It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Amnesty International Report 2005
During 2004, the human rights of ordinary men, women and children were disregarded or grossly abused in every corner of the globe. Economic interests, political hypocrisy and socially orchestrated discrimination continued to fan the flames of conflict around the world. The “war on terror” appeared more effective in eroding international human rights principles than in countering international “terrorism”. The millions of women who suffered gender-based violence in the home, in the community or in war zones were largely ignored. The economic, social and cultural rights of marginalized communities were almost entirely neglected.
The blatant disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law in the “war on terror” continued to make a mockery of President George Bush’s claims that the USA was the global champion of human rights. Images of detainees in US custody tortured in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq shocked the world. War crimes in Iraq, and mounting evidence of the torture and ill-treatment of detainees in US custody in other countries, sent an unequivocal message to the world that human rights may be sacrificed ostensibly in the name of security.
President Bush’s refusal to apply the Geneva Conventions to those captured during the international armed conflict in Afghanistan and transferred to the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was challenged by a judicial decision in November. The ruling resulted in the suspension of trials by military commission in Guantánamo, and the government immediately lodged an appeal. The US administration’s treatment of detainees in the “war on terror” continued to display a marked ambivalence to the opinion of expert bodies such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and even of its own highest judicial body.
- Middle East and North Africa
Civilians bore the brunt of the casualties as the war in Iraq intensified and the death toll rose. Tens of thousands of men, women and children were reported to have been killed or injured since the armed conflict began in March 2003. Both the US-led occupying forces and armed groups operating in Iraq – often with the declared objective of resisting foreign occupation – continued to violate international human rights and humanitarian laws with impunity.
Throughout the year there were reports that scores of civilians had been killed unlawfully by the US-led forces during bombardments of Fallujah, Najaf and Samarra’, and in various operations in Baghdad. Before the transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government in June, and in the run-up to general elections scheduled for January 2005, armed groups stepped up attacks against US-led forces, Iraqi police and army recruits, government personnel and professionals. Hundreds of civilians were killed in indiscriminate or direct attacks by armed groups, as in the attacks on Shi’a visitors to the holy shrines in Baghdad and Karbala in February.
Increasing numbers of Palestinians were killed and homes destroyed by the Israeli army in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. Some 700 Palestinians died, including about 150 children. Most were killed unlawfully, in reckless shootings, shellings or air strikes on refugee camps and other densely populated areas throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli forces continued to carry out extrajudicial executions of members and leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian groups, in which bystanders were frequently killed or injured. Some 109 Israelis, most of them civilians and including eight children, were killed by Palestinian armed groups in suicide bombings, shootings and mortar attacks inside Israel and in the Occupied Territories.
Routine destruction of Palestinian homes, land and property in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was stepped up in the biggest wave of house demolitions in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the intifada (uprising). In May the Israeli army destroyed some 300 homes and damaged about 270 others in a refugee camp in Rafah, leaving close to 4,000 Palestinians homeless. In the West Bank, Israel continued to build a 600-kilometre fence/wall encircling and cutting off Palestinian towns and villages, despite the ruling by the International Court of Justice.
- Europe and Central Asia
Discrimination appeared in many forms, including in the barriers that prevented people from accessing their basic rights. In countries from Finland to Cyprus, Roma remained severely disadvantaged in key areas of life such as housing, employment, education and medical services. In countries of the former Yugoslavia, large numbers of people seeking to rebuild their lives after being displaced by war continued to face discrimination on ethnic grounds, particularly in obtaining employment, education and health care.
LONDON, May 23 (IPS) - The war on terror is provoking more terror, Amnesty International secretary-general Irene Khan told IPS in an interview Tuesday at the launch of the human rights group's 2005 annual report.
"The war on terror and the way it has unfolded actually is premised on the principle that by eroding human rights you can reinforce security," Khan said. "And that is why as part of the war on terror we see restrictions being placed on civil liberties around the world."
That has led to the establishment of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp "where people that are considered to be dangerous by the U.S. Administration are being locked up without any charge, without any trial, indefinitely," Khan said. "That cannot be the best way in which you fight terrorism. Because it plays straight into the hands of those who would want to destroy human rights."
Khan added: "The proof of what I am saying is that the world is NOT safer today. The number of attacks by armed groups has been going up according to research, and empirical evidence."