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'War on terror' eroding human rights: Amnesty annual report

[JURIST] Amnesty International Secretary-General Irene Khan condemned [press release] the United States and other "Western democratic states" Wednesday for what she characterized as attempts "to roll back some fundamental principles of human rights" in their efforts to fight terrorism. Khan's remarks came with the release of the Amnesty International Report 2007 [text; Amnesty materials], which condemned the US for maintaining a "dual discourse on human rights as it pursued its 'war on terror'." The report specifically criticized the US and its allies for secret detention, extraordinary rendition, prolonged detention without access to due process, and torture or degrading treatment of detainees [JURIST news archives]. The report noted a sharp contrast between generally positive developments in Latin America and what it characterized as a "continued failure to hold senior US government officials accountable for torture and ill-treatment of 'war on terror' detainees." Latin American countries, such as Argentina and Chile, were praised for revoking amnesties for crimes against humanity and investigating former dictator Augusto Pinochet's alleged role [JURIST reports] in the murder of political rivals.

The 2007 report echoes the conclusions in Amnesty's 2006 report on human rights [JURIST report], which denounced the "double standards" espoused by the world's post powerful countries such as the United States, which Amnesty said had substantially weakened America's creditability as a human rights champion. AP has more.

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