Mugabe hits back

UN - Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe, accused US President George W Bush of "rank hypocrisy" on Wednesday for lecturing him on human rights. Mugabe likened the US Guantanamo Bay prison to a concentration camp.

UN - Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe, accused US President George W Bush of "rank hypocrisy" on Wednesday for lecturing him on human rights. Mugabe likened the US Guantanamo Bay prison to a concentration camp.

"His hands drip with innocent blood of many nationalities," Mugabe said in a typically fiery speech in the UN General Assembly. "He kills in Iraq. He kills in Afghanistan. And this is supposed to be our master on human rights?" Mugabe, 83, was speaking the day after Bush scolded the governments of Belarus, Syria, Iran and North Korea as "brutal regimes" in his speech to the General Assembly. Bush criticised Mugabe's government as "tyrannical" and an "assault on its people". Critics accuse Mugabe of plunging Zimbabwe's once-thriving economy into an abyss of widespread food shortages and hyperinflation. Mugabe accuses Western countries of sabota- ging the economy as punishment for his seizure of white- owned farms to resettle landless blacks.

"What rank hypocrisy," Mugabe said of Bush's speech. He said Bush imprisoned and tortured people in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and at Guantanamo, the US military prison in Cuba where Al-Qaeda suspects are held. "At that concentration camp, international law does not apply," said Mugabe, a former Marxist guerrilla who fought for independence from Britain. "America is primarily responsible for rewriting core tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," he said. "We seem all guilty for 9/11." Bush has come under international criticism for holding suspects without trial at Guantanamo. - Reuters

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