tv Secretary John Kerry Remarks on 2014 Human Rights Reports CSPAN July 2, 2015 9:41am-10:25am EDT
i'm using the words that state in substitution for the word coma. >> because of how a central nervous system depressant works, it works -- >> i really want to know where in the record does he provide support for that statement that the, quote that state, end quote, precedes the death caused by the drug. >> he describes a couple of things. first, he describes the action by which the drug works as a central nervous system depressant. by causing death it works by paralyzing the brain to such an extent that your respiratory drive is knocked out. >> but that's the clear error here. it starts right there, because the reason evans thought that it paralyzed the brain is because he thought this worked on the spinal cord. and nobody argues that it works on the spinal cord number one.
and number two, this is not a central nervous system drug. that's the bar pitch watts. this works very differently than bar pitch wants. >> this is just like that. >> depressant but it's not -- >> it's not a -- >> no pain relieving qualities. >> but they're both central nervous system depressants. they have no pain relieving kwaumt qualities either. >> you're right. but i don't know where you're getting getting, just as justice breyer said, the proof of that. >> it's a conceded fact on this record that a 500 milligram dose will render them unconscious within 60 to 90 seconds. that means that the central nervous system depress sant working to such a state to paralyze their brain and render them unconscious.
>> you're unconscious but that doesn't tell me you're not feeling pain or that stimulant like being burned alive won't cause pin. look at what happens with the intubations. they barize your throat they give you this drug, but they're paralyzing your throat. and that has its own anesthetic effect and pain relief. so what you're arguing is very different from what's happening here. they're putting a chemical inside of you that's burning you to death. that is the most knock issues stimuli stimuli. >> they give it first to -- they've give the midazolam first first. the same paralytic that causes the unconclusion nal agonizing
suffering. rapid intubation is done routinely giving patients a small doze of midazolam -- >> they paralyze them also with the throat local anesthetic. i read it. >> the rapid sequence intubation describes midazolam as the first line of choice -- >> it's the first line in a lot of things but it doesn't keep new in this state forever. doesn't keep you during the procedures, which is surgeries. >> it can. look at the saari article cited by their experts. the other thing i want to point out is the 16 professors brief. this is their ceiling effect in a nutshell, the figure that's in the brief. it shows that a ben do die as pam gets you there. go to that source. the source that they cite for
that chart. it's the brenner textbook. read what it actually says with respect to this chart. here's what it says. benz die as peens have a ceiling effect which has suppression of oral administration. that's what the text actually says. that's what the saari article actually says. you can produce anesthesia with these drugs. the fact they're not commonly used as anesthetics is because we have better choices not because the drug is incapable of producing the effect. remember here's where their experts started. they said that because of the ceiling effect this drug is incapable of producing a coma. we said someone forget to tell the fda because the warning is right there on the fda. so they've retreated now to the reply brief that it can't reliably produce a coma. if it can get someone to a coma,
where is the ceiling effect in is there a basic farnl collage call effect with the drug that prevents the drug from getting to a coma or not? we've established there is. we ask you to look at the answer these yalgs for baze -- >> i come out of this argument because you presented a lot of things to us that wasn't before either the district court or the court of appeals. wouldn't be -- and i believe that your experts didn't prove their point at all and that they showed enough. why don't we let the district court below sort out whether it still holds to its opinion based on the plethora of materials you've given us. >> two quick responses. one is they didn't meet their burden under brewer showing it's
sure or very likely on the record they presented. second, we put plenty of rebuttal evidence on, enough to support the district court's finding. there's no clear error here. and the two court rule applies. >> mr. wyrick to the extent that's unusual even in this court, you've been listening rather than talking. and so i'm happy to give you an extra five minutes if you'd like. of course we'll give additional time to you as well, mrs. konrad. >> i appreciate that. i want to continue my point about ceiling effect and what evidence they put on. u told you about the first source which was the material safety data sheet says nothing about the ceiling effect. we pointed that out. nothing in the reply brief on that. their second was the study about rats. we pointed out again we read that study. there's in mention of a ceiling effect. no response in the reply brief. that's the evidence that they put before the district court on what they said clearly demonstrates that there's a ceiling effect. now after the fact when we were
at the court of appeals, their expert submitted an additional kek clair ration and cited two other sources a study where they took five dogs and gave them a dose of midazolam and clamped their tails. they see the effect of the drug begin slow at a certain point and hypothesized there may be a ceiling effect because the effects to have drug are beginning to slow. but that study concluded if you take the results and you extrapolate out, once you get to 30 milligrams per kilogram for a dog, you receive full surgical anesthesia. the other expert cited the saari article for the proposition that it's an effect. they cite back saying there may be a ceiling effect and goes on to say this drug has been used for general an these ya as a
sole drug and its use was discontinue because propofol came along. that was their record case for a ceiling effect. when they stand up and say they clearly demonstrated there was in fact a ceiling effect they're just wrong. the other studiedy that the doctor cited was the greenblad study. he claimed that that study showed there was a ceiling effect. we went and read the study. .3 milligrams for kilogram were never given to the patients in that study. that study was about what happens if we give .1 kilograms at varying doses. we pointed out that in the response brief. nothing in the reply. they just don't say what the doctor said that they say. paradoxical effects fallen out of the case. the lack of analgesic is only relevant if someone is not
unconscious. and they just can't avoid the fact that the district court here made this factual finding and say it's a vier chul unaware of the pain they cannot establish the risk. >> thank you. ms. conrad you can take up to eight minutes. >> justice, i wanted to address your hypothetical. in this case, if the risk from using the drug if petitioners are direct, manifests itself then there will be unconstitutional pain and suffering, and my friend admitted that, that if, in fact, a person is burned alive and didn't have appropriate anesthesia, that would be unconstitutional. >> i guess the question i was asking was if a person was burned alive and we didn't know whether he had appropriate anesthesia would that be
unconstitutional, too? >> that would be. the point here is that the district court below found that there is a greater risk in using it but found it was unquantifiable. if that risk manifests itself, there will be an unconstitutional execution. this is different than brewer versus landrigan. >> if an anesthesiologist rendered the person completely unconscious and then the person was burned alive, would that be cruel and unusual? >> i think the problem isn't rendering somebody unconscious. what the problem is and what is necessary is to ensure that the person maintains a deep level of -- >> so an anesthesiologist is called in to make sure that this person feels no pain whatsoever while being burned alive and
then the person is burned alive, would that not be a violation of the 8th amendment anyway? >> it could be. that's not the question though before this court. >> it's kind of like that, isn't it? it's being burned alive from the inside. that's what it is. >> that's exactly what it is justice kagan. >> you think there are circumstances in which burning somebody at the stake would be consistent with the 8th amendment? that's an irrelevant point, but you're not certain about that? >> what i'm saying is that the founders say burning at the stake is unconstitutional. it creates an 8th amendment violation. but in your hypothetical, if there was a way to ensure that that was done in a humane way there could perhaps be. i don't think that any state would try to do that because we move forward -- >> that's an incredible answer. you think there are circumstances in which burning alive would not be a violation of the 8th amendment. burning somebody alive would not
be a violation. >> potassium chloride is burning somebody alive. it's just doing it through the use of a drug. >> which is what we have here. and here the district court found a risk, a risk that it could not quantify. that risk violates the 8th amendment. again, what this court needs to understand is that the bar bit watts function differently. there was a use that was known to produce a deep coma-like unconsciousness. the reason why that's important. it doesn't matter that they don't have analgesic properties. science and medicine tells us that those drugs will reliably induce a deep coma-like in unconsciousness. my friend has said there's no support for the ceiling ekffect. we would disagree.
the study on the rat that was cited in exhibit two shows the sigmoidal e max curve which he explained in his testimony. the state's expert had no explanation, had no support for the testimony that he presented. when he testified he did not have data to cite. he was incorrect. he made a mathematical error. again, what this court needs to understand is that giving the drug, even if it could potentially cause a toxic effect, that will not protect against the unconstitutional pain and suffering from the second and third drug. >> thank you, counsel. case is submitted. today former texas governor and presidential candidate rick perry lays out his economic plan. the three-term governor is the featured speaker at the national press club live at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. president obama travels to wisconsin today to speak about
the economy. we'll be live with the president present the university of wisconsin lacross at 2:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. tonight american history tv in primetime continues with a look at the declaration of independence. panelists will explore the texts to preserve the original document. the national archives and the institute of advanced study hosts a forum with arc invests, historians and rare document collectors. the declaration of independence tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span 3 is american history tv. loseucie ways was the first lady to earn a college degree. opposing slavery she influences her husband russell b. hayes
to switch from the wig party. she hosts the first easter egg roll. that's tonight, first ladies, influence and image. examining the women who filled the position of first lady, from martha washington to michelle obama on american history tv on c-span 3. last week secretary of state john kerry released the 2014 human rights report an annual report covering human rights practices around the world. new areas added to the report include human trafficking and government corruption. this is 40 minutes. >> i promised the doc no mistakes.
see if i can get these positioned here a little better. you want to take those? thanks. good to see everybody. thank you very much for being here as we release our country reports on human rights practices for 2014. i want to begin particularly by thanking tom malinowski and his entire team. it's a great team effort that literally works all year long collecting extraordinary information, sint sizing it and putting together what a consider to be one of the more important reports that the department puts out. it reflects a vast amount of objective research that will provide a uniquely valuable resource for anybody in the world who cares about justice
and law. the message at the heart of these reports is that countries do best when their citizens fully enjoy the rights and freedoms to which they are entitled. this is not just an expression of hope. this is a reality and it is proven out in country after country around the world. after all, we live in a time when access to knowledge and openness to change are absolutely absolutely essential and in such an era that no country can fulfill its potential if its people are held back or more so if they are beaten down by repression. now, we understand that some governments may take issue with these reports, including such extreme cases as north korea or syria. but also, some governments with whom we work closely may also object. but i want to say something
about that. i think it's important. the discomfort that these reports sometimes cause does more to reinforce than to undermine the value and credibility of these reports. truth cannot successfully be evaded or dented or defeated, not over time. it can be changed. the truth wins out. and so my advice to any leader who is upset by these findings is really to examine them, to look at the practices of their country, and to recognize that the way to alter what the world thinks and the way to change these judgments is to alter what is happening in those countries. that is the advice that we also give to ourselves. there's nothing sanctimonious in this. there is zero arrogance, and we couldn't help but have humility
when we have seen what we have seen in the last year in terms of racial discord and unrest. so we approach this with great self-awareness. but we also understand that when human rights is the issue, every country including the united states has room to improve. the path to global respect always begins at home. so these reports can actually give governments an added incentive to honor the rights and the dignity of their citizens. it also equips interested observers with an arsenal of facts. within these pages are the stories of imprisoned pro democracy activists journalists jailed simply for telling the truth, members of religious minorities persecuted for practicing their faith, civil
society leaders harassed for daring to speak up and young women and girls who, because of their gender, are denied an education, kidnapped or abused. there are other stories, too because these reports actually have improved over time. i think we do a better job of examining and making judgments about what is happening in places, and frankly, the reports have become more comprehensive each year as a result. the traditional principles of free speech, religious liberty and equal protection remain at the center of our policy. but we have gradually expanded our reporting to include human trafficking, internet freedom, the rights of persons with disabilities, and the lgbt community. we have no person anywhere should have to pay a bribe just to open a business or to get a driver's
license, or to have their day in court, or to sell a basket of fruit on a street. corruption is a threat to society at large not only because of the larceny that it embodies in terms of the valuable and principles that people hope to organize their lives by, but also because of the cynicism that it feeds. and that matters because when trust in government is lost, other, more harmful forces always try to fill the vacuum. in this connection, no development has been more disturbing than the emergence of such groups as dash al qaeda, boko haram al shabab. the litany of these human rights crimes for which these terrorists are responsible has become all too familiar. no less shocking, murder torture, rape, religious persecution, slavery and more. make no mistake the world
community has an absolute obligation to confront and defeat these groups. and coercive measures are obviously an essential part of that effort. at the same time we have to understand that the terrorists' presence does not give authorities license to use violence indiscriminately. we can't rescue a village from dash or boko haram by destroying it. and terrorism obviously is not a legitimate excuse to lock up political opponents diminish the rights of civil society or pin a false label on activists who are engaged in peaceful dissent. practices of this type are not only unjust, they play directly into the hands of terrorists. when the pathways to nonviolent change are closed, the road to extremism becomes more inviting. given all the suffering that we have seen in recent years, that
is just simply unacceptable. terrorism is a grave threat to human rights. conflicts are another. for evidence, we have only to turn to the 2014 country reports for supinations as the central african republican, iraq libya, 13408 somalia, ukraine. today an estimated 230 million people live in areas of strife. we are experiencing a crises in food security. the number of refugees has reached a record level. unicef called 2014 one of the more disastrous years for children. in yemen and elsewhere, conflict and civil strife have grown even worse. the persistence of terrible bloodshed is a challenge to all of us. it is a challenge to us to
strengthen our institutions and our political will so that we can do a better job of deterring aggression, holding accountable those who commit atrocities identifying potential crises ahead of time, and stopping outbreaks of violence before they begin. finally, it is worth asking and some people do ask this question, why do we care? why do we do this? why do we issue this report? why do we americans care whether the rights of others are respected? certainly in an interconnected world, injustice anywhere is, to quote dr. king, a threat to justice everywhere. there can be no doubt that our citizens will do better and they will feel safer in a world where the values that we cherish are widely upheld. but there is also, i think, an even deeper reason for why we care. because when human rights tragedies are supplanted by
human rights victories, the very idea of progress becomes less rhetorical and much more real. what do i mean by that? well, consider a couple of questions. first, is there a more hopeful measure of civilization's advance than the abolition of slavery, the enfranchisement of women, the end of apartheid, the fall of the berlin wall and the broadening recognition of minority rights everywhere in the world. is there a more meaningful agenda for the future than the shrinking of bigotry, the curtailment of conflict, the defeat of terrorism, the prevention of genocide and a fuller commitment to the rights and dignity of every man, woman and child. so why do we care? well, we care because respect for human rights provides the truest mirror that we have of ourselves, the most objective test of how we have come over
the centuries, and how far we still have to go. it is a yardstick by which we can measure life itself. i realize that that is placing a lot of weight on what is after all, just a report. but i think the description fits. and i hope it will inspire us people here and around the world, between this year and next to take more steps hopefully giant steps, in the direction of greater justice, wider decency, and peace. so i thank you for coming together. i know you'll have some questions of tom. i'm going to leave this in his hands to further make a statement and then to answer your questions on specific countries. so, assistant secretary of state, tom mlb. 123450
>> thank you very much. i'm always hopeful, yes. >> thank you, mr. secretary. hello, everyone. it's good to be here. before i answer your questions, let me take a few minutes to talk about the 2014 reports and highlight some of the major developments that we have documented in this past year. as the secretary emphasized the human rights reports demonstrate america's commitment to human rights and their tool in their own right in the advancement of those rights. they cover 199 countries and entities. they strive to provide a comprehensive and factual review
of conditions around the world. they're the most widely read document that we put out at the statement department every single year and i think that reminds us that what america says about human rights around the world just the words matters greatly. despite all the problems that the reports describe i want to start by noting that people working for democracy and human rights around the world made many advances in the last year and in recent months. people stood up to uphold their constitution, part of a larger movement for term limited that is manifesting itself across africa and in many parts of the world today. in ukraine peaceful protests helped citizens reclaim their country's traditions of freedom of speech and political choice. in afghanistan and indonesia millions of people went to the polls and chose among all the
candidates before them leaders with the most progressive democratic visions of their country's future. this year too late to be included in these reports, we saw two more elections in which people affirmed their right to choose and change their leaders. in nigeria and in sri lanka. when you scan the headlines from syria to north korea to south sudan, it's clear that overall, 2014 was a tough year for human rights and human rights activists. we highlight many specifications of course in the reports and more have developed this year. for example, the disappearance of zim bab ian activist who has been missing for over 100 days now. the united states urges the government of zimbabwe to pursue a credible investigations of the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and to bring the perpetrators to justice. as the secretary said, one of the notable trends this past
year was the brutality of non-state actors. these groups did not emerge from nothing. violent extremism in nigeria was exacerbated by the actions and in some ways the inaction of the previous government there. in syria dash's rise was ruled by the horrific abuses. many in the sunny community felt marginalized that their legitimate grievances were being ignored by the government in baghdad. as president obama noted in the national security strategy, many of our biggest challenges come from the biggest human rights failures. so our response to terrorist groups must be consistent with human rights too, which leads us to another troubling trend that the reports identify the misapplication of counter-terrorism laws to stifle criticism and restrict the space for civil society. for example, in saudi arabia,
peaceful international activist was tennisedsentenced to ten years in prison and 100 lashes by a court originally set up to try terrorists. bahrain has a legitimate interest in protecting its people against violent groups, yet its government has focused much of its energy on prosecuting peaceful critics including this year opposition leader sheikh alley hoemanil ali. last year he was sentenced to life in prison. we asked partner governments to make many contributions in the fight against groups like dash but among the most important contributions that we ask for is to set an example in their own societies that grievances can be addressed through peaceful
politics, so as not to feed into terrorist propaganda that violence is the only answer. russia's aggression in the ukraine is another example of human rights crises sparking first order challenges to our national security. our 2014 reports highlight the abuses associated with this conflict and the territory in crimea. even as russia denies being involved in the conflict they continue to detain ukrainians on russian soil. in fact, there may be many more such cases. all should be returned home. the russian government's efforts to abolish domestic discussion of its intervention in ukraine is just one example of how its behavior abroad mirrors and reinforces the persecution the russian people face at home. 76 of the $76 of the country's most
respected ngos are listed as foreign agents and a new law banning undesirable foreign nations will intensify this trend. another prominent trend was the use of technology to control the flow of information. last year g-mail saw its traffic in china reduced to zero when chinese authorities prevented main land users from accessing it. in turkey government authorities blocked youtube and twitter for several days in leadup to elections. in cuba while the government has publicly committed to expanding internet access access remains restricted for the vast majority of the population. something we will be working with u.s. service providers to help change. access to information is also critical to fighting corruption and the secretary highlighted that as another major theme of the reports this year.
the connection between corruption, human rights abuses and authoritarian governments. this is evident in many places. venezuela is one country that we highlighted in this context in this report. in china while the government cracked down on corruption, it also convicted civil society activists associated with the new citizens movement in retribution for their public campaign to expose official corruption. china has now introduced draft laws on foreign ngos, national security and counter-terrorism which appeared to call into question its commitment to the path of opening to the world that has supported its transformation over the past three decades. we expressed our very serious concerns about these draft laws at the strategic and economic dialogue this week and we will continue to do so. now, these are all very tough issues. there is no single approach or
remedy and change sometimes takes a long time but we must press for change because our hopes for peace and security and prosperity depend on respect for human rights. these reports make clear that this is the standard towards which we must strive and to which we will be held, and in that spirit, i welcome your questions. >> one, and i'll be very brief. why was the report so late this year? the conspiracy theories are fast and furious out there. i've heard three myself that it had something to do with trade promotion authority or the strategic and economic dialogue which was just completed yesterday in defending china or the iran talks. and then secondly i'm just wondering if you, your office, has any problem or sees any disparity between what the reports say about iran and cuba and the administration's engagement with both of them
that are presumably coming to fruition pretty soon. >> first on the delay, at the outset of this process we decided, the secretary and i decided that we wanted to release the reports at a time when we would both be here to do it. that is admittedly not a requirement but it's something that we felt was important to demonstrate our commitment his commitment to this issue. what happened was, with that in mind, we scheduled it for a date first back in march. his travel schedule changed. we scheduled it for another date. it changed. at one point i cancelled a date that we had because i decided i wanted to go to barundy to deal with the crises there.
each time it was, well, no big deal we'll do it next week, we'll do it next week. and then the secretary had his injury which also affected his ability to come down here and to do it. the result was a delay that was far longer than any of us wanted. none of us were happy with it but i think it's fairly clear given what's happening this week and where the secretary is going next week that it had nothing to do with some of the issues that you mentioned. if you want an alternative conspiracy theory, i will suggest that it was actually a devious plot to build interest and anticipation in the reports so that you all will cover it. matt, i think you promised us wall to wall coverage? >> well, i didn't -- >> can i hold you to that? >> i promised that everyone had wall to wall coverage not just this. >> very good. but on cuba and iran, one of our sayings here is that engagement is not the same as endorsement.
with respect to cuba i think that should be crystal clear that our opening to cuba -- and i've spoken about this many times -- was designed because we felt that the new policy is better suited to promoting human rights in cuba than the old policy. as you well know the opening was associated very closely with the release of over 50 political prisoners in cuba. the situation needs to get far better before any of us can say that we're where we want to be but we feel that what we have done is to take away the cuban government's ability to say that the problems on the island are the fault of the united states and the embargo and to put the focus where the belongs on their actions and their policies. >> on iran? >> on iran, look, the nuclear
talks, the purpose of the nuclear talks as we have explained many many times is to deal with the nuclear issue. it is not to deal with the human rights issue. it's a separate concern. we have made it absolutely clear that regardless of the outcome of the iran talks we are going to continue to speak out and stand up for human rights in iran. if any sanctions are lifted as a result of the nuclear deal, the human rights-related sanctions will remain in place. >> to follow on that answer ask you to elaborate a little bit. this report is a one-year snapshot but it's issued every year, so i'd just like you to explain what you see the trends are in cuba and iran since president rowhani became president in 2013.
do you see any discernable improvement and since the obama administration began its opening to cuba, has there been any improvement in the human rights situation there? >> with respect to iran i can't say that we have seen any meaningful improvement in the human rights situation in iran. if you read the reports and compare them to previous years' reports, you will find the dealings of what we are concerned about. it involves obviously, widespread reports of torture political imprisonment repression against ethnic and religious minority communities government harassment of journalists, bloggers, activists and so forth. with respect to cuba, i think we did see a fairly dramatic decision by the cuban government to release the vast majority of political prisoners who we have
been raising concern about for some time. we have not yet seen a let-up in the day to day harassment that civil society activists face in cuba. short-term arrests, unfortunately, have continued. i am not particularly surprised by that. we, in fact i think expected that precisely because the cuban government would be nervous about the implications of the opening, that in the short term they might actually intensify a crackdown. we very firmly believe that in the long run this is going to put us in a much stronger position to promote human rights and to stand by civil society on the island. >> can i just follow up on that? how many short-term detentions -- you gave congress a figure recently of since the -- since obama and castro
announced this agreement, have we seen numbers of prisoners increase or decrease and where are they currently? >> there's a distinction here between prisoners who have been convicted who are in for months or years. short-term we're talking about people who were picked up for a day or two to prevent them from having a meeting or rally or doing other things. what i mentioned to congress and we factually report the numbers as we get them was a significant decline earlier this year. i was very cautious in not suggesting that we thought that this was necessarily a trend. it was simply a fact at that time. in the last few months we've seen an increase from those low numbers. so as i just mentioned, this is a problem that continues. >> thank you, sir. i just wanted to talk about the section that pertains to israel and the west bank. you cite figures that are really
consistent with the united nations commission. why did you reject -- if it's so consistent, why do you reject the united nations commission inquiry? second, you cite improvement by both israel and the palestinian authority. could you share with us some of those improvements? thank you, sir. >> for those details i would refer you to the report on the commission inquiry. during the conflict we made clear from this podium, the secretary and others, that we supported israel's rights of self-defense. at the same time we were deeply concerned about the welfare of civilians and urged all parties to do all they could to protect civilians, particularly given the high civilian death toll in gaza. now, with that said, it is important to look back.