Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Russia slams US over abuses in wars

Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights representative, professor Konstantin Dolgov

Source: Press TV

Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights representative has called on the US to conduct a close examination of rights violations by American soldiers and agents during conflicts abroad.

Konstantin Dolgov also said on Tuesday that the information grasped from activist groups "gives reason to believe serious violations of international rights protection norms have occurred during US military operations" abroad, Reuters reported.

"We call on the American side to pay adequate attention to this issue in the context of President (Barack) Obama's repeated assurances of his firm intention to deal with the legal violations committed during George W. Bush's presidency under the pretext of the 'war on terror,'" he added.

The US had announced its decision to conduct close criminal investigations of the cases concerning the CIA's handling of two prisoners who died in custody, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

However, Dolgov commented on the US decision to close about 100 other cases of alleged mistreatment by the CIA in the two war-torn countries.

Since the 1991 Soviet collapse, Russia has been under scrutiny by the US for the violation of human rights in the country, and Dolgov said that America's own conduct, particularly abroad, meant "it had no right to lecture others."

"We hope that investigations will be conducted taking into account the many existing signals from rights advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union," he said.

An example of a war crime and human rights violation in Afghanistan is the case of an American-backed warlord who killed thousands of Taliban prisoners of war during the 2001 invasion. Bush administration officials discouraged efforts to investigate the case.

Furthermore, the United States bombed and destroyed civilian life in Iraq, commercial and business districts, schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, shelters, residential areas, historical sites, private vehicles and civilian government offices.

Human Rights Watch has claimed that the principle of “command responsibility” could make high-ranking officials within the Bush administration guilty of war crimes.

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