Mugabe blasts US human rights record

[JURIST] Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] devoted much of his address [PDF statement] to the 62nd UN General Assembly on Wednesday to attacking the human rights record of US President George W. Bush. Mugabe was responding to Bush's address [PDF text], where Bush called Mugabe's government a "tyrannical regime" that has "cracked down on peaceful calls for reform, and forced millions to flee their homeland." Mugabe in turn accused Bush of human rights abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of torturing prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in secret prisons in Europe [JURIST news archives].

Bush invoked the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [text] in condemning the human rights records of many countries, including Zimbabwe, and Mugabe responded with the example of Guantanamo Bay:

at that concentration camp international law does not apply. The national laws of the people there do not apply. Laws of the United States of America do not apply. Only Bush's law applies...Mr. Bush thinks he stands above all structures of governance, whether national or international. At home, he does not need the Congress. Abroad, he does not need the UN, international law and opinion. This forum did not sanction Blair and Bush's misadventures in Iraq. The two ran roughshod over the UN and international opinion. Almighty Bush is now coming back to the UN for a rescue package because his nose is bloodied!
Last week, the Zimbabwean parliament unanimously passed a constitutional amendment [JURIST report] that essentially gives Mugabe, who is 83 years old, the authority to appoint his successor. Reuters has more.

 

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