Articles

Czech PM To U.S. DoS: You Torture People

In Law, Politics on March 13, 2008 by Petr Bokuvka

The United States Department of State Coutry Report On Human Rights Practices criticizes the Czech Republic. Among other things there is the “unfavorable level of political corruption” and the treatment of Roma.

And the Czech PM Mirek Topolanek had this to say about the criticism:

“As for the report by the U.S. Department of State, I can only say that a country that allows the torturing of prisoners can hardly teach me lessons about human rights being violated in my country.” 

Let’s face it, he is right.

Bush DID imply he okays torturing.

The United States did discriminate gays by state-specific penal codes that outlawed same-sex sex between two consenting adults [see Bowers v. Hardwick] and only four to five years ago these laws were annulled or appealed [see Lawrence v. Texas].  And: are African Americans discriminated? I bet they are. And I can bet my two-month salary that the conservative U.S. society would forget all about anti-discrimination laws when it comes to gay teachers, gay coaches, or lesbian kindergarten teachers… 

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3 Responses to “Czech PM To U.S. DoS: You Torture People”

  1. The report seemed a fair assessment of the state of affair in the Czech Republic. It wasn’t even particular pointed since it repeatedly stated that the Czech government was attempting to curtail the criminals within their borders who were actually committing the majority of the more heinous crimes.

    I guess only America is expected to silently tolerate criticism from other nations.

  2. Good point, thank you for that…

    But I still have to maintain that a government institution of country A does not have the right to issue official report of anything that relates to policies of a country B. If it was UNICEF, or the World Bank, or Transparency International, or the U.N., that WOULD be relevant.

    BUT the U.S. Department of State is not the one to speak, I am afraid… Honestly, I don’t see any other country do these global assessments of other countries’ policies.

    If it was an internal-use document, alright. But the DoS presents these assessments as if they were report cards for countries…

    There are numerous things I would give the States A++++ for, there are fewer things the country should get an F or Incompete for… Same everywhere….

  3. Below is the official rationale for these reports:

    The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices are submitted annually by the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Congress in compliance with sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA), as amended, and section 504 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. The law provides that the Secretary of State shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, by February 25 “a full and complete report regarding the status of internationally recognized human rights, within the meaning of subsection (A) in countries that receive assistance under this part, and (B) in all other foreign countries which are members of the United Nations and which are not otherwise the subject of a human rights report under this Act.” Reports on several countries are included that do not fall into the categories established by these statutes and that thus are not covered by the congressional requirement.

    The reports cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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