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US critical of Iran and Syria in human rights report on 'tumultuous' year ^ | Thursday 24 May 2012 | Chris McCreal

Posted on 10/15/2012 7:00:55 PM PDT by STD

US critical of Iran and Syria in human rights report on 'tumultuous' year Report suggests Arab spring and reform in Burma may inspire change elsewhere – but warns of disturbing anti-LGBT trends

Hillary Clinton said: 'These reports make clear to governments around the world: we are watching, and we are holding you accountable' Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: assassination; christopherstevens; gay; homosex; homosexualagenda; muslimworld; state
America's annual human rights report describes 2011 as a " tumultuous and momentous year" of change, from the Arab spring to the dramatic political opening in Burma which may yet inspire what it calls other closed societies – from Iran to North Korea and Eritrea – to open up.

But the US state department report, compiled from information gathered from US embassies around the world, warned of disturbing trends in other ways from growing persecution of religious minorities to deepening discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people.

The 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices made strong criticisms of the situation in China, Russia and several countries in Africa. It had particularly harshly worded condemnation of Iran and Syria, two countries where the US has made it clear it would like to see a change of government.

"These reports … make clear to governments around the world: we are watching, and we are holding you accountable. And they make clear to citizens and activists everywhere: You are not alone. We are standing with you," said the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.

Clinton noted that the report was released as Egyptians are holding a free election for the first time in their history.

"We will support people everywhere who seek the same. Men and women who want to speak, worship, associate, love the way they choose – we will defend their rights; not just on the day we issue these reports, but every day," she said.

But the state department was forced to defend the report from accusations that human rights are too often subordinated to US political and security interests, such as Washington's restrained criticisms of the government of Bahrain's violent crackdown on dissent.

The report also does not scrutinise the US's own human rights record, including criticism from groups such as Amnesty International over the Guantánamo Bay prison, executions and drone strikes that have killed thousands of innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.

The report said that the Arab spring has changed the Middle East and led to a general improvement in human rights but that it will take time to build free societies.

"Transitions are times of uncertainty," it said. "They can be chaotic, unstable, and at times violent. And even when they succeed, they are rarely linear, quick, or easy. The challenge during these transitions is to keep societies open to political debate. Protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms ensures that negotiations over a country's future can take place without fear or intimidation, and that anti-democratic forces do not snuff out genuine political participation."

But in a move that will be widely interpreted as political, some of the strongest criticism was reserved for Iran and Syria.

"Iran sentenced hundreds of people to death and carried out hundreds of executions without due process. It cracked down on all forms of dissent, arresting and detaining activists, opposition leaders, lawyers, journalists, artists, and academics. It executed juveniles, tortured political prisoners, and detained more journalists than nearly any country in the world," the report said.

On Syria, the report said: "The government of President Assad used indiscriminate and deadly force to quell peaceful protests throughout the country and launched military assaults on several of its own cities. At the year's end, activists reported ongoing arrests, torture, intimidation, rape, extra-judicial killings and the use of military force against civilians."

Clinton said: "The Assad regime's brutality against its own people must and will end, because Syrians know they deserve a better future".

The tone in criticising Bahrain's crackdown on demands by the Shia majority for political reform and greater civil rights, including torture and arbitrary arrest by the security forces, is more restrained. Nearly 100 people were killed and thousands injured. The US has a large military base in Bahrain.

Michael Posner, the assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labour, acknowledged that human rights are often competing with national security and diplomatic interests. But he said that the US pursues "principled engagements" that includes human rights.

"We recognise we have a range of interests," he said. "But human rights is an important part of what we do across the board."

On Bahrain, he said that the US has pressed the government there to curb abuses. "We raised these issues in Bahrain recognising that this country is at a turning point."

The report warned of rising persecution over sexual orientation. "In many countries there was an uptick in discrimination against members of racial and ethnic minorities; people with disabilities; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people, all of whom were frequent targets of abuse, discrimination, and violence," it said.

The report contained strong criticism of China where it said "the human rights situation deteriorated, particularly the freedoms of expression, assembly, and association".

It noted the harassment and detention of human rights activists, journalists and dissidents.

"Public interest lawyers who took cases deemed sensitive by the government faced disbarment and the closure of their firms, and in some cases were subject to arrest and detention. Activists, dissidents, and members of religious minorities were denied the freedoms to assemble, practice their religions, or travel," it said.

Some of the worst abuses were documented in Africa. The report noted the appalling human rights abuses that continue in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo where militia groups are responsible for systematic, rape, torture and murder.

It also criticised what it described as "widespread human rights violations" under Eritrea's authoritarian regime including forced labour, the use of torture and the detention of more than 30 journalists whose whereabouts are not known.

In neighbouring Ethiopia, "the government continued to repress civil society, including the media".

It condemned Sudan's continued "bombardment of civilian areas" and use of militias that "killed, injured, and raped civilians" as well as the use of child soldiers.

The report noted that the "chronically bad human rights situation" in Zimbabwe has not improved despite the installation of a power sharing government. It accused Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party of using the security forces "to arrest, abuse, and torture non-Zanu-PF party members and civil society activists with impunity".

On Israel, the report notes continuing racial discrimination against non-Jews, particularly Arabs. Among other things a long standing practice of villages running "community admissions committees" to decide whether a person or family is permitted to move there was codified into law after the high court ruled that the committees were illegal. The practice is most commonly used to discriminate against Arabs.

The report also noted the practice of issuing "kosher certificates" indicating that no Arabs were employed by a business.

1 posted on 10/15/2012 7:01:04 PM PDT by STD
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U.S. government supporting an anti-Christian agenda in the rest of the world. No wonder we’re going broke and en route to collapse as a nation.

2 posted on 10/15/2012 7:04:05 PM PDT by TigerClaws
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I think this has nothing to do with Stevens’ death. First of all, the guy wasn’t a total idiot and certainly wouldn’t have been out cruising downtown Benghazi or anywhere else. I doubt that the Libyans had any idea that he was gay.

He had also converted to Islam and was a Sufi (they are also very anti-gay, even though they are regarded as a heretical sect by more orthodox Muslims), so I think that if he had been a “practicing” gay in the past, he no longer qualified as one at that time.

He was killed because he was an American and a symbol of America, and they knew they could insult and humiliate us by doing this...and that there would be absolutely no risk to them for this act as long as their evil accomplice is in the White House.

3 posted on 10/15/2012 7:07:16 PM PDT by livius
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To: livius

Are you familiar with Ambassador Steven’s cause of Death?

4 posted on 10/15/2012 7:14:16 PM PDT by STD (“Cogito, ergo armatum sum)
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No, really - What?

There isn’t a cogent sentence in there. And, somehow, I found no reference to any sort of Ambassador.

So, again. What?

5 posted on 10/15/2012 7:15:23 PM PDT by green iguana
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To: livius

Then I suppose the ads for openly gay body guards was just a fluke.
Really he converted, hum, well the guys who killed him were unaware.

6 posted on 10/15/2012 7:16:31 PM PDT by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: TigerClaws

Our tax dollars are used to put a cross in a jar of urine, and to defend Islam against an “anti-Islam” video.

America will get the judgement it deserves.

The only difference between the Halfrican Hitler and the Austrian Hitler is that the Austrian Hitler was not trying to destroy his country.

7 posted on 10/15/2012 7:19:26 PM PDT by MikeSteelBe (Austrian Hitler was, as the Halfrican Hitler does.)
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To: livius

How does this explain the rape and the forms of torture they used on him? I think they were aware of his past, and this was part of the reason for the attack.

8 posted on 10/15/2012 7:21:50 PM PDT by oblomov
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To: hoosiermama; penelopesire; maggief; SE Mom; Liz; stephenjohnbanker; thouworm; mkjessup; ...

Well, this is either the second or third time I’ve read about the Ambassador being a homosexual.

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To: livius
I was in the State Department from SecState Powell, Rice and then Clinton, until I retired in February this year. I feel compelled to correct the record on Gay rights under Hillary and Obama el at. I am going to post some information from the State Department to Embassy's, Consulates and Employees below. President Obama and SecState Hillary declared June LGBT Month (similar to existing Black History Month, Asian Pacific Islander Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, etc. There are various memorandums and directives to ensure each Mission abroad appropiately celebrates JUNE each year.

In June, 2009, Secretary Clinton announced that the Department was extending a broad range of legally available benefits to same-sex domestic partners of members of the Foreign Service sent to serve abroad. Following are Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) developed as guidance for employees and their HR/CDA CDOs to follow as we continue to implement the Secretary's directive.  The SOP (Standard Operation Procedures) begins with a review of the changes implemented since June 2009 and continues into our current efforts on accreditation with host governments.  Employees should address questions to their CDOs. Please note that the SOP also addresses U.S. visas for non-U.S. Citizen partners, nepotism, and Separate Maintenance Allowances.

2.  Begin text SOP B-29:  

Authorities:  3 FAM 1610 (Foreign Affairs Manual) defines who qualifies as a same-sex domestic partner for purposes of obtaining benefits and assuming obligations under Department regulations and sets forth the procedures by which employees may declare or dissolve a domestic partnership.  

Definition:  Status as a same-sex domestic partner (SSDP) is established when the State Department Foreign Service employee files Form DS-7669 identifying and certifying his or her domestic partner as such and the form is accepted.  

To obtain benefits for a SSDP, a State Department employee must file Form DS-7669 with the appropriate Assignment Technician in HR/EX/ASU.  

What the Department Provides: The Department provides for declared SSDP of eligible employees:  

--Diplomatic passports (U.S. diplomatic passports are available only to U.S. nationals.  Non-U.S. national partners, therefore, do not receive diplomatic, official or other U.S. passports, but the Department does have a procedure for providing a letter to support the accreditation of non-U.S. national SSDPs.); --Inclusion on employee travel orders to and from foreign and domestic posts; --Inclusion in family size calculations for the purpose of making housing allocations; --Eligible Family Member (EFM) preferences for employment at posts abroad and in the United States; --Use of medical facilities at posts abroad; --Medical evacuation from posts abroad; --Emergency travel for partners to visit gravely ill or injured employees and relatives; --Inclusion as EFM for emergency evacuation from posts abroad; --Subsistence payments related to emergency evacuation from posts abroad; --Inclusion in calculations of payments of overseas allowances (e.g., payment for quarters, cost of living, and other allowances); --Representation expenses; --Training offered by the Foreign Service Institute or by posts abroad where such training is open to family members; --Eligibility for separate maintenance allowance (SMA).    

Accreditation, Visas, Privileges and Immunities:  The Department considers SSDPs to be "family members" under the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations and as a rule therefore seeks to accredit them at posts worldwide, so that they receive those Ps&Is that are enjoyed by other EFMs. When the host government is known to accept the accreditation of SSDP, the Department will work with foreign governments to provide SSDPs with diplomatic visas, privileges and immunities (Ps&IS), and authorization to work in the local economy. Procedures for seeking diplomatic visas, Ps&Is and authorization to work for SSDPs are the same as for any other EFM.  Requests are normally initiated by the receiving post or by the relevant bureau. Employees should not self initiate this process with the host government.  

That said, not all governments have agreed to accept the accreditation of SSDPs and provide them with that status.  

CDOs should be prepared to offer basic guidance to clients with SSDPs about how host government attitudes, policies and practices on accreditation and Ps&Is might affect their bidding strategies and opportunities for their SSDPs.  CDOs can direct clients to Points of Contact (usually PMOs) in relevant bureaus for more in- depth guidance on conditions at post.  

Employees should be mindful that, if a SSDP were to be denied accreditation (diplomatic status), the SSDP may not be permitted to accompany the employee to post. Before any SSDP may travel to post in circumstances where they would not be expected to be accredited, the Department must first review, on a case by case basis, whether to allow a SSDP to reside at post without accreditation.  In these cases, requests by the Foreign Service member to have an SSDP accompany the Foreign Service member will be approved only in those cases where foreign policy concerns and other concerns, such as for the safety and security of employees and family members for whom the COM is responsible can be appropriately addressed in the absence of Ps&Is.  

Procedures for addressing cases where the receiving state will not accept the accreditation of SSDPs: A Senior Committee with representatives of HR (PDAS), L, and DS will consider each case individually.  Committee consultations may include discussions with the COM and the regional bureau.  SSDP issues, whether from CDOs, PMOs, employees or others, may be brought to the Senior Committee through HR/CDA.  

Receiving State Recognition of Same-Sex Domestic Partners Who are not Eligible for U.S. Diplomatic Passports:  U.S. passports are available only to U.S. nationals.  Non-U.S. national SSDP, therefore, are not eligible to receive a diplomatic, official or other U.S. passport.  The Department does consider non-citizen SSDPs to be EFMs eligible for Ps&Is.  Some receiving states, however, have indicated that they will not accept the accreditation of non-U.S.-citizen SSDPs without diplomatic passports even if supported by a diplomatic note from the Embassy.  

For those cases, the Director General has delegated signature authority for this purpose to the Executive Directors of the regional bureaus to sign letters of recognition for non-U.S.-citizen same-sex domestic partners based on filing of Form DS-7669. Executive Directors must clear individual letters with L-DL.  

As with other EFMs, the Department will not authorize creation of a job at an embassy or consulate specifically for one SSDP, whether for visa or other purposes.  

Curtailments and Breaks:  The regulations controlling curtailment for an employee with a SSDP are the same as those for any employee.  (3 FAM 2443)  Failure of a receiving state to grant a same-sex domestic partner a visa does not automatically provide grounds for curtailment or break of an assignment, although such failure will be taken into account.  

Non-U.S.-Citizen SSDPs When Employees Are Assigned to the U.S.:  U.S. law imposes requirements on non-U.S. citizens coming to and residing in the United States. The Department is working to develop procedures by which non-U.S. citizen SSDPs may be eligible to accompany employees on domestic assignment.  CDOs should direct questions to HR/CDA.  

Tandem Couples:  To the extent legally permissible, Department policies and procedures regarding tandem couples are equally applicable to tandem employees in a same-sex domestic partnership as they are to members of an opposite-sex tandem couple.  

Nepotism:  Same-sex domestic partners, as EFMs, are subject to the Department's nepotism regulations.  

SMA:  Employees are eligible to receive a separate maintenance allowance (SMA) on behalf of SSDPs to the same extent that employees are eligible to receive SMA for spouses.  An employee may request SMA for special needs or hardship for any or all family members either before commencing a tour of duty or at any time during a tour of duty.  (3 FAM 3232.3-3 and DSSR 260)

NOTE – SSDP or Same Sex Domestic Partner can be a Foreign Service National or person from a different country from the USA. An example is an Openly Gay Foreign Service member (capped at 15,000) can have a SSDP live in their rented living quarters paid by the US Department of State while that person serves in Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran (AIP), and provide Separate Maintenance Allowance to the tune of another $14,000); then the State Department will at the end of the FS members tour of duty in AIP move their household goods and boy/girl/friend (and that person’s dependents too – open that door) to the next Post or duty assignment.

So what does this mean? Literally, foreign intelligence operatives routinely catalog's all employees at all diplomatic missions so they know who works where, and when, and if of interest there is more information on US employees kept. Any number of countries are involved and I leave that to you to guess, but you can start with the Host Nation for starters, and extend that to their political allies, our enemies and friends alike.

Additionally, if the good Ambassador had a "friend" in prior postings he probably took advantage of the aforementioned FAMs/FAHs for benefits such as housing, travel and financial support for his partner -- if he did do this and he was an Ambassador, or Deputy Chief of Mission or Section head (Econ, Political, Management, Consular, Public Affairs, etc.) then he was a person of interest to our adversaries and friends alike.

It is possible the whole point of making GBLT Open-source in the US Diplomatic Community is to lessen the likelihood of blackmail....

10 posted on 10/15/2012 7:27:27 PM PDT by Jumper
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To: livius

where did you learn he had become a SUfi? I have not seen that anywhere.

11 posted on 10/15/2012 7:31:57 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: svcw

What ads for openly gay body guards??? where are you folks getting this info?

12 posted on 10/15/2012 7:34:29 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: oblomov

rape of an enemy is common in the muslim world particularly in the middle east.... read about Lawrence of Arabia

13 posted on 10/15/2012 7:35:41 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: TigerClaws
U.S. government supporting an anti-Christian agenda in the rest of the world. No wonder we’re going broke and en route to collapse as a nation.
"We will support people everywhere who seek the same. Men and women who want to speak, worship, associate, love the way they choose – we will defend their rights; not just on the day we issue these reports, but every day," she said.

I believe Hillary said this when she was on her "Human Rights" world tour and pushing the LGBT agenda on a global level. Really. Just take that one little phrase: " the way they choose..." and ponder what she is ignorantly supporting (if it's not ignorance, it has to be abject evil). What if adults choose to love little boys in a special way, Hillary? How about if "love" includes making slaves of girls or women? Will you (speaking for the U.S.) really defend the rights of pedophiles and slavemasters every day? Where did you draw any distinction in your promise, Hillary?

14 posted on 10/15/2012 7:41:15 PM PDT by arasina (Communism is EVIL. So there.)
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To: Nifster
That’s just one.

15 posted on 10/15/2012 7:49:04 PM PDT by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: svcw

Okay. Thanks. I hadn’t seen that one before. Sometimes you just can’t fix stupid

16 posted on 10/15/2012 10:41:32 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: oblomov

No, male on male rape is very common dominance behavior in primitive cultures. It is used in the ME to express contempt for the person who has been captured or subdued. They raped Khadaffi, for example.

It has nothing to do with sex.

17 posted on 10/16/2012 7:30:07 AM PDT by livius
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To: Nifster

His conversion to Islam (in the form of sufism) was discussed on earlier threads about the attack shortly after it happened. He had apparently always had a fondness for Islam and Islamic countries, like many leftist intellectuals. I don’t know exactly at what point in his career he formally converted, but from what people said, it seemed as if he had not been a Sufi for a very long time, perhaps only since shortly before coming to Libya.

Sufis, of course, are very low on the Islamic totem pole and orthodox groups like al Qaeda hate them. However, I don’t think that was the reason for their attack.

He was actually very well liked by the less radical but still somewhat Islamist contingent.

The sole reason for their attack was that he was a symbol of the United States and the West and their attack showed how powerless we were against them.

18 posted on 10/16/2012 7:41:36 AM PDT by livius
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To: livius

I saw the various threads and peoples comments that made the claim. I have seen nothing from anything like his friends or family or even state. It is easy to make claims....harder to prove.

The meme going around now is that O planned a kidnapping by his muslim brotherhood friends and that it went terribly wrong. He was looking for an October miracle or something.

I just know that on 9/11 muslims attacked America yet again and the current dolts did nothing and tried to blame the first amendment for it

19 posted on 10/16/2012 9:54:29 AM PDT by Nifster
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