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Obama's Human Rights Record Criticized Before Nobel Ceremonies

December 15, 2009 by  

Obama's human rights record criticized before Nobel ceremoniesAs he prepared his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, the advocacy group Amnesty International began questioning President Barack Obama’s human rights record.

Amnesty’s executive director Larry Cox stated that Obama’s human rights record is still a "work in progress" and that he must make it a "constant priority—not just when it is convenient."

While Cox gives Obama credit for a pragmatic foreign policy style and a willingness to open talks with countries like North Korea and Iran, he also faults him for not doing enough to address specific human rights violations, according to Reuters.

"He has spoken out on some cases… but he has not raised enough issues of human rights in China, for example, where it would have demonstrated real commitment on our part not to let other needs prevent us from speaking out very forcefully," said Cox.

Amnesty’s director also encouraged the president to use his acceptance speech as a platform for change.

"[He should say that] the U.S. after many, many decades has failed to provide that kind of leadership [on human rights] and now wants, once again, to provide that leadership," he stated, quoted by the news source.

Meanwhile, President Obama has faced criticism after he acknowledged last month that he will not meet his original January deadline for shutting down the notorious military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
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