"The War on Terrorism" and Human Rights:
Aid to Abusers


Since September 11, the Bush Administration has made the distribution of security assistance a centerpiece of his "War on Terrorism." In its haste to strengthen the "frontline" states' ability to confront transnational terrorist threats on their soil, and to gain the cooperation of regimes of geostrategic significance to the next phases of the "War on Terrorism", the administration is disregarding normative restrictions on U.S. aid to human rights abusers. The list below highlights this tradeoff by juxtaposing data on increases in military aid to the administration's allies in its global war on terror with excerpts from the State Department's recently released reports on human rights.

 

Country

FY 2003* Military Aid
($ and % increase over FY 2001)

Human Rights

IMET

Foreign Military Financing

Armenia

+$750,000
($0 in FY 01)

+$3,000,000
($0 in FY 01)

"The Government's human rights record remained poor; however, there were improvements in a few areas. Substantial intervention by local power structures in the election process continued to restrict citizens' ability to change their Government peacefully....there were deaths in police custody and deaths in the military as a result of mistreatment. Members of the security forces routinely beat detainees during arrest and interrogation. Arbitrary arrest and detention was a problem. The Government rarely investigated abuses by members of the security forces and impunity remained a problem. Prison conditions remained harsh and life threatening, although there were some improvements. Lengthy pretrial detention was a problem....The judiciary is subject to political pressure and does not enforce constitutional protections effectively. Authorities did not respect constitutional protections regarding privacy and due process."

Full Report

Azerbaijan

+$750,000 ($0 in FY '01)

+$3,000,000  (0 in FY 01)

"The Government's human rights record remained poor. The Government continued to restrict citizens' ability to change their government peacefully. Some prison inmates and detainees died in part due to mistreatment by the authorities. Police tortured and beat persons in custody and used excessive force to extract confessions. Arbitrary arrest and detention was a problem. In most instances, the Government took no action to punish abusers, although perpetrators were prosecuted in a few cases. Prison conditions remained harsh and life threatening, and some prisoners died as a result of these conditions. Lengthy pretrial detention was a problem. The judiciary is subject to outside influence. The Government continued to hold a number of political prisoners..."

Full Report

Ethiopia

+$500,000 ($0 in FY 01)

+ $500,000   ($0 in FY 01)

"The Government's human rights record remained poor; although there were some improvements in a few areas, serious problems remained. Security forces committed a number of extrajudicial killings and at times beat and mistreated detainees. Prison conditions are poor. Arbitrary arrest and detention and prolonged pretrial detention remained problems...Despite some efforts, the judiciary continued to lack sufficient trained staff and funds, which limited its ability to provide citizens the full protection provided for in the Constitution. Thousands of suspects remained in detention without charge, and lengthy pretrial detention was a consistent problem..."

Full Report

Georgia

+$719,000 (+149%)

+$2,510,000 (+56%)

"The Government's human rights record remained poor and worsened in several areas. Numerous serious irregularities in the October 1999 parliamentary elections and the April 2000 presidential election limited citizens' right to change their government. Several deaths in custody were blamed on physical abuse, torture, or inhuman and life-threatening prison conditions. Reports of police brutality continued. Security forces continued to torture, beat, and otherwise abuse detainees. Corruption in law enforcement agencies was pervasive. Prison conditions remained harsh and life-threatening; however, some steps were taken during the year to address problems in the prison system. Arbitrary arrest and detention increased during the year. Neither the President nor other senior officials took concrete steps to address these problems, and impunity remained a problem. The judiciary was subject to pressure and corruption and did not ensure due process; reforms to create a more independent judiciary were undermined by failure to pay judges in a timely manner. There were lengthy delays in trials and prolonged pretrial detention remained a problem"

Full Report

India

+$502,000 (+101%)

+$50,000,000 (0 in FY01)

"The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens in some areas; however, numerous serious problems remain in many significant areas. Significant human rights abuses included: Extrajudicial killings, including faked encounter killings, deaths of suspects in police custody throughout the country, and excessive use of force by security forces combating active insurgencies in Jammu and Kashmir and several northeastern states; torture and rape by police and other agents of the Government; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast; continued detention throughout the country of thousands arrested under special security legislation; lengthy pretrial detention; prolonged detention while undergoing trial; occasional limits on freedom of the press and freedom of movement; harassment and arrest of human rights monitors"

Full Report

Indonesia

+$400,000 ($0 in FY01)

$0

"The Government's human rights record remained poor, and it continued to commit serious abuses. Security forces were responsible for numerous instances of, at times indiscriminate, shooting of civilians, torture, rape, beatings and other abuse, and arbitrary detention in Aceh, West Timor, Papua (formerly known as Irian Jaya), and elsewhere in the country...Security forces in Papua assaulted, tortured, and killed persons during search operations for members of militant groups... There continued to be credible reports of the disappearance of civilians, KONTRAS reported 55 cases of forced disappearance between January 1 and September...Crossborder raids into East Timor by East Timorese prointegration militias resident in West Timor, armed and largely supported by the army, diminished during the year as the Indonesian military withdrew its backing...

Security forces tortured and otherwise abused persons. Rapes and sexual exploitation by security forces continued to be a problem. Prison conditions are harsh...Despite initial steps toward reform, the judiciary remains subordinate to the executive, is corrupt, and does not always ensure due process...Security forces continued to intimidate and assault journalists...Security forces also brutally dispersed demonstrations on several occasions...Thousands of Acehnese residents fled their villages during conflicts between the security forces and separatists...In West Timor, the Government's failure to disarm and disband the East Timorese prointegration militias impeded the repatriation or resettlement of thousands of East Timorese IDP's during the first half of the year."

Full Report

Jordan

+$700,000 (+41%)

+$123,165,000 (+165%)

"The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens in some areas; however, there were significant problems in other areas. There are significant restrictions on citizens' right to change their Government. Citizens may participate in the political system through their elected representatives in Parliament; however, the King has discretionary authority to appoint and dismiss the Prime Minister, Cabinet, and upper house of Parliament, to dissolve Parliament, and to establish public policy. Other human rights problems included police abuse and mistreatment of detainees; allegations of torture; arbitrary arrest and detention; lack of transparent investigations and accountability within the security services; prolonged detention without charge; denial of due process of law stemming from the expanded authority of the State Security Court and interference in the judicial process; infringements on citizens' privacy rights; harassment of members of opposition political parties; and significant restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association..."

Full Report

Kazakhstan

+$417,000 (+72%)

+$1,104,000  ( +58%)

"The Government's human rights record was poor; although there were significant improvements in a few areas, serious problems remained.  The Government severely limits citizens' right to change their government and democratic institutions remained weak.  Members of the security forces committed a small number of extrajudicial killings during mistreatment of detainees and abuse of military conscripts.  Police tortured detainees in the form of beatings, and otherwise mistreated detainees.  In June the head of the Prosecutor General's office admitted to increasing instances of physical abuse of subordinates.  Prison conditions remained harsh and life-threatening; however, the Government took an active role in efforts to improve prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners, and observers have noted significant improvements in prison conditions.  The Government continued to use arbitrary arrest and detention, and prolonged detention was a problem.  The judiciary remained under the control of the President and the executive branch, and corruption in the judiciary remained deeply rooted..."

Full Report

Kyrgyzstan

+$720,000 (+189%)

+$2,154,000  (+117%)

"The Government's human rights record remained poor; although there were a few improvements, numerous problems remained.  The Government continued to limit citizens' ability to change their Government.  NGO's and parliamentary deputies on occasion succeeded in blocking presidential initiatives through parliamentary action and grassroots campaigns.  Members of the security forces at times tortured, beat, and otherwise mistreated persons.  Prison conditions remained very poor, and there were many cases of arbitrary arrest and detention.  Executive domination of the judiciary limited citizens' right to due process.  Executive branch interference affected verdicts involving prominent opposition figures.  The Government restricted some privacy rights.  The Government restricted freedom of speech and of the press.  "

Full Report

Kenya

+$157,000 (+35%)

+$500,000 (+50%)

"The Government's human rights record remained poor, and it continued to commit numerous, serious abuses. Citizens' ability to change their government peacefully has not yet been demonstrated fully. Security forces, particularly the police, continued to commit extrajudicial killings, torture and beat detainees, use excessive force, rape, and otherwise abuse persons. Prison conditions remained life threatening. Police harassed and arbitrarily arrested and detained persons, including journalists, politicians, and political activists. The Government arrested and prosecuted a number of police officers for abuses; however, most police who committed abuses were neither investigated nor punished. Lengthy pretrial detention is a problem, and the judiciary is subject to executive branch influence...The Government continued to exacerbate ethnic tensions by discriminating against many ethnic groups; interethnic tensions continued and resulted in numerous violent conflicts and some deaths."

Full Report

Nepal

+$263,000 (+111%)

+$3,000,000 ($0 in FY 01)

"The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were problems in some areas. The police at times used unwarranted lethal force and continued to abuse detainees, using torture as punishment or to extract confessions.. While the Government has begun to pay compensation to some victims, the police officers involved seldom are punished. The disappearance of persons in custody is a problem. Prison conditions remain poor. The authorities use arbitrary arrest and detention...Following the November 26 state of emergency declaration, the King promulgated the Terrorist Ordinance of 2001 that defined a number of crimes, including taking up arms against the sovereignty and security of the country, as acts of terrorism. The Ordinance also allows the Government to declare individuals as terrorists for up to 90 days without charges; to hold persons under house arrest; and to set up special courts for terrorists. The King also promulgated a second order designating members of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) and individuals involved with or assisting the Maoists as terrorists. Lengthy pretrial detention, judicial susceptibility to political pressure and corruption, and long delays in trial procedures remain problems...

Full Report

Oman

+$ 500,000 (+200%)

+$20,000,000  ($0 in FY 01)

"The Government generally respected its citizens' human rights in some areas; however, its record was poor in other areas, particularly with respect to citizens' right to criticize the Government. Citizens do not have the right to change their government. Police do not always follow procedures regarding arrest and detention, and in some instances police handling of arrest and detention constituted incommunicado detention...Due process was denied to persons tried in state security courts... The Government restricted freedom of expression and association. The Government must approve the establishment of all associations, and human rights organizations are prohibited. The Government does not ensure full rights for women. The Government severely restricts workers rights. Foreign workers at times are placed in situations amounting to forced labor...."

Full Report

Pakistan

+$1,000,000 ($0 in FY01)

+$50,000,000 ($0 in FY01)

"The Government's human rights record remained poor; although there were some improvements in a few areas, particularly with regard to protection of religious minorities from intimidation from extremists, serious problems remained. Citizens continued to be denied the right to change their national and provincial governments peacefully but participated in local government elections during the year that provided increased power to district mayors and councils. Police committed numerous extrajudicial killings; however, the total number of such killings has declined in recent years...Police abused and raped citizens. While the officers responsible for such abuses sometimes were transferred or suspended for their actions, no officer has been convicted and very few have been arrested..."

Full Report

Philippines

+$964,000(+67%)

+$18,005,000(+902%)

"The Government generally respected the human rights of citizens; however, there were serious problems in some areas. Members of the security services were responsible for extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture, and arbitrary arrest and detention; there were allegations by human rights groups that these problems worsened as the Government sought to intensify its campaign against the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Other physical abuse of suspects and detainees and police corruption remain problems. The Government's Commission on Human Rights (CHR), established under the 1987 Constitution, again described the PNP as the worst abuser of human rights, although complaints against the police decreased significantly compared with 2000. Police leaders at times appeared to sanction extrajudicial killings and brutality as expedient means of fighting crime..."

Full Report

Tajikistan

+$350,000
($0 in FY01)

0

"The Government's human rights record remained poor, and the Government continued to commit serious abuses. The February 2000 parliamentary elections represented an improvement in the citizens' right to change their Government; however, this right remained restricted. Some members of the security forces committed extrajudicial killings. There were a number of disappearances and kidnapings. Security forces at times tortured, beat, and abused detainees and other persons. These forces also were responsible for threats, extortion, looting, and abuse of civilians. Certain battalions of nominally government forces operated quasi-independently under their leaders. The Government continued to use arbitrary arrest and detention and also arrested persons for political reasons. Impunity remained a problem, and the Government prosecuted few of the persons who committed these abuses. Prison conditions remained harsh and life threatening. Lengthy pretrial detention remained a problem. The judiciary is subject to political and paramilitary pressure and there often are long delays before trials..."

Full Report

Turkey

+$1,111,000
(+66%)

+$17,500,000 ($0 in FY01)

"The Government generally respected its citizens' human rights in a number of areas; however, its record was poor in some areas, and several serious problems remained. Extrajudicial killings continued, including deaths due to excessive use of force and torture. There were two disappearances of political activists. Torture, beatings, and other abuses by security forces remained widespread, although the number of reported cases declined...In the southeast, nation-wide problems such as torture were exacerbated by substantially abridged freedoms of expression and association. The lack of universal and immediate access to an attorney, long detention periods for those held for political crimes (particularly in the state of emergency region), and a culture of impunity are major factors in the commission of torture by police and other security forces. The rarity of convictions and the light sentences imposed on police and other security officials for killings and torture continued to foster a climate of impunity. Prison conditions remained poor, despite some improvements..."

Full Report

Uzbekistan

+$706,000(+143%)

+$6,305,000(+258%)

"The Government's human rights record remained very poor, and it continued to commit numerous serious abuses. Citizens cannot exercise the right to change their government peacefully; the Government does not permit the existence of opposition parties. Security force mistreatment resulted in the deaths of several citizens in custody. Police and NSS forces tortured, beat, and harassed persons. Prison conditions were poor, and pretrial detention can be prolonged. The security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained persons, on false charges, particularly Muslims suspected of extremist sympathies, frequently planting narcotics, weapons, or banned literature on them....The Government severely restricts freedom of speech and the press, and an atmosphere of repression stifles public criticism of the Government. Although the Constitution expressly prohibits it, censorship is practiced widely. The Government limits freedom of assembly and association."

Full Report

Yemen

+$452,000 (+228%)

+$2,000,000
($0 in FY01)

"The Government generally respected its citizens' human rights in some areas and continued to improve its human rights performance; however, its record was poor in several other areas, and serious problems remain. There are significant limitations on citizens' ability to change their government. Members of the security forces killed a number of persons during the year. Members of the security forces tortured and otherwise abused persons, and continued to arrest and detain citizens arbitrarily, especially oppositionists in the south and other persons regarded as "secessionists."...Prison conditions were poor, and some detainees were held in private prisons not authorized by the Government."

Full Report

Sources:Military Aid statistics
            Human Rights Reports

*FY 2003 aid figures are taken from the Presidential budget request and thus are subject to change.