Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Amnesty International Takes Aim at U.S.

It is not especially surprising to me that Amnesty International's 2005 report accuses the United States as shirking its responsibility to set the bar for human rights protections and said the government has created a new lexicon for abuse and torture evidenced by the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.

Independent reports by the Geneva-based ICRC have previously raised concerns. The ICRC has had access to the prison and is known to have expressed concerns to the U.S. Government.

The AI report cites "Attempts to dilute the absolute ban on torture through new policies and quasi-management speak, such as 'environmental manipulation, stress positions and sensory manipulation,' was one of the most damaging assaults on global values," and further called for the camp to be closed down.

AI admits these human rights deficiencies came with a rash of terrorist actions, including the televised beheadings of captives in Iraq, but says governments forget many victims in fight against terrorism.

It is worth noting there are many other violators the group pointed to in report. Sudan as one of the worst human rights violations this past year. Zimbabwe, Haiti, Bangladesh were also cited. As was China for forced abortions, Nepal for rapes committed by soldiers.

AI did point to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June to allow prisoners at Guantanamo challenge the basis of their detention as many of these individuals have been held for over three years with no formal charges.

visit the Amnesty International site at - link

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