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State Depít says it is Ďnot consistentí on human rights violations involving Israel and neighbors
By: Philip Weiss
5 July 2012

The press briefing at State Department on Tuesday, a dialogue between spokesperson Victoria Nuland and AP reporter Matt Lee. Thanks to Idrees Ahmad.

VICTORIA NULAND, spokesperson for State Department:

Listen, before we leave Syria, I just want to take the opportunity, if you didnít see it, to draw your attention to the Human Rights Watch report that was released today that identifies some 27 detention centers that Human Rights Watch says Syrian Government intelligence agencies have been using since the Assad crackdown on pro-democracy protestors. The report found that tens of thousands of Syrians are in detention by regime security and intelligence agencies and that the regime is carrying out inexplicable, horrific acts of torture, including Ė well, Iím not going to repeat them here, but Iíll leave it to you to read the report. And in many cases, the Human Rights Watch asserts that even children have been subject to torture by the Assad regime.

MATT LEE: Do you see that report as credible and solid, and youíre putting Ė youíre endorsing it? I mean, youíre saying --

MS. NULAND: We have no reason to believe that it is not credible. Itís based on eyewitness accounts, and theyíre reporting from a broad cross-section of human rights figures inside Syria.

QUESTION: So the next time Human Rights Watch comes out with a report thatís critical of Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians, Iíll assume that youíre going to be saying the same thing, correct; that you think that the report is credible, itís based on eyewitness accounts?


QUESTION: And youíre not going to say that itís politically motivated and should be dismissed?

MS. NULAND: Matt, as you have made clear again and again in this room, we are not always consistent.


QUESTION: So, in other words, anything that Human Rights Watch says that is critical of someone you donít like, thatís okay; but once they criticize someone that you do like, then itís not worth the paper itís printed on?

MS. NULAND: Matt, Iím not going to get into colloquy on this one.


RAGHUBIR GOYAL (India Globe): India.


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