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Should the US Listen to Criticism of Its Human Rights Record?

Amnesty International's latest report assails the US for its human rights record, and calls for the immediate closure of Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.

The report says:

As the world's most powerful state, the USA sets the standard for government behaviour globally. With breathtaking legal obfuscation, the US administration has continued its efforts to weaken the absolute prohibition against torture and other ill-treatment. [. . .] These actions have done nothing to further the fight against terrorism and a great deal to damage the USA's prestige and influence abroad.

The international human rights group also calls out China and Russia, as well as the European Union's complicity in the rendition of terror suspects. Recent attacks against Roma encampments in Italy, were also condemned by the group.

In the past, the US State Department has deflected responsibility by accusing Amnesty International of using the United States as “a convenient ideological punching bag." We're still waiting on an official statement regarding the latest report.

Is it a worse when the world's superpower abuses human rights? Is America's moral authority weakened when it is called out by international watch groups? What human rights advancements been made in the 60 years since the adoption Universal Declaration of Human Rights?


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