Human Rights Watch on Wednesday heaped scorn on a move by President
George W. Bush to bestow the highest US civilian honor to Colombian
leader Alvaro Uribe.
“My understanding is that the Medal of Freedom was given because of
Uribe’s promotion of democracy, freedom and human rights,” said Kenneth
Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) at a Washington
“Personally, I have a hard time figuring out
who is more audacious, President Bush for giving the human rights
award, or President Uribe for receiving it.”
Roth added: “Neither Bush nor Uribe has anything to be proud about in the human rights arena.
remarks were made at a Washington press conference at which the
US-based watchdog group introduced a 564-page report on the state of
human rights around the world.
Uribe, along with former British
Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Australian leader John Howard was
given the Presidential Medal of Freedom Tuesday at a ceremony at the
White House in the final days of Bush’s presidency.
on Tuesday Uribe as a man of “immense personal courage and strength of
character,” as he confronts the problem of drug-trafficking in his