Iraq's PM warns of use of human rights to undermine his gov't

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned Sunday against what he called attempts to use the issue of human rights as a cover to undermine his government. Maliki did not single out who he believed was exploiting the issue of human rights for political gain, but he was apparently referring to his Sunni Arab critics who accuse his 18-month-old administration of human rights abuses and sectarian bias. "We must be aware of and alert against those who wish to manipulate and exploit those noble principles to legitimize many excesses aimed against the individual and the political regime," Maliki said in televised comments. "Those who campaign for human rights must themselves abide by them," he said at a ceremony held to mark the UN Human Rights Day.