US hails Arab Spring but warns of instability
UPDATED @ 11:31:52 PM 24-05-2012
WASHINGTON, May 24 — The United States hailed on Thursday last year's "Arab Spring" popular revolutions in the Middle East but said instability and violence often precede greater respect for human rights.
In its annual survey of human rights around the world, the State Department praised Myanmar for having freed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and for starting to open up its political system after decades of repression.
It described as "extremely poor" human rights in Belarus, China, Iran, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which are perennial targets of U.S. criticism for denying their people basic freedoms and democratic governance.
The report highlighted the treatment of religious minorities and what it described as "marginalized people," including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender as well as people with disabilities.
On the Arab Spring, it sounded notes of optimism and caution.
"The yearning for change we have witnessed in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Syria is inspirational, and yet change often creates instability before it leads to greater respect for democracy and human rights," it said, saying an open political culture would not appear overnight after decades of repression.
"Transitions are times of uncertainty. They can be chaotic, unstable, and at times violent. And even when they succeed, they are rarely linear, quick, or easy," the State Department's "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011" added. — Reuters