Iran highlights human rights violations in United States
TORONTO, Canada: Tired of being on the receiving end of human rights
concerns by Washington, Iran has responded with its own scathing report
on rights violations by the United States.
A report by Iran's Basij militia questions the United States' role as
the self-proclaimed defender of human rights, accusing Washington of a
string of abuses.
Death penalties, violation of prisoners' rights, racial
discriminations, breach of privacy rights, lack of free speech, and
violation of the rights of indigenous populations are among the ways
that Iran believes the United States breaches human rights. The 30-page
report accuses Washington of using human rights as a tool to wage war on
other countries, while violating those same rights at home.
"Although the United States of America claims to be a protector of
human rights around the world, and each year assesses the HR situation
in each country, it remains to be asked where its own situation in terms
of respecting and protecting Human Rights is," said the report,
published in English, Arabic and Farsi.
"As soon as we all hear the phrase 'human rights,' the painful
memories of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and Bagram prisons remind us of the
human rights violations committed by the US government," said the
report, referring to US military scandals involving prisoners under its
The focus of the report, released in a ceremony at Tehran University,
is on rights abuses in 2013.
Last week, the United Nations published a report on human rights
violations in the Islamic Republic, which was immediately dismissed by
the Iranian justice minister, Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi.
The Basij report refers to specific cases, including Edward
Snowden's, a former National Security Agency contractor who revealed top
secret NSA documents to several media outlets.
"The American Civil Liberties Union documents show that (US) security
agencies widely intercepted American citizens' phone calls in 2013. Many
of these actions were carried out without a court order," the report
notes. It also objects to a 35-year prison sentence given by a US
military court to Bradley Manning, the young American soldier who was
arrested in 2010 for revealing classified information to WikiLeaks, the
online whistle blower.
Iran notes that rights watchdog Amnesty International has repeatedly
asked for his release.
Privacy violations of Muslims by the New York Police Department
(NYPD) and other law agencies is another topic of focus for Iran, which
shows strong support for American Muslims whose anger it sees as
"For over a decade, the NYPD's Intelligence Division has targeted
Muslims for discriminatory surveillance based on nothing but their
faith, spying on them in their places of worship, businesses, and even
homes." the Iranian report said. "The NYPD's biased spying program
constitutes a clear violation of the civil rights of innocent Muslims,
who are viewed as suspect and stigmatized by the very authorities
charged with protecting them," it adds.