Editors note: One word – Guantanamo
George Bush yesterday launched a fierce attack on countries which he accused of human rights abuse.
The president used a UN speech to hit out at ‘brutal regimes’ including Iran, as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad watched on.
He said: ‘In Belarus, North Korea, Syria and Iran, brutal regimes deny their people the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of the United Nations.’
He singled out ‘tyrannical’ Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe and Cuban president Fidel Castro for criticism.
‘The United Nations must insist on change in Harare and must insist for the freedom of the people of Zimbabwe,’ he added.
‘In Cuba, the long rule of a cruel dictator is nearing its end. The Cuban people are ready for their freedom.’ The Cuban delegation walked out of the chamber in protest.
But Mr Bush’s speech in New York was branded ‘hypocrital’ and he was accused of abandoning human rights in Iraq and at the US prison camp Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Lawyer Louise Christian, who has represented Guantanamo Bay prisoners, said: ‘George Bush needs to realise when making these statements what is happening in his own back yard.’
And Phil Shiner, head of Public Interest Lawyers, described it as ‘absolute nonsense’.
‘He’s got as much in common with human rights as Pol Pot did,’ he added.