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U.S. labels China, Russia, Iran and North Korea ‘morally reprehensible’ over rights

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan speaks to the media in Riga

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan speaks to the media during a news conference in Riga, Latvia February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department on Friday labeled China, Russia, Iran and North Korea as “morally reprehensible” governments it said violated human rights within their borders on a daily basis, making them “forces of instability as a result.”

In releasing the department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017, acting Secretary of State John Sullivan said the latest U.S. National Security Strategy recognized that corrupt and weak governance threatened global stability and U.S. interests.

“Some governments are unable to maintain security and meet the basic needs of their people, while others are simply unwilling,” Sullivan said.

“States that restrict freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly; that allow and commit violence against members of religious, ethnic, and other minority groups; or that undermine the fundamental dignity of persons are morally reprehensible and undermine our interests,” he said.

“The governments of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, for example, violate the human rights of those within their borders on a daily basis and are forces of instability as a result.”

Sullivan said the United States sought to lead other nations by example in promoting just and effective governance based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.

“The United States will continue to support those around the world struggling for human dignity and liberty,” he said.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Dan Grebler)

 

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