[JURIST] Respect for human rights in Asia has been on a serious decline over the past year, according to a report released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch [advocacy website]. HRW says that the governments of some Asian countries, including Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and China, were behind the worst rights violations, and that government leaders use "Asian values" as an excuse for human rights violations. Government leaders in the countries implicated in the Human Rights Watch World Report 2006 [text; press release] say that universal human rights documents and treaties [OHCHR materials] do not take into account values that differ from those in Western countries and that international rights documents should reflect these differences. The HRW report also criticizes the US war on terrorism, saying that the Bush administration undermined human rights [Reuters report] by purposely using torture and inhumane treatment as part of their counterterrorism strategy, and calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate abuses. AFP has more.