[JURIST] US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Tuesday criticized [press briefing; recorded video; additional DOS briefing] the poor human rights records of several US allies and denounced the genocide in Darfur [JURIST news archives] while announcing the publication of the 2006 US State Department Country Reports [official website] on human rights. Despite the fact that Afghanistan and Iraq [JURIST news archives] have received hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid for democracy and human rights programs, the reports indicate that widespread sectarian violence, weak central administrations and abuses of authority have thwarted respect for rights in those countries. Among the other countries with poor reports in the annual DOS exercise were North Korea, Pakistan, Cuba , Venezuela, and Myanmar [JURIST news archives].
In addition to Afghanistan and Iraq, the reports also criticized Russia and China, with which the US has recently worked in pressuring Iran and North Korea to abandon their nuclear programs [JURIST news archive]. The State Department reports criticized those countries' records of cracking down on dissent and investigating the killings of government critics. AP has more. AFP has additional coverage.