Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, February 01, 2008

U.S. and Europe undermine own efforts to spread democracy

The West risks undermining its own efforts to promote human rights by accepting flawed and unfair elections, Human Rights Watch asserted on Thursday in the release of its World Report 2008.

According to the press release, the U.S., Europe and other influential democracies are “allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and political rights that make democracy meaningful.”

Kenya, Pakistan, Bahrain, Nigeria, Russia and Thailand are among the nations HRW accuses of failing to live up to the standards required to be considered a true democracy.

“It’s now too easy for autocrats to get away with mounting a sham democracy,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “That’s because too many Western governments insist on elections and leave it at that. They don’t press governments on the key human rights issues that make democracy function – a free press, peaceful assembly, and a functioning civil society that can really challenge power.”

The report surveys the human rights situation in more than 75 countries, and draws particular attention to atrocities in Chad, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia’s Ogaden region, Iraq, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Sudan’s Darfur region.

For the full press release, and to read the report, click here


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