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U.S. Highlights Rights Issues In Russia

28 February 2005 -- In a report on human rights abuses, the U.S. State Department today complained that the Kremlin consolidated its central power in Russia.

The annual report also expressed "concerns about the erosion of government accountability" due to media restrictions, a compliant legislature, and political pressure on the judiciary.

In addition to Russia, the report's summary of rights records in 196 countries highlighted a group of nations persistently criticized by Washington, including North Korea, Iran, China, Zimbabwe, and Cuba.

But the summary of a document that runs to more than 1,000 pages did not highlight the abuses in Iraq by U.S. soldiers torturing detainees in the Abu Ghurayb prison, which were made public last year.

The United States did, however, turn a spotlight on areas where the Bush administration says its foreign policies have been successful, noting advances in democracy in Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Iraq.