• Press Release

Amnesty International USA Analysis of State Department Human Rights Reports

April 19, 2016

Following last week’s release of the 2016 Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Amnesty International USA conducted a review of the reports and offered an analysis of the reports.

The annual, Congressionally-mandated reports are meant to highlight abuses such as human rights defenders being killed, detained or hounded in to exile, along with draconian restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, often imposed in the name of national security.

Unfortunately, this year’s report continues the practice of using diplomatic language to understate human rights violations. The report also continues to bury some cases of abuse by failing to refer to them in the summary section of the report.

For example, while the report shines a spotlight on Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, and Bahrain — all U.S. allies that have come under scrutiny for their terrible records –the question remains whether U.S. policymakers will incorporate the findings of the reports as they develop and implement U.S. foreign policy. In that regard, so far the results have been fairly disappointing.

AIUSA’s assessments can be found here.