Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Facts -- The Geneva Convention and the Military Commission Act

President George W. Bush signs into law S. 3930, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, during a ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2006, in the East Room of the White House.
(Source: Paul Morse, whitehouse.gov)

by Richard Jung Lee

edited by Stine Eckert

I believe that any country that violates human rights should be criticized. The United States, Zimbabwe, or any other government in the world should be punished if they violate the Geneva Convention. What happened in Guantanamo Bay can not justify Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s wrongdoings. Mugabe is responsible for murder of thousands, torture of dissidents, forced displacement, food shortages, and currency collapse in Zimbabwe. Those are facts!

Is there a human rights double standard in the United States? Yes, there is. Since 9/11, the United States introduced some security measures that violate human rights. The “Military Commission Act” passed in 2006 legalized torture as a means to fight terrorism; secret wiretap warrants doubled since terrorists attacked the World Trade Center. I think Americans should defend human rights as hard in their own country as they defend human rights in other countries. National security is not an excuse.

Any country that violates human rights should be covered by the media and judged by the public. However, I do not think it is possible or necessary to include the U.S. human rights incidents in every single article about the human rights violations of other countries. I would only mention those incidents if it is relevant to the story I am working on.

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