Jul 1 1989

Amnesty International’s Annual Bad News

In September 1987, when Amnesty International issued its annual (1986) re­port on human rights abuses in 129 na­tions, it received scant and oversimplified coverage reflecting the anti-Sovietism of the day. Amnesty’s world-spanning report was typically cast in a superpower frame­work, as US journalists focused on human rights violations in the USSR or in coun­tries out of favor with the Reagan admini­stration. The New York Times (9/30/87), pegging the story on a “don’t trust glasnost” news hook, contrasted persisting problems in the Soviet Union with Gorbachev’s avowals of reform. But a lot changed during the next year, as superpower tensions eased […]