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US objects to Cuba, Zimbabwe on human rights panel

[JURIST] The US State Department Tuesday sharply criticized the selection of Cuba and Zimbabwe for positions on a panel that will set the agenda for the UN Human Rights Commission. "The United States believes that countries that routinely and systematically violate the rights of their citizens should not be selected to review the human rights performance of other countries," State Department press office Tom Casey said. During her confirmation hearing last month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [White House bio] listed Cuba and Zimbabwe among six "outposts of tyranny." [AP transcript] The State Department did not comment on the selection of Saudia Arabia, often a target of human rights concerns, to the panel. The Cuban government fired back, as Cuba's official news agency, AIN, pointed out that among the cases being considered by the UN commission are "the well documented atrocities committed by the U.S. government in Iraq, particularly the brutal procedures used against prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail and at the prison camp set up at the illegal U.S. naval base located in the eastern Cuban province of Guantanamo." AP has more.

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