(Reuters) - Washington's "war on terror" has
made the world more dangerous by curbing human
rights, undermining international law and
shielding governments from scrutiny, Amnesty
International said on Wednesday.
its annual report into global human rights
abuses in 2002, the London-based watchdog
made one of its fiercest attacks yet on the
policies pursued by the United States and
Britain in response to the attacks of September
the war on terror was supposed to make the
world safer, it has failed, and has given
governments an excuse to abuse human rights
in the name of state security, it said.
would have been unacceptable on September
10, 2001, is now becoming almost the norm,"
Amnesty's Secretary-General Irene Khan told
a news conference, accusing Washington of
adopting "a new doctrine of human rights a
United States continues to pick and choose
which bits of its obligations under international
law it will use, and when it will use them,"
she said, highlighting the detention without
charge or trial of hundreds of prisoners in
Afghanistan (news - web sites) and in a U.S.
military camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
putting these detainees into a legal black
hole, the U.S. administration appeared to
continue to support a world where arbitrary
unchallengeable detention becomes acceptable."
urged the world to do more to sort out Iraq
(news - web sites)'s problems now the Gulf
War (news - web sites) is over.
is a very real risk that Iraq will go the
way of Afghanistan if no genuine effort is
made to heed the call of the Iraqi people
for law and order and full respect of human
rights," Khan said.
does not present a record of which the international
community can be proud."
311-page report was not concerned solely with
the crises triggered by the attacks of September
said the intense media focus on Afghanistan
and Iraq in 2002 meant human rights abuses
in Ivory Coast, Colombia, Burundi, Chechnya
(news - web sites) and Nepal had gone largely
said the human rights situation in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (news - web sites) remained
"bleak, with continuing fighting and attacks
Burundi, government forces carried out extrajudicial
killings, 'disappearances', torture and other
serious violations," it said.
said the Colombian government had "exacerbated
the spiraling cycle of political violence"
by introducing new security measures.
accused Israel of committing war crimes in
the occupied territories and the Palestinians
of committing crimes against humanity by targeting
civilians in suicide bombings.
least 1,000 Palestinians were killed by the
Israeli army (in 2002), most of them unlawfully,"
it said. "Palestinian armed groups killed
more than 420 Israelis, at least 265 of them
said it was vital that the world "resist the
manipulation of fear and challenge the narrow
focus of the security agenda."
definition of security must be broadened to
encompass the security of people, as well
as states," she said.
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