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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Human Rights Watch: China Moving Backwards; EU Should Take Lead

Posted by Author on January 11, 2007

Human Rights Watch, January 11, 2007-

Human Rights Watch Launches World Report 2007 on Guantanamo Anniversary

(Washington, DC, January 11, 2007) – With US credibility undermined by the Bush administration’s use of torture and detention without trial, the European Union must fill the leadership void on human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2007.

Today marks five years since the United States first sent detainees to Guantanamo. The Bush administration has proven largely incapable of providing leadership on human rights, while China and Russia are embracing tyrants in their quest for resources and influence. But rather than assuming the leadership mantle, the European Union’s approach is mired in procedures that emphasize internal unanimity and rotation over the effective projection of EU influence to protect human rights, said the 556-page volume’s introductory essay.

“Since the US can’t provide credible leadership on human rights, European countries must pick up the slack,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Instead, the European Union is punching well below its weight.”

Human Rights Watch lamented the “lowest common denominator approach” to rights protection by EU member states, in which governments that favor accommodation drag down those seeking a tougher approach to serious rights abuses. Examples include the EU’s backtracking on the sanctions it imposed following the May 2005 massacre in the Uzbek city of Andijan and its weak response to the 2005 royal coup in Nepal. Similarly, while abusive governments banded together to block effective action at the United Nations’ new Human Rights Council, the EU’s ability to respond was crippled by its micromanaging approach and need for consensus.

The report identifies many human rights challenges in need of urgent attention. Iraq has degenerated into sectarian and political blood-letting, with civilians the principal victims. Ruthlessly repressive governments in North Korea, Burma, and Turkmenistan deprive their people of fundamental rights and dignity. Dictatorships persist in Saudi Arabia and Syria. China is moving backwards. Russia and Egypt are cracking down on non-governmental organizations. Iran and Ethiopia are silencing dissident voices. Robert Mugabe would rather drive Zimbabwe to ruin than tolerate political opposition. Civil war is reigniting in Sri Lanka and intensifying in Afghanistan and Somalia, while conflict continues in Colombia. Israel launched indiscriminate attacks in Lebanon and littered southern Lebanon with cluster bombs during its war with Hezbollah. For its part, Hezbollah attacked Israeli cities without distinguishing between military and civilian objectives. ( more details from Human Rights Watch)

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