[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) released its annual report [PDF; AI materials] on the state of human rights around the world on Tuesday. The major themes of this year's report include violence against women, US detention of terrorism suspects, persecution of human rights activists, and the continued use of the death penalty in criminal prosecutions. The organization's Secretary General, Irene Khan, called on world governments [AI press release] to address injustice, inequality, and impunity with respect to human rights. Khan also urged the international community to focus immediate attention on "human rights flashpoints," including Darfur, Zimbabwe, Gaza, Iraq, and Myanmar [JURIST news archives]. AP has more.
The report paid particular attention to human rights violations reported during the US "War on Terror". AI also pointed out inconsistencies and a lack of accountability in the US criminal justice system, especially with respect to the death penalty and race relations. China was also criticized in the report for its record on human rights, a growing issue in light of the upcoming Olympic Games [JURIST news archive]. AI focused on China's state-sponsored persecution of human rights activists and the repression of minority and religious groups. Many of the comments echo sentiments expressed in the 2007 annual report [JURIST report], in which AI condemned the US and its allies for secret detention, extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive], and other alleged human rights violations.