U.S. is world leader in avoiding human rights accountability: Says Amnesty International report


Fri, 2006-05-26 11:25

Washington, DC, 26 May (Asiantribune.com): Governments worldwide, in the name of fighting terror, are committing gross violations of human rights: mistreating suspects, harming civilians and undermining their ability to solve some of the world’s most urgent problems, says U.S. Chapter of Amnesty International in its annual report released here May 23 highlighting the U.S. government’s current system for outsourcing key military detention and intelligence operations as fueling serious human rights violations and undermining accountability.

This Amnesty International annual report documents human rights abuses in 150 countries around the world. It highlights the need for governments, the international community, armed groups and others in position of power or influence to take responsibility. It also reflects the vitality of human rights activists globally, whether in local initiatives, international summits or mass demonstrations.

“The United States has become a world leader in avoiding human rights accountability; a case in point is the reliance of the United States government on private military contractors, which has helped create virtually rules-free zones sanctioned with the American flag and firepower,” said Larry Cox the executive director of Amnesty International’s US Chapter.

He further said, “Business outsourcing may increase efficiency, but war outsourcing may be facilitating impunity. Contractors’ illegal behavior and the reluctance of the U.S. government to bring them to justice are further tarnishing the United States’ reputation abroad, hurting the image of American troops and contributing to anti-American sentiments.”

The United States’ outsourcing is just one example of governments running roughshod over basic freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism that the organization cited in the release of its Annual Report. The Uzbek government murdered several hundred peaceful demonstrators last spring, justifying the slaughter as pursuit of terrorists. According to Egypt’s Prime Minister, the United States has transferred some 60-70 alleged terrorism suspects to Egypt.

“Legitimate concerns about terror are being used to justify the unjustifiable,” the AI chief executive in US Larry Cox said. “Pressure from the U.S. government has added to governments’ willingness to violate long-held principles, with allies colluding with the United States to abduct alleged terrorism suspects and send them to countries that torture or providing the real estate for CIA-run secret sites. These violations undercut the political capacity of U.S. leaders to confront increasing repression in certain African countries, such as Ethiopia; press the Chinese government for meaningful reform, and challenge repression and violence against those who challenged faulty elections in Egypt, for example.”

Amnesty International places responsibility jointly on the Bush administration and companies to overhaul the contracting system from top to bottom to ensure safety of suspects and civilians and investigation and prosecution when rights are violated.