AI annual report decries “global justice gap”

Amnesty International (AI) on Thursday 27 May released its 2010 Annual Report, highlighting a “global justice gap” caused by influential governments avoiding accountability for human rights abuses.

In its report, the organization criticized powerful governments, which are blocking advances in international justice by standing above the law on human rights, shielding allies from criticism and acting only when politically convenient.

AI called governments to join the International Criminal Court. The report criticized veto use by permanent members of the UN Security Council to prevent the international community from taking action on rights violations committed by permanent members and their allies. It also cited the failure of the UN Human Rights Council to address rights violations during the Sri Lankan civil war  due to complacency by Sri Lanka’s regional allies.

The report condemned, inter alia, the lack of accountability for the conflict in Gaza, governmental repression in Middle East, North Africa and China, as wekk as in Europe and Central Asia, unlawful killings by security forces in Latin America. The organization also decried impunity for US violations related to counterterrorism persisted.

In the accompanying press release, Claudio Cordone, interim Secretary General of AI said:

Repression and injustice are flourishing in the global justice gap, condemning millions of people to abuse, oppression and poverty. Governments must ensure that no one is above the law, and that everyone has access to justice for all human rights violations. Until governments stop subordinating justice to political self-interest, freedom from fear and freedom from want will remain elusive for most of humanity.

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