(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Adotei Akwei, Amnesty International USA's managing director for government relations, issued the following initial statement in response to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry releasing the 2013 Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices today:
"The United States' continued commitment to documenting the respect and protection of human rights around the world is commendable. The reports point out alarming trends, including the growing crackdown on civil society and human rights defenders and the continued onslaught of violence and discrimination against women and girls.
"Unfortunately, this commitment to documentation is all too often not matched in actual policy and action. In addition, these reports reflect an inconsistency in coverage between friends and foes – with friends receiving the U.S. government's kid glove treatment. This double standard approach compromises the rights of those who may suffer human rights abuses in the U.S. chum zone. Ultimately, the inconsistency of applied criterion may render these reports as political tools of the U.S. government and not the standard bearer of principles, which all countries should follow."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.