The tug of war between advocacy for human rights and strategic interests has been a recurring theme across administrations since Jimmy Carter's presidency. The outgoing Obama administration has also been criticized for not giving human rights a more prominent role in its dealings with US adversaries like Iran, Cuba and China. Now, human rights advocacy groups are registering increasing concern about the incoming Trump administration's position on the issue. He said Tillerson was being "properly cautious" and that he had less freedom to talk about human rights than Rubio. "Rex Tillerson's reluctance to acknowledge human rights abuses by Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines raises serious questions about whether he can effectively serve as secretary of state," said Sarah Margon, Washington director of Human Rights Watch.
Source: CNN January 12, 2017 02:42 UTC