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Amnesty Report 2006: disadvantaged pay price of war on terror

Friday, May 26, 2006

The human rights watchdog NGO Amnesty International described 2005 as a year of contradictions with signs of hope for human rights being undermined through “deception and failed promises” of “arrogant” governments. Amnesty International issues annual reports on the development of human rights issues, with detailed reports on the situation in every individual country.

At the launch of its 2006 International Report, the Secretary General for Amnesty International (AI), Irene Khan, said that a number of governments have “paralyzed international institutions and squandered public resources in pursuit of narrow security interests, sacrificed principles in the name of the ‘war on terror’ and turned a blind eye to massive human rights violations. As a result, the world has paid a heavy price, in terms of erosion of fundamental principles and in the enormous damage done to the lives and livelihoods of ordinary people”.

According to the release report, Iraq sank into a “vortex of sectarian violence in 2005.” Secretary General Khan warned: “When the powerful are too arrogant to review and reassess their strategies, the heaviest price is paid by the poor and powerless – in this case, ordinary Iraqi women, men and children.” A 2004 Lancet study estimates that 100,000 excess deaths have occurred with roughly three times as many injured since the US-led invasion in 2003.

Continuing her criticism of international bodies, Ms Khan stated that “Intermittent attention and feeble action by the United Nations and the African Union fell pathetically short of what was needed in Darfur,” referring to the conflict that a number of reports estimate has killed over 300,000 people.

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