Magazine article The Christian Century

Watch Group: War on Terror Endangers Rights. (News)

Magazine article The Christian Century

Watch Group: War on Terror Endangers Rights. (News)

Article excerpt

Echoing concerns by some U.S. religious organizations, a prominent New York-based human fights group has criticized the U.S. government for its war against terrorism, saying the Bush administration "has refused to be bound by human rights standards."

In its annual report on international human fights globally, Human Rights Watch said that while the U.S. is not among the worst human fights offenders, its "willingness to compromise human fights to fight terrorism sets a dangerous precedent," particularly because of its unique leadership role.

The report, released in mid-January, took the United States to task for refusing to raise issues of repression in countries such as China, which Human Rights Watch said were using the fight against terrorism "to cloak or intensify repression" against dissident and nationalist movements, and sometimes against religious groups.

Regarding China, Human Rights Watch paid particular attention to religious persecution in that country, noting that President Jiang Zemin had, at the end of 2001, said that "current international and domestic conditions" prompted the strengthening of the national government's "control over religion. …

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