News Release

Human Rights, Trade and Foreign Policy


While President Clinton visits Turkey and tries to bring China into the World Trade Organization, the following analysts are available for comment:

Director of Asia Programs for the International Labor Rights Fund, Athreya said: “The U.S.-China negotiations on China’s entry into the WTO are certainly a boon for U.S. business, but will it be business as usual in China when it comes to human rights? We have no reason to believe that more U.S. business investment in China will lead to better protections for China’s ordinary citizens and workers. In fact, a new type of rights abuse has emerged in China as the result of expanded international trade ties.”
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Director of the American Kurdish Information Network, Xulam said: “The U.S. has sadly been an enthusiastic ally of a Turkish government that has waged a war on Kurds which has killed over 37,000 people, destroyed over 3,400 Kurdish villages, and displaced over 3 million Kurds from their rightful homes.”
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Co-author of Arming Repression: U.S. Arms Sales to Turkey During the Clinton Administration and senior fellow at the World Policy Institute, Hartung said: “As over $5 billion in U.S. weapons have flowed, Turkey’s human-rights performance has worsened.”
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Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, Boyle said: “Lost in the fuss about Mrs. Arafat’s remarks is that Israel has used tear gas that caused a number of deaths, including many miscarriages, in violation of international law. And just recently Gen. Amos Yaron was appointed director-general of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. He bore command responsibility for the massacre of about 2,000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in 1982… Yaron should be behind bars.”

Senior research fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Prodromou said: “Clinton wanted to improve his legacy by contributing to a resolution to the Cyprus problem, but had to scale back his time in Greece because of protests there against U.S. policy in Yugoslavia… Turkey has initiated discussions about a U.S.-Turkish free trade arrangement. (Currently the only non-NAFTA country to enjoy such an arrangement is Israel.) The administration is endorsing a pipeline from the Caspian Sea through Turkey. Turkey is deciding on the acquisition of technology for building a nuclear energy plant at Akkuyu — on an earthquake faultline. Turkey continues to violate Iraqi sovereignty in attacks against the Kurds.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167