State Department report shows US support for repressive governments in Middle East


(Washington DC, April 12, 2022) – The US Department of State this morning released its annual country reports on human rights practices, which track how foreign governments are fulfilling their human rights obligations set out in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments.

Under US law, the State Department must submit human rights reports to Congress for all countries receiving US aid and for all UN member states.

Today’s report Documenting systematic and widespread human rights violations, including unlawful, arbitrary and extrajudicial killings; forced disappearance; torture, inhuman or degrading treatment; and arbitrary arrests by Middle East governments should trigger a complete suspension of US military aid under US law, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) said.

“In his remarks on the report, Minister Blinken said that ‘The United States will continue to support those around the world fighting for human dignity and freedom.’ It’s hard to reconcile that statement with the fact that the US government supports and arms some of the world’s most abusive governments,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of DAWN. “The real question we should be asking is why is the US government ignoring its own evidence and laws to continue supporting some of the most abusive governments in the world.”

Go to the Egypt country report:

“Unlawful, arbitrary and extrajudicial killings. Enforced disappearances, torture and life-threatening prison conditions. Congress should remember these State Department findings as the Egyptian government seeks an additional $1.3 billion in military assistance from US taxpayers,” said John Hursh , program director at DAWN. “US hypocrisy in ignoring Egypt’s record is exactly what autocrats like Russian President Vladimir Putin are pointing to and using to rally international support for the United States’ stance on Russia over its aggression and invasion of Ukraine dampen.”

To the country report on Israel and Palestine:

“The State Department has failed to address the findings of apartheid crimes and persecution by Israeli, Palestinian and international NGOs and the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Palestine, even as it noted apartheid conditions such as the prosecution of Palestinians in Israel, who are not Israeli citizens under Israeli military law. In stark contrast, the State Department concluded that Israel does not prosecute Israeli citizens who commit similar crimes in the West Bank under Israeli law,” Whitson said.

To the country report Saudi Arabia:

“In Saudi Arabia, executions of nonviolent criminals, like many if not most of the 81 men killed in a mass execution last month, or government-ordered enforced disappearances, torture and arbitrary detention do not stop the US government “The harassment and intimidation of Saudi dissidents living abroad — just one example of the scale of the Saudi government’s repression — is inconsistent with American values,” Hursh said State Department officials represented as a key element of US foreign policy,” Hursh added.

To the country report on the United Arab Emirates:

“In the UAE, the Foreign Ministry found credible reports of arbitrary detention, torture in custody and incommunicado detention, in addition to a variety of laws and practices that suppress civil and political rights. At the same time, the US and UAE governments are trying to engineer a massive $23 billion arms sale,” Hursh said.


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