Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo named China, Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela as some of the worst human rights violators in his remarks while presenting the State Department’s 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on Wednesday. The reports cover internationally recognized individual, civil and political rights in almost 200 countries and territories, including all countries receiving U.S. assistance and all United Nations member states.
Pompeo prefaced the report:
The 44th annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices provide carefully researched, factual, and objective information on actions foreign governments are taking–or not taking–to demonstrate observance of and respect for internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. By publishing these reports, we reaffirm the United States’ longstanding commitment to advancing human rights and fundamental freedoms.
“China is monitoring its people through high-tech surveillance and imprisoning minorities in interment camps,” Pompeo remarked while addressing the press. “Chinese citizens who want a better future are met with violence.”
Pompeo added that in Iran deceased prisoners were beaten so badly that they were hardly recognizable by the family members who were asked to identify their bodies. In Venezuela, there were extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, torture and arbitrary detentions. Similarly, in Cuba thousands of political prisoners were chained, beaten and killed for protesting.
“We hope that all nations recognize, as we do, that respect for inherent dignity of every person is the foundation of lasting peace and security,” Assistant Secretary of State Robert A. Destro concluded. A follow-up briefing was held by Assistant Secretary Destro and Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Busby expanding on Pompeo’s remarks.