Quote of the Week

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 15

“I share the concern voiced by the authors of the report. And it seems to me that analysts of the Department of State drew quite justified conclusions regarding the situation with human rights in Russia. I mean the electoral law, freedom of speech and the situation in Chechnya. But, given the war in Iraq, Guantanamo and various anti-terrorist measures being taken at the national level, the U.S. has lost most of its moral authority in the sphere of human rights and international relations. Taking account of the policy Washington has been pursuing in recent years, especially the war in Iraq, the U.S. has found itself in a rather weak position to be able to effectively influence other countries. It has happened because the U.S. has ceased to serve as an actual example in the sphere of human rights, which is regrettable. When the Department of State releases such a report on Russia, it is quite difficult for Americans to influence the situation with human rights in Russia, no matter how convincing the arguments of its authors sound. The Russian authorities respond to complaints that the situation with human rights in Russia is not so good by saying: look at yourselves first.” — Tatyana Lokshina, director of the Demos human rights center, as quoted by Interfax on April 9 about the recently-released U.S. State Department annual report “Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2006,” which criticized Russia’s human rights record.