China, the United States “speaks clearly and consistently about our human rights concerns with the Chinese government at every level,” including specific cases, like that of Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo, and human rights attorney Xu Zhiyong, “as well as broader patterns of restrictive behavior.”
“The Chinese people are facing increasing restrictions on their freedoms of expression, assembly and association,” Ms. Rice said. “When courts imprison political dissidents who merely urge respect for China’s own laws, no one in China – including Americans doing business there – can feel secure. When ethnic and religious minorities, such as Tibetans and Uighurs, are denied their fundamental freedoms, the trust that holds diverse societies together is undermined. Such abuses diminish China’s potential from the inside.”
The same, she said, is true of Russia. Although the U.S. and Russia cooperate on nonproliferation, arms control and counterterrorism, among other issues, “We don’t remain silent about the Russian government’s systematic efforts to curtail the actions of Russian civil society, to stigmatize the LGBT community, to coerce neighbors like Ukraine who seek closer integration with Europe or to stifle human rights in the North Caucasus.”
Regarding Iran, where the United States and its partners are now testing the potential for a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue, “we are mindful,” she said, “that another key test is whether we begin to see progress on human rights. We call on the government of Iran to allow the U.N. Special Rapporteur to visit the country. Our sanctions on Iran’s human rights abusers will continue, and so will our support for the fundamental rights of all Iranians.”
The United States stands fast for human rights, said National Security Adviser Rice, “and it is for the sake of our common humanity and our shared future that, even if imperfectly, we keep striving to build a world that is more just, more equal, more safe and more free.”