MOSCOW - Russia's Foreign Ministry has attacked America's human-rights record in its first report on injustice elsewhere in the world, offering examples such as the Guantanamo Bay prison and wrongful death-row convictions to paint the United States as hypocritical for lecturing other nations on the subject of rights.
"The situation in the United States is a far cry from the ideals that Washington proclaims," says the report released Wednesday.
Moscow has previously reacted angrily to the accusations of human-rights breaches that the U.S. State Department has leveled at Russia in its annual reports. The State Department has expressed concern about the violent attacks on rights activists and journalists in Russia, most of which go unpunished. It also has criticized abuses in Russia's Caucasus, including extrajudicial killings, kidnappings, and torture.
The 90-page Russian report slams European Union nations, Canada, and Georgia, but reserves its longest section of 20 pages for what it says are violations by the United States. The report does not cover Asia, Africa, or the Middle East, other than a five-page section criticizing the NATO operation in Libya.
Moscow laments the continuing operation of the "notorious" prison in Guantanamo Bay, where terrorism suspects have been held since the 9/11 attacks, and criticizes President Obama for "legalizing indefinite and extrajudicial custody and the return of court martials."
The report accuses the United States of prying into citizens' personal lives and violating the rights of Muslim Americans in the fight against terrorism. It also points to errors made by American courts.
"Judicial errors are the Achilles heel of American justice as concerns capital punishment," the report argues. It notes the roughly 130 people sentenced to death in the last 30 years who were later cleared of the charges, some after they were executed.
The State Department is reviewing the Russian report, spokesman Mark Toner said. He said such reports can be a "useful mechanism provided that they are produced using objective methodology."
"We certainly don't regard it as interference in our internal affairs when foreign governments, individuals, or organizations comment on or criticize U.S. human-rights practices," he said, adding later, "In terms of our human-rights record, we're an open book."