Russian Lawmakers Slam US Human Rights Record

Posted October 22nd, 2012 at 7:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Russian lawmakers have accused the United States of double standards on human rights, criticizing Washington's failure to close Guantanamo Bay prison and a range of alleged ills plaguing U.S. society.

The country's lower house of parliament, or Duma, on Monday heard the Russian Foreign Ministry report that says racism, social inequalities, prison brutality, electoral irregularities and other human rights abuses are rampant in the United States.

Russian lawmakers also accused the U.S. government of arresting and putting on trial Russian citizens. They said the United States has no right to act as the world's human rights arbiter.

Participants recommended the creation of an independent human rights body to ensure that the U.S. practices comply with international standards.

In recent years, Moscow has been widely criticized for cracking down on the opposition and enacting laws that further restrict freedoms.

Russia's parliamentary debate comes at a time when the U.S. Congress debates legislation that would impose visa and banking restrictions on Russian officials implicated in human rights abuses.

The so-called Magnitsky Act is named after Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow's pretrial detention center in November 2009 after spending nearly a year behind bars. Magnitsky was accused of systematic theft from government coffers.