Amnesty Targets the US War OF Terror

Or saying a spade is a spade is a spade ….

Human rights slain on US global battlefield: Amnesty
Afp, London

Amnesty International yesterday launched a scathing attack on the United States accusing it of trampling on human rights, and using the world as “a giant battlefield” in its “war on terror.”

The war in Iraq and the politics of fear being spread by the administration of US President George W. Bush around the globe were fuelling deep international divisions, the human rights group charged.

Washington was also guilty of “breathtakingly shameless” double speak, claiming to be promoting human rights while at the same time brazenly flouting international law, the London-based group charged in its 2007 annual report.

“Nothing more aptly portrayed the globalization of human rights violations than the US-led ‘war on terror’ and its programme of ‘extraordinary renditions’ which implicated governments in countries as far apart as Italy and Pakistan, Germany and Kenya,” said the group’s secretary general Irene Khan.

Last year, evidence revealed how “the US administration treated the world as one giant battlefield for its ‘war on terror’, kidnapping, arresting, arbitrarily detaining, torturing and transferring suspects from one secret prison to another across the world with impunity,” she added.

Hundreds of people have now been transferred by the US and its allies through these secret renditions to countries such as Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

Yet Washington remains deaf to pleas to shut down its remote military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where many of these detainees have ended up, held without charge or trial, virtually incommunicado.

The “misguided military adventure in Iraq has taken a heavy toll on human rights and humanitarian law,” Khan said in Amnesty’s hard-hitting report.

If Iraq was to escape from the cycle of violence and bloodshed and avoid its “apocalyptic prognosis”, the Iraqi government and the US-led coalition had to set clear human rights benchmarks such as disarming the militia and reforming the police.

The international community, led by the US, had also squandered the opportunity to build an effective state based on human rights and the rule of law in Afghanistan, the group said.

And Amnesty berated the US administration for its “continued failure to hold senior government officials accountable for torture and other ill-treatment of ‘war on terror’ detainees despite evidence that abuses had been systematic.”

The US “is unrepentant about the global web of abuse it has spun in the name of counter-terrorism,” Khan wrote.

“It is oblivious to the distress of thousands of detainees and their families, the damage to the rule of international law and human rights and the destruction of its own moral authority, which has plummeted to an all-time low.”

Bush had “invoked the fear of terrorism” to boost his powers without any oversight by Congress, she said, warning how too many leaders were “trumpeting an ever-widening range of fears.


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