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  • 1. A YEAR IN PERSPECTIVE A YEAR IN terrorism. Over the past year, some of the world’s most powerful governments have received an uncomfortable wake-up call about the dangers of PERSPECTIVE: A undervaluing the human rights dimension of their actions at home and abroad. Their doublespeak and deception have been exposed by the media, challenged GLASS HALF FULL by activists and rejected by the courts. I also see other signs for optimism. The overall number of conflicts worldwide continues to fall, thanks to international conflict management, conflict BY IRENE KHAN, SECRETARY GENERAL, prevention and peace-building initiatives, giving hope AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL to millions of people in countries like Angola, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Krishna Pahadi, a human rights activist in Nepal, has Institutional reform was initiated at the United been detained 28 times by the government. When I met Nations (UN) to strengthen the international human him in a police detention centre in Kathmandu in rights machinery, despite the attempt by a number of February 2005, shortly after he had been arrested for cynical and “spoiler” governments to block progress. the 27th time, his message was surprisingly upbeat. The The call for justice for some of the worst crimes under more the regime locks up peaceful protesters like him, international law gained greater force across the world, he told me, the more it strengthens the cause of human from Latin America to the Balkans. Although corrupt, rights. Widespread political unrest and international inefficient and politically biased national judicial condemnation of the Nepalese government’s actions systems remain a major barrier to justice, the tide is support Krishna’s views. Deprived of any reading beginning to turn against impunity in some parts of the material in prison except religious books, he had world. In 2005 several countries opened investigations finished reading the Bhagavad Gita and was about to or conducted trials of people suspected of war crimes begin the Bible, to be followed by the Qur’an. He has no and crimes against humanity. Despite the opposition of doubt that his struggle and that of others like him will the USA, support for the International Criminal Court prevail. It is only a matter of time, he said. (ICC) has grown, with Mexico becoming the 100th state Krishna is not daunted. Nor am I, despite the abuse party to ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC. The UN and injustice, violence and violations across the globe Security Council’s decision to refer the situation in documented in the Amnesty International Report 2006. Darfur to the ICC set an important precedent, The human rights landscape is littered with broken demonstrating the link between security and justice. promises and failures of leadership. Governments Ordinary people took to the streets to demand their profess to champion the cause of human rights but rights and to seek political change. In Bolivia, the show repressive reflexes when it comes to their own poorest country in South America, massive protests policies and performance. Grave abuses in Afghanistan by indigenous communities, peasants and miners led and Iraq cast a shadow over much of the human rights to the resignation of the President and election to debate, as torture and terror feed off each other in a power of the country’s first ever indigenous Head of vicious cycle. The brutality and intensity of attacks by State. Even repressive governments found themselves armed groups in these and other countries grow, taking caught out by mass protest, and were forced to make a heavy toll on human lives. some concessions. Nevertheless, a closer look at the events of 2005 There will be those who will challenge my sense of gives me reason for hope. There were some clear signs optimism. But I take strength from these developments that a turning point may be in sight after five years of and, most importantly, from the extraordinary display backlash against human rights in the name of counter- of global activism and human solidarity across borders; Krishna Pahadi (right), a founding member of the Human Rights and Peace Society and former Chair of AI Nepal, with Irene Khan in London shortly © AI after his release, 2005. Amnesty International Report 2006 1
  • 2. A YEAR IN PERSPECTIVE from the energy and commitment of Amnesty ruled that the system for investigating deaths of Iraqi International (AI) members worldwide; from the huge prisoners at the hands of UK armed forces personnel crowds that turned out to “make poverty history” in the was seriously deficient. lead-up to the G8 Summit; and from the outpouring of In the USA there was similar questioning of the Bush support from ordinary people for the victims of the Administration’s claim that in its fight against terrorism tsunami in Asia, Hurricane Katrina in the USA and the it could exempt itself from the prohibition against earthquake in Kashmir. torture and ill-treatment. A legislative amendment From peasant farmers protesting against land sought to affirm the ban on torture and cruel, inhuman grabbing in China to women asserting their rights on and degrading treatment of all prisoners by US officials the 10th anniversary of the UN World Conference on and agents, wherever they might be. Not only did the Women, the events of 2005 showed that the human President threaten to veto the bill, the Vice President rights idea – together with the worldwide movement of sought to exempt the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) people that drives it forward – is more powerful and from the law. The CIA itself admitted to using “water- stronger than ever. boarding” (simulated drowning) as an interrogation technique, and the Attorney-General claimed that the Torture and counter-terrorism USA has the power to mistreat detainees abroad, so When suicide bombers struck at the heart of London long as they are not US citizens. in July 2005, the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair reacted In the end, it was President Bush who blinked first by announcing plans that would drastically restrict and was forced to withdraw his opposition to the bill. human rights and show the world that “the rules of the However, the bill had a serious sting in its tail, with an game are changing”. Lord Steyn, a retired Law Lord of amendment which stripped Guantánamo detainees of the UK judiciary, responded aptly: “The maintenance the right to file habeas corpus appeals in a federal court of the rule of law is not a game. It is about access to and barred them from seeking court review of their justice, fundamental human rights and democratic treatment or conditions of detention. Nevertheless, the values”. President’s public climb-down was indicative of the Fortunately, some of the most outrageous pressure being put on the Administration by powerful provisions of the legislation proposed by the UK divisions within the USA and increasing concern among government were thrown out by Parliament. The its allies abroad. government was defeated twice on its counter- European governments squirmed as one story after terrorism legislation in 2005 – the first ever another revealed their role as junior partners of the parliamentary defeats for Prime Minister Blair in his USA in its “war on terror”. There was public outcry nine years of office. following media reports of possible collusion between The judiciary also took the UK government to task. the US Administration and some European The highest court in the land, the House of Lords, governments on “CIA black sites” – alleged secret rejected the government’s contention that it could detention centres on European territory. Increasing use information obtained by torture by foreign evidence that prisoners were being illegally transferred governments as evidence in UK courts. In another through European airports to countries where there case, the Court of Appeal rejected the government’s was a risk they would be tortured (“extraordinary claim that UK forces in Iraq were not bound by renditions”) also provoked widespread public international and domestic human rights law. It also condemnation. Roma in Bulgaria at an anti-discrimination rally in central Sofia, February 2005. The rally coincided with the start of the international initiative “2005-2015 Decade of Roma Inclusion” which was launched in eight south- © EMPICS/AP eastern European states. 2 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 3. A YEAR IN PERSPECTIVE diminished. The USA has not categorically rejected the use of certain forms of torture or ill-treatment. It has failed to institute an independent investigation into the role of senior US officials in the abuses committed in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere, despite growing evidence of high-level involvement. When the British courts declared the detention of foreigners without charge or trial to be unlawful, the UK government immediately introduced new legislation to hold people under virtual house arrest. It continues to seek “diplomatic assurances” to enable it to return people to countries where they could face torture. The “export value” of the “war on terror” has not decreased either. With the tacit or explicit approval of © Reuters/Raheb Homavandi the USA, countries like Egypt, Jordan and Yemen Women protest continue to detain, without charge or fair trial, people suspected of involvement in terrorism. against gender What is different about 2005 compared to past years discrimination is that the public mood is changing, thanks to the work in the Iranian of human rights advocates and others, which is putting capital, Tehran, the US and European governments on the defensive. June 2005. People are no longer willing to buy the fallacious argument that reducing our liberty will increase our The demand for the closure of the detention centre in security. More and more governments are being called Guantánamo Bay gained greater momentum with the UN, to account – before legislatures, in courts and other various European institutions, and political and opinion public forums. More and more there is a realization that leaders, including prominent US figures, adding their flouting human rights and the rule of law, far from voices to the growing pressure. What was once AI’s lone winning the “war on terror”, only creates resentment voice in the wilderness has now become a crescendo of and isolates those communities targeted by these condemnation against the most blatant symbol of US measures, plays into the hands of extremists, and abuse of power. That strengthens our own resolve to undermines our collective security. continue to campaign until the US Administration closes Lines, however fragile, are being drawn. Voices are the Guantánamo camp, discloses the truth about secret being raised. This offers hope for a turning point in the detention centres under its control, and acknowledges debate and a more principled approach to human rights the right of detainees to be tried in accordance with and security in the future. international law standards or be released. Contrary to the statement of the UK Prime Minister, The shifts I have identified do not mean that support the rules of the game have not changed. Neither security for restrictive measures has disappeared or that attacks nor human rights are well served by governments who on human rights in the name of counter-terrorism have play games with these fundamental rules. International Women’s Day, Beni, North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, March 2005. The women are marching barefoot with their shoes on their heads in protest at widespread © AI rape in the region. Amnesty International Report 2006 3
  • 4. A YEAR IN PERSPECTIVE We must continue to condemn in the strongest possible terms the cowardly and heinous attacks on civilians by armed groups. Equally strongly, we must also resist the foolish and dangerous strategies of governments who seek to fight terror with torture. Reform initiatives Growing disillusionment and damning criticism of the UN human rights machinery finally led governments to initiate some important reforms as part of a rethink of the UN’s role in international governance. UN member states agreed to double the budget of the Members of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Torture Abolition and to focus its work to a much greater extent on and Survivors protecting human rights through presence in the field. Support Coalition The member states decided to jettison the International discredited UN Commission on Human Rights, and demonstrate proposed to replace it with a Human Rights Council, outside the White elected by and accountable to the UN General House, Washington Assembly, and able to scrutinize all states, including, D.C., USA, June first and foremost, its own members. Although a © Reuters/Chris Kleponis 2005. product of compromise, the proposal represents a significant opportunity to improve the UN human rights machinery. Regrettably, the future of the Council hangs Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to address the in the balance as we go to press because of the refusal unacknowledged arrest, detention, torture and often of the USA to support it, ostensibly on the basis that it death of prisoners at the hands of agents of the state. has too many “deficiencies”. One state, no matter how AI, which first began campaigning on behalf of the powerful, should not be allowed to undermine a broad, “disappeared” some 35 years ago, welcomes this international consensus. I hope that other important contribution to human rights protection. governments will resist US pressure, rally behind the The UN appointed a Special Representative on the resolution and get the Council up and running. issue of human rights and transnational corporations I am encouraged by the support that governments and other business enterprises. Although companies have shown for changes to the UN human rights can be a force for positive social and economic machinery. This is all the more remarkable, given the development, the impact of some business operations way in which much of the UN Secretary-General’s on human rights are deeply damaging, as shown by the ambitious and forward-looking package on UN violence generated by oil and mineral interests in reform – including proposals to expand Security places like the Niger delta in Nigeria, the Democratic Council membership, strengthen weapons non- Republic of the Congo and Sudan, or the readiness of proliferation and better equip the UN to act effectively the information and technology industry to fall in line to halt genocide – was rejected or wrecked. with China’s restrictive policies on freedom of I am also heartened by some less publicized gains in expression. Yet a powerful combination of political and the past year. The UN completed drafting an business interests has managed to resist international International Convention for the Protection of All efforts to advance the legal accountability of business Human rights defenders outside the building where former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was detained in Santiago, Chile, December 2005. Alberto Fujimori has been charged in Peru with human rights violations including © CNDDHH ordering killings and torture. 4 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 5. A YEAR IN PERSPECTIVE demonstrated by the USA and the UK in relation to Iraq, and by Russia and China in the case of Sudan. They appear oblivious to the lessons of history that the road to strengthening global security lies through respect for human rights. Former Iraqi The hypocrisy of the G8 was particularly marked in President 2005. The G8 governments claimed to put eradication of Saddam poverty in Africa high on their agenda, while continuing Hussein to be major suppliers of arms to African governments. stands trial, Six of the eight G8 countries are among the top 10 largest Baghdad, global arms exporters, and all eight export large October © EMPICS/AP amounts of conventional weapons or small arms to 2005. developing countries. This should place a particular responsibility on the G8 to help create an effective system of global control on arms transfers. But, despite for human rights. Despite considerable controversy pressure from the UK government, the leaders of the G8 surrounding the UN Norms on business and human failed to agree on the need for an Arms Trade Treaty at rights, the issue of corporate accountability remained the Gleneagles Summit in July 2005. firmly on the international agenda. Building on the However, the call for a global treaty to control experience of the Norms, the task now will be to small arms gained support from at least 50 countries develop a clear set of international human rights around the world. The message of the campaign, standards and principles for corporate actors. jointly led by AI, Oxfam and the International Action Network for Small Arms (IANSA), is clear: the arms Rhetoric and reality trade is out of control, and must be restrained Institutions are only as strong as the political will of urgently. those who govern them. Far too often, powerful Turning to regional institutions, I am disappointed governments manipulate the UN and regional that the European Union (EU) remains a largely muted institutions to further their narrow national interests. voice on human rights. It cannot expect to maintain The USA is a prime example, but unfortunately it is not its credibility on human rights and occupy the moral alone, as is evidenced by Russia’s record in the high ground if it buries its collective head in the sand Caucasus and Central Asia, and China’s expanding when confronted with abuses committed by its major economic co-operation with some of the most political and trading partners, or closes its eyes to the repressive governments in Africa. policies and practices of its own member states Those who bear the greatest responsibility for towards refugees and asylum-seekers and on counter- safeguarding global security in the UN Security terrorism. It must be more willing to confront Russia’s Council proved in 2005 to be among the most willing appalling human rights failures in Chechnya. It must to paralyze the Council and prevent it from taking also resist pressures from business to lift its arms effective action on human rights. This was clearly embargo against China. This embargo was originally AI members from around the world take part in the march which launched the World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil, January 2005. © AI Amnesty International Report 2006 5
  • 6. A YEAR IN PERSPECTIVE imposed after the brutal 1989 crackdown in institutions and individual states. That is one of the Tiananmen Square in order to show the commitment reasons why governments contested Myanmar of the EU to promoting human rights in China. It becoming the chair of the Association of Southeast should not be removed until the Chinese government Asian Nations (ASEAN). That is why the EU decided in has made significant human rights concessions. the end not to reverse the ban on arms sales to China. The African Union (AU) has developed a progressive That is why India has put human rights considerations framework on human rights, and played an important as a key element in its approach to Nepal. role in resolving the crisis in Togo, but it is sadly Both on principled as well as pragmatic grounds, lacking the capacity and political will to deliver on its human rights should be seen as a critical element of promises consistently. Hampered by logistical sustainable global and regional security strategies, constraints and the refusal of the Sudanese not as an optional extra for good times. There is no government and armed militias to abide by doubt in my mind that the events of 2005 show that international law, AU human rights monitors could the political and moral authority of governments will not make a real difference on the ground in Darfur. It be judged more and more by their stand on human showed no stomach to tackle the appalling human rights at home and abroad. Therein lies one of the rights situation in Zimbabwe. It failed to convince most important achievements of the human rights Nigeria or Senegal to co-operate with the efforts to movement in recent times. bring to justice the former Liberian and Chadian There are clear challenges ahead. Vicious attacks by presidents Charles Taylor and Hissène Habré. African armed groups, the increased instability in the Middle leaders do a disservice to themselves and the African East, the mounting anger and isolation of Muslim people when they use African solidarity to shield each communities around the world, the forgotten other from justice and accountability. conflicts in Africa and elsewhere, growing inequalities In the face of institutional lethargy and governments’ and glaring poverty – all are evidence of a dangerous failures, public opinion, whether in Africa, Europe or and divided world in which human rights are being elsewhere, is demanding a stronger commitment by daily threatened. But far from being discouraged, I governments to human rights at home and abroad. believe these challenges make the impetus for action Thanks to human rights advocates and others, and the even greater. growing pressure of public opinion, the international As we set our agenda for 2006, AI and its millions of community is being forced to acknowledge human members and supporters take encouragement from rights as the framework within which security and the remarkable achievements of the human rights development should be imagined and implemented. movement and the faith of ordinary people in the Without respect for human rights, neither security nor power of human rights. We in AI do not underestimate development can be sustained. that power. We will use it to fight those who peddle In both international and regional contexts, human fear and hate, to challenge the myopic vision of the rights are increasingly being acknowledged as a world’s most powerful leaders, and to hold benchmark for the credibility and authority of governments to account. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S COMMITMENTS In 2006, Amnesty International is committed to: ■ Resist attacks on human rights standards, in ■ Champion the right of women and girls to be free particular the absolute prohibition on torture from violence and discrimination. and ill-treatment. ■ Promote the protection of refugees, displaced people ■ Demand the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention and migrants. camp and secret detention centres, and the disclosure ■ Expose the link between poverty and human of “extraordinary renditions” and “ghost detainees”. rights abuses and hold governments accountable ■ Condemn strongly deliberate attacks on civilians by for poverty eradication through respect for all armed groups. human rights. ■ Fight to end impunity and to strengthen national ■ Campaign to hold corporate and economic actors and international justice systems. accountable for human rights abuses. ■ Expose human rights abuses committed during ■ Strive for universal ratification of the seven core armed conflicts, and campaign for an international human rights treaties fundamental for human arms trade treaty to control the sale of small arms. security and dignity. ■ Seek a universal moratorium on the death penalty as ■ Support human rights defenders and activists in their a step towards its abolition. fight for equality and justice. 6 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 7. GLOBAL OVERVIEW THE SEARCH FOR failure to respect, protect and fulfil economic, social and cultural rights was more and more widely seen as a grave injustice and a denial of human development. HUMAN SECURITY Whether in response to the urgent needs of people caught up in natural disasters or the plight of individual victims of government repression, the activities of ordinary people often shamed governments into action. The year 2005 posed some major challenges for Human security requires that individuals and governments: intractable conflicts, terrorist attacks, communities are safe not only from war, genocide and the relentless spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the terrorist attack, but also from hunger, disease and persistence of widespread extreme poverty and natural disaster. Throughout 2005 activists campaigned natural disasters. for notorious human rights violators and powerful These challenges should have been met with multinationals to be held more accountable, and for an responses based on human rights principles. All too end to racism, discrimination and social exclusion. often they were not. Individually and collectively, Many of the human rights abuses seen in 2005 governments continued to pursue policies that often crossed national boundaries – from torture and sacrificed human rights for political or economic “renditions” to the negative impact of trade and aid expediency. policies. While borders were being dismantled in some At the same time, around the world, millions of aspects of international relations – particularly in the people lent their weight to calls for greater sphere of economic transactions – they continued to accountability, more transparency and greater be erected in others, notably migration. recognition of our shared responsibility to tackle these Recognition of the need for global solutions to global threats collectively. From the mass mobilization address global threats, from terrorism to bird flu, around the slogan “make poverty history” to the undoubtedly grew. There were also many reminders of lawyers and activists who took on powerful states in the necessity for UN reform. These included the groundbreaking court cases, civil society pressed continued failure of the UN Security Council to hold governments to deliver on their responsibilities. rogue states accountable, the exposure of high level The year saw a growing understanding that respect corruption at the UN in the Oil for Food scandal, the for the rule of law is essential for human security, and silence which greeted the failure to meet the first of the that undermining human rights principles in the “war UN Millennium Development Goals and the failure of on terror” is not a route to security. Similarly, the international financial institutions to grapple with the Kashmiri girls in a tent camp in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. Aid was slow in reaching millions of people rendered homeless by an earthquake in October 2005. © REUTERS/Kimimasa Mayama Amnesty International Report 2006 7
  • 8. GLOBAL OVERVIEW Afghans in the Panjshir valley, north of Kabul, January 2005, move tanks as part of a disarmament programme. This flawed programme was followed by another to remove arms from illegal armed groups. Much of Afghanistan remained under the control of factional commanders, many accused of gross human rights abuses. Lawlessness and insecurity were widespread. © REUTERS/Ahmad Masood inequities of trade, aid and debt. The UN’s own world. For example, in India in October, during the run- leadership proposed a number of far-reaching up to the annual festival season, a series of bomb blasts initiatives, but the limited outcomes of the UN World in Delhi left 66 people dead and more than 220 injured. Summit in September revealed how the politics of In Iraq, hundreds of civilians were killed or injured in narrow national self-interest continued to trump attacks by armed groups throughout the year. In multilateralist aspirations. Jordan, three bombs in hotels in Amman killed 60 Yet there was progress, notably in the area of people in November. In the UK, bomb attacks on the consolidating an emerging international justice system public transport system in London in July killed 52 in the form of the International Criminal Court, the ad people and injured hundreds. hoc international tribunals and increased use of Some of the counter-terrorism tactics adopted by extraterritorial jurisdiction. After years of calls for governments flouted human rights. Some governments additional resources for the Office of the UN High even tried to legalize or justify abusive methods that Commissioner for Human Rights, its budget was have long been deemed illegal by the international significantly increased. Proposals to replace the much community and can never be justified. discredited UN Commission on Human Rights with a UN Thousands of men suspected of terrorism remained in Human Rights Council were under discussion. US-run detention centres around the world without any Encouraged by these moves, and above all by the prospect of being charged or facing a fair trial. At the end growing strength and diversity of the world’s human of 2005, some 14,000 people detained by the USA and its rights community, AI renewed its commitment to allies during military and security operations in Iraq and globalizing justice as a means of realizing rights for all Afghanistan were still held in US military detention in the search for human security. centres in Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay in Cuba and Iraq. In Guantánamo, dozens of detainees staged hunger TORTURE AND TERROR strikes to protest against the conditions of their The challenges that the human rights movement faced detention and were force fed. in the wake of the attacks in the USA on 11 September Terrorism suspects were held by other countries too, 2001 continued. Governments continued to promote some of them detained for long periods without charge the rhetoric that human rights are an obstacle to, or trial, including in Egypt, Jordan, the UK and Yemen. rather than an essential precondition for, human Others languished in prison facing the threat of security. However, thanks to the efforts of human deportation to countries where torture was routine. rights activists and others, there was growing criticism Many detainees were subjected to torture and other of and resistance to government efforts to subordinate ill-treatment. human rights to security concerns. During 2005, it became increasingly clear how far Despite the governmental resources and efforts many countries had colluded or participated in committed to combating terrorism, the year saw a rising supporting abusive US policies and practices in the number of attacks by individuals and armed groups “war on terror”, including torture, ill-treatment, secret espousing a wide range of causes in many countries. and unlimited detentions and unlawful cross-border Deliberate attacks on civilians, breaching the most transfers. Many governments faced demands for basic human rights principles, were seen around the greater accountability and there were key judicial 8 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 9. GLOBAL OVERVIEW decisions in defence of basic human rights principles. Germany, Italy and Sweden into the role of Even within the US government itself, tensions government officials in specific rendition cases; in emerged over the curtailment of fundamental liberties. Spain, an investigation was opened by the Spanish Information continued to emerge in 2005 that helped authorities into the use of Spanish airports and to expose some of the secret and abusive practices airspace by aircraft operated by the US Central developed by states in the name of fighting terrorism. Intelligence Agency (CIA). In Iceland, Ireland and the For example, further information came to light about Netherlands, government officials or activists called the illegal transfer of terrorism suspects from one for official inquiries. country to another without any judicial process – a Investigations by journalists, AI and others in 2005 practice known in the USA as “extraordinary left little doubt that the US government was running a renditions”. It was revealed that the USA had, through system of covert prisons, known as “black sites”. There this practice, transferred many detainees to countries were persistent reports that the CIA had operated such known to use torture and other ill-treatment in secret detention centres in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, interrogations, including Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan and other unknown Saudi Arabia and Syria. Such transfers effectively locations in Europe and elsewhere, including on the outsourced torture. British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia. About What renditions mean in reality was highlighted in three dozen detainees deemed to have high 2005 by the case of Muhammad al-Assad, a Yemeni intelligence value had “disappeared” in US custody, and living in Tanzania, who was arrested at his home in Dar- were allegedly being held in black sites, completely es-Salaam on 26 December 2003. He was hooded, outside the protection of the law. handcuffed and flown to an unknown destination. It In November the Council of Europe launched an was the beginning of a 16-month ordeal of investigation into reports that the network of US secret unacknowledged detention and interrogation, in which prisons and involvement in renditions included sites in he had no contact with the outside world and no idea Europe. AI strongly endorsed calls to European where he was. governments to investigate such allegations by officials He was held for a year in a secret facility where he of the Council of Europe, one of whom declared: “not was subjected to extreme sensory deprivation. His knowing is not good enough regardless of whether masked guards never spoke a word to him, but ignorance is intentional or accidental”. communicated their instructions in sign language. At a conference jointly organized by AI and the UK- There was a constant low-level hum of white noise. based NGO Reprieve in London in November, former Artificial light was kept on 24 hours a day. Muhammad detainees and families of detainees held in al-Assad’s father was told by Tanzanian officials that Guantánamo or in UK facilities testified to the human his son had been turned over to US custody, and that no cost of indefinite detention without charge or trial. one knew where he was. His family heard nothing of Speaking of the trauma of the families of those him until he was flown to Yemen in May 2005, where he detained, Nadja Dizdarevic, the wife of Boudelaa Hadz was imprisoned, apparently at the request of the US of Bosnia and Herzegovina who has been held at authorities. Muhammad al-Assad was still in custody in Guantánamo for four years, said: Yemen without charge or trial at the end of 2005. “It is difficult to be a mother to my children Other testimonies from former detainees collected because I have not enough time for them and I am during 2005 by AI were shockingly similar to the everything that they have… At night after I put my experience described by Muhammad al-Assad. Two children to sleep I start my work and while the other Yemeni men were transferred to Yemen by the whole world sleeps in peace I tirelessly write USA in May 2005, where they remained in custody complaints, requests, letters, learn the laws and without charge or trial at the end of the year. In human rights conventions so that I could continue separate interviews with AI in June, September and my struggle for the life and release of my husband October 2005, all three described being held in and the others.” isolation for 16 to 18 months in secret detention centres Governments have over the years requested run by US officials. The interviews conducted by AI “diplomatic assurances” from countries known to use provided strong new evidence of the US network of torture in order to allow them to deport people there. secret detention centres around the world. In 2005 the UK government sought to rely on In December 2005, after the UK Foreign Secretary diplomatic assurances and concluded Memorandums said that he was not aware of any renditions flights of Understanding with Jordan, Lebanon and Libya, and refuelling or using other facilities in the UK since was seeking similar agreements with Algeria, Egypt and early 2001, AI published details of three flights that other states in the region. AI opposed the use of such refuelled in the UK, hours after transferring detainees “diplomatic assurances” as they erode the absolute to countries where they risked “disappearance”, prohibition of torture, and are inherently unreliable torture or other ill-treatment. Information and unenforceable. increasingly came to light in 2005, partly because Evidence that many governments had been engaging evidence was uncovered by victims themselves and in, conniving in or acquiescing to the outsourcing of partly due to governmental inquiries, that other torture underlined the need for greater transnational European countries may have been similarly involved accountability in a world where human rights in secret transfers. Inquiries were conducted in responsibilities do not stop at the borders of a state. Amnesty International Report 2006 9
  • 10. GLOBAL OVERVIEW The outsourcing of torture meant that the USA and after unfair trials and sentenced to long prison terms some of its European allies, which had for decades for allegedly participating in the protest. unreservedly condemned torture at all times and in all In China, the authorities continued to use the global circumstances, openly defied the absolute ban against “war on terror” to justify harsh repression in the torture. The implication was that they believed that Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), resulting some torture and ill-treatment was justifiable in the in serious human rights violations against the ethnic “war on terror”. Uighur community. While China’s latest “strike-hard” The US administration continued its attempts to campaign against crime had subsided in most parts of redefine and justify certain forms of torture or other the country, it was officially renewed in the XUAR in ill-treatment in the name of “national security” and May 2005 to eradicate “terrorism, separatism and public order. When questioned about the US position religious extremism”. It resulted in the closure of on the treatment of prisoners, the US Attorney unofficial mosques and arrests of imams. Uighur General, Alberto Gonzales, made it clear that his nationalists, including peaceful activists, continued to government would define torture in its own way. be detained or imprisoned. Those charged with serious Although the US leadership denied that the “separatist” or “terrorist” offences were at risk of government condoned torture, evidence emerged that lengthy imprisonment or execution. Those attempting the CIA used “water boarding” (simulated drowning), to pass information abroad about the extent of the prolonged shackling or induced hypothermia on crackdown faced arbitrary detention and prisoners held in secret prisons. Some people within imprisonment. The authorities continued to accuse the US administration apparently continued to believe Uighur activists of terrorism without providing credible that certain forms of torture and ill-treatment evidence for such charges. practices were acceptable if used to gather intelligence In both Malaysia and Singapore, where national to counter terrorism. However, growing challenges to security legislation allows prolonged detention these policies both within the USA – where at the end of without charge of terrorism suspects, dozens of the year the US Senate passed legislation affirming the individuals remained in detention under Internal ban on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading Security Acts without charge or trial. treatment – and among the USA’s allies in the “war on In Kenya and certain other African countries, the terror” offered hope of a more principled approach to rhetoric of counter-terrorism was employed to justify human rights and security in the future. repressive legislation which was used to silence human Human rights abuses in the context of counter- rights defenders and obstruct their work. terrorism policies were not confined to the USA and its The exposure during 2005 of the unlawful practices European allies. In Uzbekistan, the authorities claimed of governments in the name of countering terrorism that people taking part in a demonstration in Andizhan mobilized and affirmed the growing demands for at which peaceful demonstrators were killed had been accountability. The determined work of human rights coerced to do so by quot;terroristsquot;. Subsequently, more activists, lawyers, journalists and many others helped than 70 people were convicted of quot;terroristquot; offences to lift the blanket of secrecy to expose states that AI INTERVENES IN COURT CASES be at risk of torture or ill-treatment is and should remain AI continued to seek the legal implementation of absolute. Four states intervened to argue that this international human rights standards by intervening in prohibition is not absolute, but may be subject to a cases before national and international courts. “balancing” test against such interests as countering Preventing the erosion of the absolute prohibition terrorism. At the end of 2005, the decision of the Court against torture in the context of the “war on terror” was was still pending. the objective of two interventions in 2005. As part of its work against the death penalty, AI In a case before the UK’s highest court, the Appellate intervened in a case concerning Guatemala before the Committee of the House of Lords, AI coordinated a Inter-American Court of Human Rights. coalition of 14 organizations in a joint intervention to Guatemala, which ratified the American Convention challenge the admissibility as evidence in judicial on Human Rights in 1978, sought to extend the use of proceedings of information extracted as a result of torture. the death penalty in 1996 to make it mandatory for The government had contended that it should be allowed kidnapping. AI argued that the death penalty could to introduce into judicial proceedings information not be extended beyond the legislation applicable obtained from abroad allegedly as a result of torture, on when Guatemala ratified the Convention and that as a the ground that no torture had been committed or result of a law passed in 2000, Guatemala had failed supported by UK agents. The Law Lords ruled that such to guarantee the right of a convicted person to seek information was inadmissible in UK courts. pardon, amnesty or commutation of sentence. In In a case before the European Court of Human September the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Rights, AI intervened with six other NGOs to argue that ordered Guatemala to suspend the death sentence in the prohibition on the transfer (refoulement) of a person this case, and not to execute anyone condemned to from a state party to the European Convention on death for the crime of kidnapping under the current Human Rights to another state where he or she would legislation. 10 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 11. GLOBAL OVERVIEW © REUTERS Ninety people were killed and at least 100 were injured when car bombs exploded in the tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 23 July 2005. transferred, detained and tortured those they The failure of governments and armed groups alike suspected of terrorism. to seek the political solutions needed to end conflict The year 2005 also witnessed some successes in the and to abide by negotiated settlements took a heavy struggle by civil society to stop the trend towards toll on the human rights of ordinary people. Some states justifying, on security grounds, the use of governments sought advantage from conflicts in other information extracted through torture. The year ended countries, often arming one side or the other, while with a major judicial victory when the UK government disclaiming responsibility. When the international lost its legal battle in the domestic courts to reverse the community mustered enough support to put pressure centuries-old ban against the admissibility of on warring factions through the UN Security Council or information obtained as a result of torture in judicial regional bodies, the parties often failed to deliver on proceedings. AI had intervened in the case, arguing their commitments, as seen in Sudan and Côte d’Ivoire. that the absolute prohibition of torture and ill- In their quest for political or economic gain, treatment under international law prevented such use. government forces and armed groups often showed The attempts by governments to weaken the ban on total disregard for the civilian population caught in torture and other ill-treatment compromised both the their path and even specifically targeted civilians as moral integrity and practical effectiveness of efforts to part of their military strategy. The large majority of combat terrorism. 2005 showed the absolute necessity casualties in armed conflicts in 2005 were civilians. of holding governments accountable to the rule of law, Women and girls were exposed to the violence that and reconfirmed that an independent and impartial accompanies any war and were also subject to judiciary plays a vital role in preventing the erosion of particular, often sexual, abuse. In Papua New Guinea fundamental safeguards and securing respect for girls were reportedly exchanged for guns by their male human rights. relatives. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo large numbers of women and girls were abducted and CONFLICT AND ITS AFTERMATH raped by armed combatants. In nearly three quarters The number of armed conflicts around the world of the conflicts around the world, children were continued to fall, but the toll of human suffering did recruited as soldiers. not. Continuing violence fed on a steady diet of The world’s attention focused largely on Iraq, Sudan, unresolved grievances arising from years of and Israel/Occupied Territories while prolonged destructive conflict and the failure to hold perpetrators conflicts in Afghanistan, Chechnya/Russian of abuse to account. It was sustained by the easy Federation, Nepal, northern Uganda and other corners availability of weaponry; the marginalization and of the world were largely ignored or forgotten. impoverishment of entire populations; systemic and In Iraq, US-led multinational forces, armed groups widespread corruption; and the failure to address and the transitional government all failed to respect impunity for gross violations of human rights and the rights of civilians. Armed groups deliberately humanitarian law. attacked civilians causing great loss of life. They Millions of people faced violence and hardship in targeted humanitarian organizations and tortured and conflicts caused or prolonged by the collective failures killed hostages. The killing of two defence lawyers of political leaders, armed groups and to some extent the involved in Saddam Hussain’s trial highlighted the international community. Millions more endured chronic insecurity in the country. This insecurity insecurity, hunger and homelessness in the aftermath of drastically curtailed the ability of many Iraqi women conflicts, without the necessary levels of support from and girls to go about their daily lives in safety, and a the international community to rebuild their lives. number of Iraqi and non-Iraqi women politicians, Amnesty International Report 2006 11
  • 12. GLOBAL OVERVIEW ARMS CONTROL The global arms trade remained largely Tackling the proliferation and misuse of weapons unaccountable and most transfers were shrouded in remained a key element of AI’s efforts to combat secrecy. Accurate and up-to-date statistics were human rights violations, whether committed in the therefore difficult to obtain. However, the information course of conflict, crime or security operations. available suggested some striking trends. Most of the The Control Arms Campaign – launched in October world’s military equipment and services were traded 2003 by AI, Oxfam International and the International by a relatively small number of countries. According to Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) – achieved an authoritative report by the US Congress, 35 some notable successes in 2005. countries exported some 90 per cent of the world’s By the end of the year, about 50 governments had arms in terms of value. By 2005, more than 68 per declared their support for an enforceable international cent of arms exports were going to countries in the Arms Trade Treaty – a key demand of the Control Arms global South. Campaign. An arms control treaty based on Six of the eight G8 countries are among the top 10 international human rights and humanitarian law largest global arms exporters, and all eight export would save lives, prevent suffering and protect large amounts of major conventional weapons or small livelihoods. Costa Rica, Finland, Kenya, Norway and arms to developing countries. A series of loopholes the UK, among others, promised to back the treaty. In and weaknesses in arms export controls, common October, the European Union (EU) Council of Foreign across most G8 countries, meant that the G8’s Ministers called for global support for such a treaty. commitments to poverty reduction, stability and There was considerable backing from governments for human rights were undermined. Arms exports from G8 the UK position that separate UN negotiations on a countries reached some of the world’s poorest and treaty that would cover all conventional arms should most conflict-ridden countries. Such countries begin in late 2006. included Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the At the UN, governments agreed on a global Congo (DRC), the Philippines and Sudan. standard for marking and tracing small arms in In 2005 large quantities of weapons and ammunition October 2005. This went some way towards fulfilling from the Balkans and Eastern Europe continued to flow the proposal put forward by the Control Arms into Africa’s conflict-ridden Great Lakes region. Campaign for a global system to track small arms and Shipments to the DRC continued, despite a peace to hold arms traders accountable. However, not only process initiated in 2002 and a UN arms embargo. did the agreement exclude ammunition, but it was not Weapons and ammunition supplied to the legally binding. governments of the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda were subsequently distributed to armed groups and militia in the eastern DRC involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity. In addition to committing other crimes, these armed groups systematically and brutally raped and sexually abused tens of thousands of women. Arms dealers, brokers and transporters from many countries including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Israel, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, the UK and the USA were involved in these arms transfers, highlighting once again the key importance of regulating the operations of arms brokers and dealers. By the end of 2005 only about 30 states had laws regulating such brokers. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed using small arms in 2005. In Haiti, for example, small arms were used by armed groups and former soldiers to kidnap, sexually abuse and kill Haitians with impunity. © Jo Wright Without disarmament and effective justice for the victims, Haiti risked sinking further into crisis. A young man displays his weapons outside a favela Women paid a high price for the unregulated trade (shanty town) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The level of in small arms, both in their homes and in their armed violence at the hands of drug gangs, police or communities. The presence of a gun in the household vigilante “death squads” was extremely high, has been shown to vastly increase the risk that especially in the favelas. Although the government violence in the home will have fatal consequences. In took steps to curb the proliferation of small arms, a 2005, the Control Arms Campaign called on referendum in October 2005 over a ban on gun sales governments to address inadequate firearms was defeated. The result was widely attributed to regulations, poor law enforcement and widespread popular anxiety about insecurity and lack of faith in discrimination which put women at heightened risk the police’s ability to provide protection. of violence. 12 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 13. GLOBAL OVERVIEW Internally displaced Sudanese children from Mahli village in southern Darfur region collect rainwater to be used for drinking and cooking. In April 2005 they were living in an improvised camp without the most basic facilities. © REUTERS/Moses Muiruri activists and journalists were abducted or murdered. by Palestinian armed groups, as compared to more than During 2005 evidence mounted that the US-led 700 Palestinians and 109 Israelis killed in 2004. multinational forces and foreign private security Atrocities continued in Darfur, Sudan, despite guards committed grave human rights violations, considerable efforts throughout 2005 by the including killing unarmed civilians and torturing international community to reach a political solution prisoners. The failure to mount effective investigations to end the violence. The Sudanese government and its into these abuses and to hold those responsible to allied militias (Janjawid) killed and injured civilians in account undermined claims by the occupying forces bombing raids and attacks on villages, raped women and the transitional authorities that they were and girls, and forced villagers from their lands. Abuses restoring the rule of law in the country. by the opposition armed groups escalated as their The removal of some 8,000 Israeli settlers from the command structures broke down under increased Gaza Strip under the so-called disengagement plan factionalism and in-fighting between rival leaders. The diverted attention from Israel’s continuing expansion violations in Darfur were described by the UN of Israeli settlements and its construction of a 600km Secretary-General and UN agencies as staggering in fence/wall in the occupied West Bank, where some scale and harrowing in nature with widespread and 450,000 Israeli settlers lived in violation of systematic human rights abuses, violations of international law. The presence of Israeli settlements humanitarian law, forced displacement of millions of throughout the West Bank was the main reason for the people and looming hunger. In early 2005 the UN stringent restrictions (military checkpoints and negotiated a peace agreement, raising hopes of a “peace blockades) imposed by the Israeli army on the dividend”. The African Union deployed forces, but their movement of some 2 million Palestinians between mandate to protect civilians was limited and they were towns and villages within the occupied West Bank. further hampered by the relatively small number of These restrictions on freedom of movement paralysed troops deployed and the lack of logistical support. The the Palestinian economy and curtailed Palestinians’ peace did not hold. A UN Commission of Inquiry found access to their land, their places of work, and to that the government and the Janjawid militia were education and health facilities. The resulting increased responsible for crimes under international law and the poverty, unemployment, frustration and lack of case of Darfur was referred by the Security Council to prospects for a predominantly young population the International Criminal Court. Although the contributed to the spiral of violence, both against International Criminal Court began investigations, by Israelis and within Palestinian society, including growing the end of 2005, it had not been granted access to Sudan. lawlessness in the street and violence in the home. Similar patterns were seen in many other conflicts However, the year saw a significant reduction in the that received less international attention during 2005: number of killings by both sides: some 190 Palestinians, targeting of civilians, sexual abuse particularly of including around 50 children, were killed by Israeli women and girls, the use of child soldiers, and a forces, and 50 Israelis, including six children, were killed pattern of impunity. These conflicts were fought in Amnesty International Report 2006 13
  • 14. GLOBAL OVERVIEW INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE continued to benefit from a national amnesty. AI was 2005 saw some significant developments towards concerned about the composition of the courts and bringing to justice those responsible for crimes under whether the Cambodian judges would have the international law, including genocide, crimes against necessary training and experience, given the serious humanity, war crimes, torture, extrajudicial executions weaknesses in the Cambodian judicial system. and enforced disappearances. However, there was also National courts in a number of countries also continuing widespread impunity in national courts in contributed to the effort to end impunity by the states where crimes were committed, as well as investigating and prosecuting crimes committed in only limited use of universal jurisdiction by courts in other countries using universal jurisdiction legislation. other states. People were convicted of crimes under international In October, the International Criminal Court (ICC) law in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and the announced its first ever arrest warrants for five leaders UK. Canada opened its first case under its universal of the Lord’s Resistance Army for crimes against jurisdiction legislation of 2000, charging Désiré humanity and war crimes committed in northern Munyaneza with genocide, crimes against humanity Uganda. AI called on the ICC and the Ugandan and war crimes committed in 1994 in Rwanda. government to ensure that tens of thousands of other In September, Belgium issued a request for Senegal crimes committed during the conflict were to extradite the former president of Chad, Hissène investigated and prosecuted, including crimes by Habré, to face prosecution for the murder of at least government forces. AI urged the Ugandan government 40,000 people, systematic torture, arbitrary arrests to repeal an amnesty law which prevents Ugandan and other crimes, but Senegal referred the matter to courts from addressing these crimes. the African Union. In November, former Peruvian The ICC continued to investigate crimes committed president Alberto Fujimori was arrested in Chile. He in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but did not had been shielded from prosecution for extrajudicial issue any arrest warrants during 2005. It also executions and “disappearances” by Japan, which undertook preliminary analyses of eight other refused to extradite him to Peru. situations. However, the President and Prosecutor of The long-awaited trial of Saddam Hussain started in the ICC suggested that resource constraints would Iraq in October. Although the opportunity to obtain limit its ability to undertake any new investigations justice for some of the crimes committed under his until the current ones were completed. regime was welcome, AI had serious concerns about While the UN Security Council’s referral to the ICC the lack of fair trial guarantees in the statute of the of crimes committed in Darfur, Sudan, was a positive tribunal, denial of proper access to counsel and the step in addressing impunity, it was disappointing that provision of the death penalty. the Security Council, as part of a compromise to ensure Despite progress on international justice, much more US support, included in its resolution a provision to remained to be done to address impunity. 2005 was the exempt nationals of states not party to the Rome 10th anniversary of the massacre of around 8,000 Statute of the ICC (other than Sudan) from the Bosnian Muslims after the UN “safe area” of Srebrenica jurisdiction of the Court. In AI’s view, this provision fell to the Bosnian Serb Army in 1995. While crimes creates double standards of justice and violates the committed in Srebrenica have been recognized as UN Charter and other international law. amounting to genocide by the International Criminal The struggle against impunity was reinforced by the Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the women of work of other international and internationalized Srebrenica whose husbands and sons were killed are still courts, notwithstanding some constraints and waiting for most of the perpetrators to be brought to setbacks. The Special Court for Sierra Leone advanced justice. In June, AI voiced concerns to the UN Security in three trials involving nine suspects charged with war Council about its efforts to close the International crimes and crimes against humanity. However, the Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia without Sierra Leone government took no steps to end an establishing effective national courts to deal with the amnesty, part of the 1999 Lomé peace accord, which tens of thousands of crimes that the Tribunal was not prevents prosecution of all others in Sierra Leone able to investigate and prosecute. (There were similar responsible for crimes under international law. concerns over the future of the International Criminal Ignoring calls from the international community, Tribunal for Rwanda.) Nigeria continued, with the apparent support of the At the international level, the courts and tribunals African Union, to refuse to surrender former Liberian require the full support of states, in terms both of president Charles Taylor to the Special Court for Sierra providing resources and of exercising the political will Leone, where he has been charged with crimes against to hand over suspects. At the national level, obstacles humanity and war crimes against the population of to prosecutions, such as amnesties, have to be Sierra Leone. removed, and where national justice systems have Some progress was made in establishing special been destroyed by conflict long-term rebuilding plans courts – Extraordinary Chambers – for Cambodia. are urgently needed. While the increase in universal These were expected to try no more than half a dozen jurisdiction cases in 2005 was welcome, states still people for crimes committed while the Khmer Rouge have to ensure that they do not provide a safe haven were in power, while tens of thousands of others for people accused of crimes under international law. 14 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 15. GLOBAL OVERVIEW both urban and rural settings, generally using small committed by the security forces and Maoist groups. arms and light weaponry. Often diverse pockets of Following a mission to Nepal in the immediate violence erupted, with little chain of command or aftermath of the emergency, AI called on the accountability. In some cases, governments armed governments of India, the UK and the USA, Nepal’s civilians in an effort to distance themselves from main arms suppliers, to suspend all military supplies to accountability or culpability for abuses. Nepal until the government took clear steps to halt In Colombia, after 40 years of internal armed human rights violations. It made a similar call to other conflict, serious human rights abuses by all parties governments, including Belgium, Germany, South remained at critical levels. A law was passed Africa and France (which supplied crucial components providing a framework for disarmament and for helicopters assembled and delivered by India). demobilization of paramilitaries and armed groups. However, although some governments responded However, there were fears that the legislation would positively to the appeal for a suspension of military allow the most serious human rights abusers to enjoy supplies, China continued to supply arms and impunity, while human rights violations continued to ammunition to Nepal. be committed in areas where paramilitaries had The failure to resolve manifest injustices, to address supposedly demobilized. In addition, government impunity and to control the spread of arms led to policies designed to reintegrate members of illegal continuing insecurity and violence in many countries armed groups into civilian life risked recycling them trying to emerge from conflict. Even in countries where into the conflict. steps towards peace had been agreed, there was often Despite claims that the situation was normalizing, little political will or rigour to ensure that agreements Russian and Chechen security forces conducted were respected and faithfully implemented. targeted raids in Chechnya during which they In Afghanistan, lawlessness, insecurity and committed serious human rights violations. Women persecution continued to blight the lives of millions of were reportedly subjected to gender-based violence, Afghans. Factional commanders – many suspected of including rape and threats of rape, by Russian and having committed gross human rights crimes in Chechen soldiers. Chechen armed opposition groups previous years – wielded public authority committed abuses including targeted attacks on independently of central government control. Absence civilians and indiscriminate attacks. There was also of the rule of law left many victims of human rights violence and unrest in other North Caucasus violations without redress, and the criminal justice republics, increasingly accompanied by reports of system barely functioned. Thousands of civilians were human rights violations. killed in attacks by US and Coalition Forces and by In Nepal, the human rights situation deteriorated armed groups. sharply under a state of emergency imposed in In Côte d’Ivoire, where a disastrous decline in the February 2005, with thousands of politically motivated economy precipitated a conflict in a country until arrests, strict media censorship and atrocities recently regarded as one of the most stable in West A Bosnian woman cries over the coffin of her son, who was a victim of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre by Bosnian Serb forces. On 11 July 2005, 610 identified victims were buried at a memorial ceremony. Their bodies were among those found in more than 60 mass graves around the town. © REUTERS/Damir Sagolj Amnesty International Report 2006 15
  • 16. GLOBAL OVERVIEW REFUGEES, ASYLUM-SEEKERS AND internally displaced persons remained unchanged at INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE 25 million in 2004, many of whom had been displaced In recent years, the number of refugees worldwide has for years. States continued to be reluctant to allow fallen significantly, but the reality in 2005 was more international observers to monitor the conditions and complex and far bleaker than the numbers suggested. human rights situation of internally displaced people In 2004, the last year for which figures were in their countries. The UN Secretary-General’s March available, the number of refugees recorded was the 2005 report on the implementation of the Millennium lowest in almost 25 years. The decline in refugee Development Goals, In Larger Freedom, recommended numbers was largely because of the numbers of strengthening the inter-agency response to the refugees who returned to their countries of origin, but protection and assistance needs of internally not all were able to return to their homes and villages displaced people. The resulting new inter-agency of origin, and many returned in conditions that were “cluster approach” promised to deliver greater not voluntary, safe or dignified. accountability, but it remained to be seen whether it In all, more than 5 million refugees were returned – would deliver more predictable, robust and coherent not all voluntarily – to their countries of origin protection to the millions of internally displaced between 2001 and 2004. Many of the returns took people around the world. place to countries such as Afghanistan, Angola, For refugees living in camps, conditions worsened Burundi, Iraq and Liberia where their safety and in 2005, particularly as many faced reductions in dignity could not necessarily be guaranteed. Some food rations – a sign of the failure of the world’s returns breached the fundamental principle of non- governments to fulfil their international obligations refoulement – the cornerstone of international to share the responsibility of protecting and assisting refugee protection – that no one should be returned refugees. This often resulted in an increase in violence against their will to a situation where they would be at against women, including domestic violence, and risk of serious human rights abuse. sexual exploitation of women who were forced to The focus on numbers by both the international exchange sex for food rations as their only means of community and individual governments often led to survival. Refugees continued to be denied freedom of the rights of refugees being disregarded. In many movement outside camps and so were unable to earn countries, asylum-seekers were excluded from seeking a living, raising serious questions about the impact of protection, either physically or by procedures that long-term encampment policies on the rights and failed to provide a fair hearing. In Greece, for example, lives of refugees. In urban settings, many refugees in 2004 just 11 asylum-seekers were recognized as were denied legal status and the right to work, forcing refugees and 3,731 were rejected. The refusal rate in them into destitution or into a dangerous search for fast-track asylum procedures in the UK was 99 per survival elsewhere, sometimes by travelling to other cent. In South Africa some asylum-seekers were countries. arbitrarily deported because of corrupt practices at For governments keen to minimize their obligations refugee reception centres and borders. In China to protect refugees, the rhetoric of the “war on terror” hundreds, possibly thousands, of North Korean provided yet another excuse to increase border asylum-seekers were arrested and expelled with no controls. In many countries, politicians and the media opportunity to claim asylum. fuelled xenophobia and racism, falsely linking While the number of people crossing international refugees with terrorism and criminality and whipping borders in search of protection fell, the number of up hostility towards asylum-seekers. © Refugee Solidarity Committee A container used by the Greek authorities to detain irregular migrants, Chios island, April 2005. 16 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 17. GLOBAL OVERVIEW The Israeli wall in al-Ram, near Jerusalem, October 2005. Palestinians were increasingly confined to restricted areas and denied freedom of movement between towns and villages within the Occupied Territories. Many were cut off from their farmlands and their workplaces, and denied access to education and health care facilities. © REUTERS/Mahfouz Abu Turk Africa, easy access to small arms contributed to Polisario Front, which demands independence for violations of the agreed ceasefire, inter-ethnic Western Sahara, released 404 Moroccan prisoners of conflict in the west of the country, xenophobia and war who had been held for well over two decades the ongoing use of child soldiers. Despite efforts by despite the formal cessation of hostilities 14 years ago. the African Union to restore peace and security in the Efforts to overcome impunity moved forward with the country, the disarmament, demobilization and prospect of Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leaders being reintegration process remained deadlocked. In brought before the International Criminal Court October, AI publicized reports of small arms charged with war crimes in northern Uganda. proliferation, re-circulation and possible new arms transfers to both sides of the conflict despite a UN- FUELLED BY FEAR: SUFFERING DUE TO IDENTITY imposed arms embargo. The blurring of cultural boundaries often associated In several post-conflict countries the dominant with globalization, far from overcoming deep divisions culture of impunity – the failure to bring to justice based on identity, was accompanied by continued, and those responsible for human rights abuses – fostered some believe increasing, racism, discrimination and continued cycles of violence. In Sri Lanka, for example, xenophobia. Across the world, people were attacked the security situation deteriorated in 2005 as both the and deprived of basic human rights because of their government and the armed opposition failed to make gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and the human rights guarantees in the ceasefire other similar aspects of their identity, or combinations agreement work. Tensions over scarce resources were of these identities. exacerbated by internal displacement resulting from In the context of the “war on terror”, 2005 saw the conflict and the tsunami. continued polarization along identity lines in an The struggle to overcome impunity can last for increasingly intolerant and fearful world. Many decades, or even generations. The survivors of Japan’s people were targeted for discrimination and violence system of military sexual slavery during World War II – because of their identity – Muslims, those identified as the so-called “comfort women” – have persistently Muslims, other minorities, migrants and refugees all called for recognition and justice for more than half a fell victim. Some Muslim communities in Europe and century, their numbers dwindling with time. Once elsewhere said they felt under siege: they feared and again in 2005 the Japanese government refused to abhorred the bombings, but also experienced growing accept responsibility, formally apologize, or provide racism, fostered in part by some governments and official compensation for the suffering endured by media broadly linking the “terrorist threat” with thousands of women. “foreigners” and “Muslims”. On top of this, many There were some exceptions to this generally grim suffered the consequences of counter-terrorism landscape, including elections in a number of states measures that were discriminatory in law and practice emerging from conflict. Greater stability in Sierra as young Muslim males continued to be portrayed as Leone allowed the UN forces to leave the country. The “typical terrorists”. Amnesty International Report 2006 17
  • 18. GLOBAL OVERVIEW In their efforts to assert their power or resist challenges to their authority, repressive regimes Around 300 targeted ethnic or religious minorities. One of the most people hold a blatant examples was the treatment of Kurdish groups candlelit vigil in in Syria and Iran. Up to 21 people were reportedly killed, Santa Fe, New scores injured and at least 190 more arrested in a brutal Mexico, USA, for clampdown on civil unrest in the Kurdish areas of James Maestas, western Iran from July onwards. The mass arrests and a young gay excessive use of force against protesters in the Kurdish man who was areas were part of a pattern of abuse of ethnic beaten and minorities in Iran, where up to half the population is badly injured in Persian and the rest is made up of other ethnic groups March 2005 as including Kurds, Arabs and Azeri Turks. he left a In Syria too, Kurds continued to suffer from identity- restaurant based discrimination, including restrictions on the use where he had of the Kurdish language and culture. Tens of thousands been eating of Syrian Kurds remained effectively stateless, and with friends. were consequently denied full access to education, health services and employment, as well as the right to a nationality. However, in June, at its first meeting for 10 years, the ruling Ba’th Party Congress ordered a review of a 1962 census which could result in stateless Kurds obtaining Syrian citizenship. Challenges to mainstream religious views were © EMPICS/AP/Jeff Geissler severely punished in some countries. In Egypt, despite the (Emergency) Supreme State Security Court ruling at least seven times in his favour, Mitwalli Ibrahim Mitwalli Saleh remained in administrative detention minorities such as Uzbeks, Russians and Kazakhs were for his scholarly views on apostasy and marriage dismissed from their workplaces and denied access to between Muslim women and non-Muslim men. In higher education. Members of religious minority Pakistan, where blasphemy laws make it a criminal groups risked harassment, arbitrary detention, offence for members of the Ahmadiyya community to imprisonment after unfair trials and ill-treatment. practise their faith, police investigations into killings of Latvia ratified the Council of Europe’s Framework Ahmadis were slow or did not take place at all. In just Convention for the Protection of National Minorities one incident in October, eight Ahmadis were shot dead during 2005, but the government’s definition of a and 22 injured in their mosque by men shooting from a minority effectively excluded most members of the passing motorbike. Eighteen men arrested shortly Russian-speaking community from qualifying for afterwards were released without charge. In China, recognition as a minority. religious observance outside official channels In many countries, indigenous people remained an remained tightly circumscribed. In March, the underclass and were victims of widespread human authorities issued a new regulation aimed at rights violations. Discussions on an international strengthening official controls on religious activities, Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and in April a crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual deadlocked for almost a decade, made halting progress movement was renewed. A Beijing official stated that in 2005. This dilatory response by the international since the group had been banned as a “heretical community to the urgent need to recognize and respect organization”, any activities linked to Falun Gong were the rights of indigenous people was reflected at the illegal. Many Falun Gong practitioners reportedly national level. In Brazil, for example, the government’s remained in detention where they were at high risk of demarcation and ratification of indigenous territories torture or ill-treatment. fell far short of its promised goals. This contributed to In Eritrea, where the government cracked down on insecurity and violent attacks on indigenous evangelical Christian churches during 2005, more than communities and forced evictions, aggravating already 1,750 church members and dozens of Muslims were in severe economic and social deprivation. detention at the end of 2005 because of their religious The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of beliefs. They were held in indefinite and human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous incommunicado detention without charge or trial, people, who visited New Zealand in 2005, said that some in secret locations. Many were tortured or ill- there were significant, and in some cases widening, treated, and large numbers were held in metal shipping disparities between Maori and the rest of the containers or underground cells. population. He said Maori considered this the result of A perceived lack of ethnic “purity” was used as a a trans-generational backlog of broken promises, basis to exclude people from employment and economic marginalization, social exclusion and education in Turkmenistan. Many members of ethnic cultural discrimination. 18 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 19. GLOBAL OVERVIEW WOMEN’S RIGHT TO FREEDOM consistently argued, violence against women causes FROM VIOLENCE prolonged physical and psychological suffering to Some 3,000 representatives from governments and women, and has repercussions for the well-being and women’s and human rights organizations came security of their families and communities. The together in New York in March 2005 to mark the 10th connection between violence against women as a anniversary of the Beijing UN World Conference on human rights issue and as a public health crisis led AI Women and to assess progress towards fulfilling the to accept an invitation to join the Leadership Council of Beijing Declaration and Program for Action. While the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS. governments unanimously reaffirmed the At a conference of women human rights defenders commitments they had made a decade ago, they failed held in Sri Lanka towards the end of 2005, to make further pledges to promote and protect organizations and individuals recognized the women’s human rights. This failure was in part the significant contribution of women human rights result of a retrogressive attack on women’s human defenders to the advancement of the human rights of rights that has become evident over the past few years. all people, and the serious risks to which they are This attack, especially regarding women’s sexual rights exposed, including killings, abductions, rapes, and reproductive rights, was led by conservative US- “disappearances” and assaults. Those who defend and backed Christian groups and supported by the Holy See promote women’s human rights and gender equality and some member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. © AI The attacks on women’s rights, the changed global security context and the lack of will by states to implement international human rights standards formed the backdrop against which AI continued throughout 2005 to join with women’s groups around the world to promote women’s human rights. Areas of progress included new legislation in a number of countries which reduced discrimination against women. In Ethiopia, a new Penal Code removed the marital exemption for the crimes of bride abduction and associated rape. The Kuwaiti Parliament amended the electoral law to grant women the right to vote and stand for election. AI welcomed the entry into force of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Marisela Ortiz, co-founder of a women’s support Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. group, stands among the crosses commemorating Women’s organizations in the Solomon Islands women abducted and murdered in Ciudad Juárez, celebrated the creation of the country’s first purpose- Mexico, August 2005. built shelter for victims of family violence. Despite the gains made by the global women’s are often targeted for their activism and can face movement over recent years, pervasive discrimination marginalization, prejudice and danger. Defenders of and impunity for crimes of violence against women contested rights such as environmental or sexual rights continued to undermine women’s fundamental rights were particularly at risk in 2005 as they were seen to to freedom, security and justice. threaten the status quo. AI’s campaign to Stop Violence against Women The need for integrated approaches to combating concentrated during 2005 largely on violence against violence against women was highlighted by two 2005 women in armed conflict, violence within the family decisions by the UN Committee on the Elimination of and the role of women human rights defenders. Discrimination against Women. In the Mexican city of As its campaign increasingly focused on the private Ciudad Juárez, hundreds of poor, largely indigenous, sphere of violence in intimate relationships, AI women have been abducted and murdered in recent emphasized the duty of governments to intervene to years without the authorities taking appropriate adequately protect, respect, promote and fulfil action. The Committee called for a thorough, systemic women’s human rights. AI produced reports revision of the criminal justice apparatus, and for mass documenting domestic violence in a number of popular education to address structural discrimination countries including Afghanistan, Guatemala, Gulf against women. A Hungarian woman brought a case Cooperation Council countries, India, Iraq, Israel and claiming that the authorities in Hungary had failed to the Occupied Territories, Nigeria, the Russian protect her from a series of violent assaults by her Federation, Spain and Sweden. Reports were also former common law husband, despite repeated issued on the impact of guns on women’s lives, and on appeals for help. In this case, the Committee women, violence and health. reaffirmed that, where government authorities fail to The long-term impact of violence against women exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and was also highlighted in a major World Health punish violations of rights, states themselves bear Organization study published in 2005. As AI has responsibility for actions of perpetrators. Amnesty International Report 2006 19
  • 20. GLOBAL OVERVIEW DEATH PENALTY convicted: China also acknowledged that innocent At least 2,148 people were executed in 2005 and at people had been executed. Unfair trials have led to least another 5,186 were sentenced to death. These executions in many countries; in 2005 people were figures only reflect cases known to AI; the true figures executed in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan, were certainly higher. reportedly without being given the benefit of due Many of those put to death had been denied a fair process of law, and therefore not afforded sufficient trial; they had “confessed” under torture, had not had opportunity to present evidence of their innocence. proper legal representation or were not given an Discrimination based on a wide range of impartial hearing. Drug smuggling, embezzlement and characteristics such as ethnicity, religion and poverty fraud were some of the crimes for which capital manifested itself at every stage of the death penalty punishment was imposed. Some people lived under process. sentence of death for more than 20 years before being In a large number of countries, including India, executed, while others were executed almost Uzbekistan and Viet Nam, information about the death immediately. Executioners used various means, penalty remained secret. Sometimes information was including hanging, firing squad, lethal injection and withheld not only from the public but even from the beheading. Among those put to death were children victims. Japan remained one of the countries where and people with mental disabilities. inmates are not told when they are going to be executed As in previous years, the vast majority of executions until a few hours before their death. Just five hours took place in only a handful of countries: 94 per cent of before they were beheaded, six Somali nationals put to executions in 2005 were in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia death in Saudi Arabia in April were reportedly still and the USA. unaware that they were at risk of execution. In 2005 Mexico and Liberia abolished the death Even members of groups protected from the death penalty for all crimes, bringing the number of countries penalty by international law and standards – such as that are abolitionist for all crimes to 86. In 1977, the juvenile offenders and the mentally disabled – were year when the USA resumed the use of the death executed in 2005. In the USA, where more than 1,000 penalty and AI convened a groundbreaking people have been executed since the resumption of International Conference on the Death Penalty in capital punishment in 1977, the person who died in the Stockholm, only 16 countries were abolitionist. At the thousandth execution was borderline mentally disabled. end of 2005, 122 countries were abolitionist, either in In Iran, at least eight people were executed for crimes law or practice. committed when they were less than 18 years old – at The campaign against the death penalty gained least two were children under the age of 18 when they strength in the course of 2005. The third World Day were hanged. Against the Death Penalty, on 10 October, was marked In a welcome judgment on 1 March 2005 the US in more than 50 countries and territories, including Supreme Court ruled that the use of the death penalty Benin, Congo, China (Hong Kong), the Democratic against people under the age of 18 was Republic of the Congo, France, Germany, India, Japan, unconstitutional, leading to more than 70 child Mali, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone and Togo. Around the offenders under sentence of death having their world there were demonstrations, petitions, concerts sentences commuted. Concerns remained, however, and televised debates to campaign against capital that the Supreme Court’s ruling did not apply to punishment. AI members in 40 countries participated in Guantánamo detainees who were juveniles when they such events. were detained. There was progress also at the UN level. UN Resolution 2005/59 on the question of the death penalty, passed in April 2005, came the closest yet to condemning the death penalty as a violation of human rights. The resolution affirms the right to life and declares, significantly, that abolition is “essential for the protection of this right”. Resolution 2005/59 was co- sponsored by 81 UN member states, the highest number ever. The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions issued strong statements in 2005 against the use of mandatory death sentences. He said that they remove a court’s freedom to exercise leniency or to take account of any extenuating or mitigating circumstances and that © Private mandatory sentencing is entirely inappropriate in a matter of life or death. Nanon Williams, sentenced to death on flawed One of the most powerful arguments against capital evidence for a crime committed when he was 17 years punishment is the inherent risk of executing the old. He was one of 70 child offenders on death row in innocent. In 2005 both China and the USA released the USA whose sentences were commuted in 2005 people from death row who had been wrongly after a Supreme Court ruling. 20 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 21. GLOBAL OVERVIEW A labourer unloads emergency supplies in north-western Niger, July 2005. Although several non-governmental organizations had been warning of the risk of famine in Niger since late 2004, international donors, including the UN and the European Union, did not react quickly to calls for urgent food aid. The UN estimated that the famine put in danger the lives of 3.5 million of Niger’s 12 million inhabitants. © REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly At a time of unprecedented globalization, with International Convention on the Protection of the barriers to the free flow of capital and goods across Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their borders being dismantled, it was ironic that the Families. Of the 20 countries committed to report to the movement of people across national boundaries UN Committee on Migrant Workers, just two had done became more highly regulated than ever. Migrant so by the end of 2005. workers became the focus of particular attack and ill- Bilateral agreements between migrant-sending and treatment, notwithstanding the benefits that host migrant-receiving countries often ignored the human communities derived from their presence. An rights of migrants, treating human beings as estimated 200 million migrants lived and worked commodities, “service providers” or “agents of outside their country of origin. From Burmese development”, regardless of the contribution of agricultural workers in Thailand to Indian domestic migrants to their host societies and countries of origin. workers in Kuwait, many migrant workers all over the Many states focused on border controls while turning a world faced exploitation and abuse. Ill-treated by blind eye to the exploitation of migrants, including employers and often with alarmingly little legal migrant workers employed in the informal economy. protection, they had scant access to justice. When The important contributions made by migrants to their irregular migrants came to the attention of the host societies were frequently obscured in public authorities, they risked being arbitrarily detained and debates that were often overtly racist and xenophobic, expelled in conditions that violated their human rights. encouraging a climate in which human rights abuses As in many parts of the world, in the Mediterranean against migrants were overlooked or even condoned. region there continued to be a blatant disregard for Women migrants were at particular risk of gender- migrants' and asylum-seekers’ rights. Some of the specific human rights violations. A foreign domestic thousands of people attempting to enter the Spanish worker was sentenced by a Shari’a (Islamic law) court enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, on the north African in the United Arab Emirates to 150 lashes for becoming coast, were intercepted and forcibly taken back to pregnant outside marriage. Many women migrants Morocco. Migrants and asylum-seekers fleeing were not only vulnerable to sexual exploitation by extreme poverty and repression in sub-Saharan Africa traffickers and employers, but also faced systematic were rounded up by Moroccan forces and detained. discrimination in the country where they worked. A Some were deported to Algeria or taken to remote woman from India working in Kuwait who was raped desert regions along the border with Algeria and and became pregnant was held in prison after giving Mauritania and left with little or no food and no means birth; she was not allowed to leave the country without of transport. In Italy and Greece migrants and asylum- the permission of the child’s father. seekers continued to be detained, often in grossly Discrimination and violence on grounds of gender inadequate conditions. persisted in every country in the world, as documented Most of the world’s governments declined to commit in several major reports released by AI during 2005 as themselves to enhancing migrants’ rights – by part of its global campaign to Stop Violence against December 2005 only 34 countries had ratified the Women. In Nigeria, girls and women were left blind Amnesty International Report 2006 21
  • 22. GLOBAL OVERVIEW from beatings, doused with kerosene and set on fire, action, and not nearly enough attention to basing jailed for reporting that they had been raped or strategies on human rights principles. murdered for daring to report that their husbands were Action by states to relieve poverty and deprivation threatening to kill them. AI’s report on family violence globally is not an optional extra – it is an in Spain analyzed the obstacles women face when international obligation. It was a measure of states’ trying to escape abusive relationships. In particular, failure to fulfil this obligation that in 2005, when the migrant women, Roma women and women with world’s economic output was at its highest level ever, physical or mental disabilities were rarely able to gain more than 800 million people around the world were access to shelters and financial aid for survivors of chronically malnourished. At least 10 million children gender-based violence. died before the age of five. Over 100 million children During 2005 AI campaigned for the rights of women (the majority girls) did not have access even to disregarded by the criminal justice system. Hundreds primary education. of cases of women abducted and murdered in The disappointing outcome of the UN World Guatemala were not adequately addressed by the Summit, which took place in September, illustrated authorities and the government itself reported that 40 clearly the gap between political rhetoric and genuine per cent of cases were archived and never investigated. commitment. A small number of countries blocked Such official inaction sent the strongest signal possible efforts to make significant progress on human rights, to those who perpetrated these crimes that they did so security, genocide and poverty reduction. Delegates with impunity. had to work so hard to maintain commitments made Despite moves towards greater legal recognition of in the past that they had little time to discuss their rights in certain countries, lesbian, gay, bisexual implementation of the Outcome Document, a political and transgender (LGBT) people continued to face declaration where governments made pledges in the widespread discrimination and violence, often four areas of development, peace and security, officially sanctioned. The authorities tried to ban human rights, and UN reform. Latvia’s first ever Gay Pride march to mark the struggle The lack of progress on the Millennium for the rights of LGBT people. Homophobic remarks Development Goals was particularly shocking in light made by the Latvian Prime Minister and other senior of the fact that some of the Goals set levels of figures – who, together with religious leaders, opposed expected achievement lower than those that states the march – were reported to have encouraged a are required to meet under international human climate of intolerance and hatred. In Saudi Arabia, 35 rights law. The Goal of halving hunger, if met, would men were sentenced to flogging and imprisonment for hugely increase life expectancy, health and human attending what was described as a “gay wedding”. AI’s dignity. Yet the 152 states that have ratified the findings in a major report on the USA showed that LGBT International Covenant on Economic, Social and people were targeted for human rights abuses by the Cultural Rights have, at the very minimum, an police. The discrimination against them significantly obligation to take the necessary action to mitigate restricted their access to equal protection under the and alleviate hunger for the whole population, even law and to redress for abuses. A 60-year-old gay man in times of natural or other disasters. arrested in St Louis, Missouri, told AI: While global poverty climbed up the international “I did nothing wrong… did not hurt anyone and was agenda during 2005, it was also a year that exposed targeted simply for being a gay male in a city park the gross economic and social inequalities within … Nothing is more unfair than singling out a group even the wealthiest of countries. The aftermath of and making them criminal when they are not.” Hurricane Katrina shocked many around the world as Depriving a person of their rights because of a it revealed the underbelly of deprivation, racial characteristic they cannot change or that is so central inequalities and poverty within the USA, the most to their being that they should not be forced to change powerful economy in the world. it, such as their race, religion, gender or sexual The riots in France drew attention to decades of orientation, attacks the central premise of human social inequality and discrimination against migrants rights – the conviction that every human being is equal and French nationals of African descent. The French in dignity and worth. government responded by declaring a state of emergency, imposing curfews and allowing law POOR, EXCLUDED AND INVISIBLE enforcement officials to carry out searches without During 2005 the international community’s warrants, close public meeting places of any kind and commitment to “make poverty history” became more place people under “house arrest”. The government prominent on the international agenda. However, also announced plans to expel migrants convicted while government leaders pronounced their intention during the riots, regardless of whether they had a to reduce poverty, particularly in Africa, most of the legal right to reside in France. targets set under the UN’s 15-year Millennium In countries of all political colours, and all levels of Development Goals showed little, if any, prospect of development, many were still unable to access even being met. The first time-bound target to achieve minimum levels of food, water, education, health care gender parity in primary education passed unmet with and housing. Deprivation in the midst of plenty could little or no protest from the international community. not be blamed solely on a lack of resources – it resulted There was more rhetoric than real commitment to from unwillingness, systemic corruption, negligence 22 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 23. GLOBAL OVERVIEW Firefighters extinguish a car fire in Cenon, near Bordeaux, south-western France, 9 November 2005. After France’s most widespread civil unrest in more than 30 years, the government ordered a state of emergency. © Empics/AP/Bob Edme and discrimination by governments and others, and In Brazil, where millions lived in poverty in favelas from their failure to respect, protect and fulfil (shanty towns), the government’s continued failure to economic, social and cultural rights. address systemic levels of criminal violence and For example, millions of people living with HIV/AIDS human rights violations at the hands of the police were unable to realize their right to health not just reinforced patterns of social exclusion. The state’s because of poverty, but because of discrimination and persistent negligence over public security in favelas stigma, violence against women, and trade and patent not only resulted in some of the highest homicide agreements that obstructed access to life-saving drugs. figures in the world, but effectively criminalized whole During 2005, fewer than 15 per cent of those needing communities, further prejudicing access to already anti-retroviral treatment in the developing world meagre public services such as education and health received it, demonstrating the failure not only of care as well as employment. For example, many favela governments, but also of intergovernmental bodies residents would not be able to get a job if they gave and companies, to fulfil their shared responsibilities their true address, as they were so widely seen as for human rights. criminals. Armed violence was an inescapable part of In a globalized economy, the failure to uphold human daily life, either at the hands of drug gangs, police or rights also brought to the fore the debate about the vigilante “death squads”. A police policy of military- responsibilities of companies and financial institutions style incursions into the favelas not only failed to curb for human rights. The process of establishing human violence, it endangered the lives of some of the most rights principles applicable to companies moved vulnerable people in society. In October, a referendum forward in 2005 with the appointment in July by the UN on a total ban on the sale of guns in Brazil was Secretary-General of a Special Representative on defeated. Many analysts attributed the result to human rights and transnational corporations and other people’s sense of despair about the security situation business enterprises. There was debate over the UN and lack of faith in the police’s ability to protect them. Human Rights Norms for Business and some further In Haiti, high levels of violence, particularly sexual progress was made towards the acceptance by violence, were perpetrated by armed groups and companies of voluntary codes of conduct. However, the vigilante groups against women in poor communities. need remained for common universal standards for Many women were under constant threat of attack. corporate commitment on human rights and legal Given the extremely low rate of conviction in relation accountability. to crimes of sexual violence, and the lack of official, Countless situations across the globe highlighted community or family support to identify and how poverty can be an aggregate violation of human investigate perpetrators, it was not surprising that rights – civil, cultural, economic, political and social these victims did not seek justice. Law enforcement rights – and how poverty, marginalization and officials have consistently failed to provide adequate vulnerability to violence are often inescapably linked. protection or access to justice for these women. Amnesty International Report 2006 23
  • 24. GLOBAL OVERVIEW The people of Sri Lanka worked hard to rebuild their lives during 2005, after the devastation caused by the tsunami, but escalating violence in the north-east and human rights abuses © UNHCR/N. Behring hampered reconstruction efforts. Roma communities across Europe were often denied complaints of violations of economic, social and basic economic, social and cultural rights such as access cultural rights. Such a mechanism would help put to education and health services, and were frequently economic, social and cultural rights on an equal footing the targets of police abuse. In Slovenia, Roma formed a with civil and political rights and end this arbitrary significant proportion of the people unlawfully classification of human rights. It would strike a blow removed from the Slovenian registry of permanent against impunity for economic, social and cultural residents in 1992, known as the “erased”, and as a result rights violations and open a much-needed avenue for they were not able to access basic social services. victims to claim redress. Whether in response to natural disasters or humanitarian crises, the international community CONCLUSION often faces criticism for failing to provide timely and For AI, genuine human security means that all rights – adequate assistance to people in urgent need of aid. civil, cultural, economic, political and social – are However, in some countries humanitarian efforts realized. These are interrelated and indivisible – no were hampered by governments unable or unwilling security policy can ignore any one dimension. Human to address the needs of the poor and marginalized in beings can flourish and fulfil their potential only if their own countries. In Zimbabwe, despite secure in all aspects of their lives. Human security overwhelming evidence of humanitarian need, the therefore depends on the full range of interdependent government repeatedly obstructed the humanitarian human rights being respected, protected and fulfilled. efforts of the UN and civil society groups for political This report shows how human security, understood in reasons. One of the major factors behind the need for this way, has often been a casualty of the national external support was the impact of government security strategies of the world’s most powerful policies; hundreds of thousands of people were governments, and those emboldened by their example. forcibly evicted from their homes and tens of Our collective human security will not be safeguarded thousands of people lost their livelihoods and the through such state-centred and narrowly defined ability to support their families. approaches to security. It requires a more In 2005 there were some positive steps towards comprehensive vision of what security means, as well as greater recognition of economic, social and cultural a collective sense of shared responsibility for protecting rights at national and international levels. These it within and beyond the boundaries of the state. included an important Inter-American Court of Human Rights decision in the case of two Haitian girls, Dilcia Yean and Violeta Bosico, against the Dominican Republic, which had denied them access to education on the basis of their nationality. Also, steps were taken towards creating a UN mechanism for lodging 24 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 25. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – AFRICA REGIONAL killings, rape and other torture, population displacements and other grave human rights violations. In Darfur, civilians were killed and injured by OVERVIEWS government troops, which sometimes bombed villages from the air, and by government-allied nomadic militias known as the Janjawid. Women were raped and some were abducted and held as sexual slaves. Many had fled conflict and extreme deprivation in the south AFRICA and other parts of Darfur. Civilians continued to be the victims of the 19-year The signing of several peace agreements in 2005 conflict in northern Uganda. Despite peace talks, resulted in a decline in armed conflict across the attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army increased region. However, grave human rights violations, towards the end of 2005, and some dissident militias including killings, rape and other forms of sexual remained active and clashed from time to time. More violence, characterized continuing conflicts in Burundi, than 3 million IDPs and half a million refugees were Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the expected to return to the south. Congo (DRC) and Sudan. Many places faced political In Burundi, armed conflict continued throughout instability and a serious risk of further conflict and 2005 between one armed group, the PALIPEHUTU-FNL, violence. Refugees and internally displaced persons and government forces in the provinces of Bujumbura (IDPs) in camps and urban areas had inadequate access rural and Bubanza, despite the presence of UN to basic needs assistance and were exposed to serious peacekeeping soldiers. More than 120,000 people, most human rights abuses. Impunity for human rights of them women and children, remained internally violations remained widespread, despite some displaced and in exile at the end of 2005. international and regional efforts to bring suspected No progress was made in demobilizing an estimated perpetrators to account. Human rights defenders, 50,000 combatants under the peace process in Côte journalists and political opponents continued to face d’Ivoire. The main obstacle to progress appeared to be harassment, assault and unlawful detention for a lack of trust between the government and the denouncing human rights violations or criticizing their leadership of the New Forces (Forces nouvelles), a governments. coalition of former armed groups. Child soldiers were Millions of men, women and children remained used by all parties to the conflicts in Côte d’Ivoire and impoverished and deprived of clean water, adequate the DRC. housing, food, education and primary health care. In October, Eritrea banned UN helicopter flights and This situation was exacerbated by widespread and other travel to UN monitors, further restricting the systemic corruption and the apparent indifference of multinational UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, governments to providing their citizens with the most whose 2,800 personnel administered a buffer zone basic economic and social rights. Across the region, along the border. Both sides had rearmed since 2000 hundreds of thousands of families were forcibly evicted and deployed troops near the border in late 2005. The from their homes, further violating their fundamental UN Security Council called on Ethiopia to implement human rights. the International Boundary Commission’s judgment The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and regarding the border areas, particularly its allocation to Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa Eritrea of Badme town, the flash point of war in 1998, entered into force during the year, but continuing but no progress was made on this during 2005. violations of women’s human rights, including female Illegal exploitation of natural resources continued in genital mutilation (FGM), domestic violence, rape, the DRC, Liberia and Sudan. In Liberia, former trafficking and sexual violence during conflicts, made combatants occupied rubber plantations and tapped the development nominal rather than substantive. rubber, claiming it was their only means of survival. A series of important regional initiatives, including They were reportedly responsible for killings and the Pan-African Parliament, the African Union (AU) torture, including rape, of civilians. Peace and Security Council and the African Peer Review There was encouraging progress in peacemaking in Mechanism, became fully operational, although their some conflicts. In Senegal, for example, the 2004 peace overall impact on respect for human rights was difficult agreement that ended two decades of conflict in the to measure. The AU Assembly continued to make southern Casamance region of the country held efforts to address human rights problems in the region, throughout 2005. but its failure to respond firmly to the human rights crisis in Zimbabwe illustrated the need for the AU to Impunity and justice apply its human rights principles consistently. Despite widespread and systematic violations of human rights, including war crimes and crimes against Armed conflict humanity, most perpetrators were not held to account. Governments and armed opposition groups continued Although investigations were opened in a few cases, to abuse human rights and international humanitarian the justice systems in many countries continued to law in Sudan (particularly in Darfur), northern Uganda, suffer from systemic corruption, lack of resources and Chad, Côte d’Ivoire and the DRC, resulting in unlawful inadequate training for personnel. Despite encouraging Amnesty International Report 2006 25
  • 26. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – AFRICA 26 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 27. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – AFRICA ©REUTERS/Mike Hutchings An AIDS activist (right) counsels a young HIV positive woman and her grandmother at their home near Lusikisiki, South Africa, November 2005. discussed reform of abortion legislation and the Despite the lack of official statistics, it was estimated that absence of laws prohibiting marital rape, and some nearly two thirds of women in certain groups in Lagos members of parliament advocated tougher sentences State, for example, were victims of violence in the home. for rape and sexual assaults against women. In Liberia, a Discriminatory laws and practices, dismissive attitudes law on rape was passed that had a broader definition of within the police, and an inaccessible justice system rape. However, it initially included the death penalty contributed to violence against women being widely among the punishments for perpetrators, despite tolerated and underreported. Liberia's commitment to abolish the death penalty. The Kenyan parliament agreed to discuss a proposed Sexual Economic, social and cultural rights Offences Bill and discussed a draft law on rape, Many governments engaged in practices that sponsored by women’s groups. The draft law proposed systematically denied people their rights to shelter, broadening the definition of rape and denying bail to food, health and education. In Zimbabwe, hundreds of anyone charged with raping a minor. thousands of people were forcibly evicted and their In Nigeria, some states introduced legislation on homes demolished as part of Operation Murambatsvina violence against women in the home, but the federal (Restore Order). The operation was carried out against government did not review discriminatory laws or a backdrop of severe food shortages. The government amend national law to comply with the Protocol to the repeatedly obstructed the humanitarian work of non- African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies, Rights of Women in Africa, which Nigeria had ratified. including attempts to provide shelter for the homeless. 28 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 28. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – AFRICA In Nigeria, thousands of people were made homeless country for fear of being persecuted or arbitrarily without due process, compensation or the provision of arrested. Some previously outspoken human rights alternative housing. activists were intimidated into silence. In Niger, serious food shortages were compounded In Sudan, the government launched legal by years of drought and an invasion of desert locusts in proceedings against one of the leading human rights 2004, the worst in more than a decade, which wiped out groups in the country, the Sudan Organisation Against much of the country’s cereal production. The UN Torture, in an apparent attempt to silence it. Its estimated that famine put in danger the lives of over a members faced more than five years’ imprisonment. quarter of Niger’s population. The famine had a knock- Prominent human rights activist Mudawi Ibrahim was on effect in neighbouring Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and arbitrarily arrested and detained without charge, Nigeria, all of which experienced rising prices or food including when he was trying to leave Sudan to receive shortages. Despite warnings of the impending famine, an award in Ireland for human rights activism. He was international donors failed to respond quickly. In later released. Mozambique, over 800,000 people needed food aid as In Somalia, Abdulqadir Yahya Ali, director of the a result of prolonged drought. Centre for Research and Dialogue, was assassinated in High death rates from AIDS-related illnesses Mogadishu in July by unidentified assailants. seriously affected economic and social development in In Togo, a group of young people associated with the many countries of the region. The southern Africa ruling party prevented the Togolese Human Rights region continued to have the highest prevalence rate of League from holding a press conference. In Angola, HIV in the world and severe problems in access to care Luís Araújo, coordinator of SOS-Habitat, a housing and treatment. Swaziland had the highest rate globally NGO, was briefly detained in June and November with 42.6 per cent, and more than three quarters of because of his activities to prevent forced evictions. people known to need antiretroviral treatment were The authorities in Cameroon continued to use criminal still not receiving it. In South Africa, new figures libel laws to imprison journalists in cases that appeared revealed that around 6 million people had been to be politically motivated. infected with HIV by 2004, with less than 20 per cent of In Equatorial Guinea, lawyer and human rights them receiving antiretroviral drugs. In Mozambique, defender Fabián Nsué Nguema, a former prisoner of approximately 200,000 people were unable to access conscience, was accused of misconduct and arbitrarily antiretroviral drugs and other treatment for HIV suspended from the Bar Association for a year. infection. Many prisoners of conscience in Eritrea remained in indefinite and incommunicado detention, without Death penalty charge or trial, and some were tortured or ill-treated. A Prisoners remained under sentence of death in new law in May imposed severe restrictions on NGOs. Burundi, Cameroon, DRC, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience Somaliland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. were also held in Ethiopia. In Mauritania, however, In Uganda, the High Court in Kakamega freed four several NGOs were officially recognized for the first people who had been on death row since 1995 after a time. successful appeal against their death sentences. In a landmark judgment, the Constitutional Court of Uganda AI regional reports ruled in favour of ending laws that stipulate a • Africa: Entry into force of Protocol on the Rights of mandatory death sentence. The Attorney General Women in Africa positive step towards ending appealed against the ruling. discrimination (AI Index: AFR 01/004/2005) In the DRC, argument over abolition of the death • African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: penalty resurfaced during parliamentary debates on Oral statement on Item 6 – Human rights situation in the new Constitution. An early draft of the Constitution Africa; Ending Impunity in Sudan (AI Index: IOR proposed abolition, but a majority in the Senate and 10/001/2005) National Assembly rejected the change. • African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Oral statement on Item 9 – Human rights situation in Human rights defenders Africa; Human rights in Zimbabwe (AI Index: IOR Across the region, governments remained hostile to 10/003/2005) human rights defenders, and many faced harassment, • African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: arbitrary arrest and detention, and assault. Oral statement on Item 9 – Human rights situation in In the DRC, Pascal Kabungulu, Executive Secretary of Africa; Fight against impunity (AI Index: IOR the human rights organization Heirs of Justice, was shot 10/004/2005) dead by three armed men in July at his home in Bukavu, • African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: South-Kivu. An official commission of inquiry failed to Oral statement on Item 11 – The Establishment of the report its findings, and no perpetrators had been African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AI brought to justice by the end of 2005. In Zimbabwe, Index: IOR 10/005/2005) numerous NGOs and individual human rights defenders • Oral Statement by Amnesty International: Item 8 – were harassed and intimidated by the state. In Rwanda, The Establishment of the African Court on Human several members of civil society, including staff of and Peoples’ Rights (AI Index: IOR 30/011/2005) human rights organizations, were forced to flee the Amnesty International Report 2006 29
  • 29. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – AMERICAS interrogation techniques constituting torture or other AMERICAS ill-treatment, there was a failure to hold officials at the highest levels accountable, including individuals who The denial of human rights continued to be a daily may have been responsible for war crimes and crimes reality for many people in the Americas, particularly against humanity. those in the most vulnerable sectors of society such as US “war on terror” policies that undermined human indigenous communities, women and children. rights standards were challenged during 2005. However, civil society, including the human rights Legislation was passed prohibiting the torture and movement, continued to gain strength and influence in inhumane treatment of detainees anywhere in the their demands for better living conditions, government world, despite initial objections from the Bush transparency and accountability, and respect for administration that the prohibition would hamper its human rights. ability to obtain information from detainees. However, The lives of the majority of people were blighted by the bill also severely limited the Guantánamo discrimination and poverty, both of which led to social detainees’ access to federal courts and called into unrest and political instability in a number of countries. question the future of some 200 pending cases in which Indigenous movements, representing some of the detainees had challenged the legality of their poorest and most marginalized people in the Americas, detention. stepped up their challenge to traditional political The USA increased its military assistance programme structures, particularly in the Andean region. in Colombia despite continued evidence of grave Police abuse, torture and ill-treatment of detainees human rights violations by military personnel and remained widespread. “Disappearances” continued to be paramilitary groups operating with their active or tacit reported in the context of Colombia’s internal conflict. support. Violence against women was endemic throughout the region and the murders of hundreds of women in El Conflict and crime Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, as well as the apparent The rule of law in several countries was threatened by indifference of the authorities, caused widespread abusive government policies, corruption, outrage. The conflict in Colombia and high levels of discrimination and inequality that sparked social organized crime throughout the region, continued to protest by marginalized communities, particularly in adversely affect the rights of vast numbers of people. the Andean countries. Indigenous movements were US policies pursued in the name of security again at the forefront of many of the extended protests undermined human rights both within the USA and in and were increasingly vocal in demanding their rights many countries around the world. and participation in political life. The governments in Natural disasters, including a series of devastating Ecuador and Bolivia were forced to resign as a result of hurricanes, affected countries in the Caribbean and mass discontent. Central America and the southern states of the USA, In Colombia, the rule of law was threatened by exacerbating already serious levels of poverty and government policies in the context of the long-running marginalization. In many cases, such as in New Orleans conflict. All parties to the conflict continued to commit and other communities in Louisiana State in the USA, widespread human rights abuses principally against the the authorities did not provide adequate protection civilian population. and aid provision was slow and insufficient. Human rights and the rule of law were also under threat through high levels of violence in several National security and the ‘war on terror’ countries, especially in urban areas. In some Hypocrisy and a disregard for basic human rights Brazilian, Central American and Caribbean cities, principles and international legal obligations entire neighbourhoods were trapped between continued to mark the USA’s “war on terror”. criminal, often gang-related, violence and the Thousands of detainees remained held without repressive response of the state security forces whose charge in US custody in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo methods violated the rights of entire communities. Bay in Cuba, and in secret detention centres known as Although most public attention was devoted to crime “black sites” believed to exist in Europe, North Africa against the wealthy, it was the lives of the urban poor and elsewhere. Torture and other ill-treatment which, deprived of state protection, were most continued to be reported and further evidence dominated by violence. emerged that the US authorities “outsourced” torture The trend towards militarization of law enforcement by means including “rendition” — the transfer of continued. In Central America the role of the armed individuals to another country without any form of forces was increasingly directed towards maintaining judicial or administrative process, sometimes in secret. public order and combating crime. Around 500 detainees remained in Guantánamo Bay, In Haiti, illegal armed groups and police officers were where they were held in conditions amounting to cruel, implicated in the killing and kidnapping of civilians. inhuman or degrading treatment and continued to be The proliferation of small arms remained a concern, denied their right to challenge the lawfulness of their despite attempts by some governments to restrict detention. them. In a referendum in Brazil, 64 per cent of the Despite mounting evidence that the US government electorate voted against a proposal to ban commercial had sanctioned “disappearances” as well as sales of firearms. 30 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 30. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – AMERICAS Amnesty International Report 2006 31
  • 31. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – AMERICAS Impunity and justice However, there were also significant setbacks. In Members of the security forces continued to commit Colombia, the Justice and Peace Law threatened to widespread human rights violations with impunity. guarantee impunity for members of illegal armed Across the region torture and other ill-treatment, groups implicated in human rights abuses, including sometimes resulting in deaths in custody, were war crimes and crimes against humanity, who agreed to reported but few of the perpetrators were punished. demobilize. In Haiti, scores of former military and Victims, their relatives or those representing them paramilitary officials serving sentences for their when they filed complaints, as well as witnesses, involvement in past massacres escaped prison and members of the judiciary and investigators, were some were granted unconditional release for no frequently intimidated, harassed, threatened with apparent lawful reason. Despite five years in office, the death and sometimes killed. Special Prosecutor assigned to bring to justice those Many prisons were severely overcrowded and responsible for widespread human rights violations in lacking in basic services. Often, the conditions Mexico in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s achieved virtually amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. no progress. This caused several riots across the region resulting in scores of deaths, mostly of young, poor men. Gender-based violence Inefficient, corrupt and discriminatory judicial systems Violence against women continued to be one of the meant that detainees who came from poor and most pressing human rights challenges in the Americas. marginalized communities could languish for months Countless women and girls faced violence on a daily and even years in prison without being tried and basis and could not count on their government to sentenced, and frequently without access to defence provide them with the basic level of protection and lawyers. security that is their fundamental right. Excessive use of force by the security forces to curb Governments across the region continued to ignore crime and civil unrest were reported in Brazil, provisions enshrined in women’s human rights treaties. Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Paraguay and elsewhere Although most countries in the region had laws to in the region. In some cases, people were killed as a prevent and protect women from violence in the home result. and community, police investigations into allegations The lack of independence and impartiality of judicial of violence against women were rarely effective, systems in the region – because of corruption or criminal justice systems frequently failed to take political bias, or because of corporate interests within violence against women seriously and perpetrators police and military courts – remained a serious concern were rarely punished. and fed the cycle of impunity for human rights The number of women and girls murdered in Ciudad violations. Juárez, Mexico, continued to rise and there was There was significant progress in addressing the insufficient progress to end impunity for past unresolved legacy of past human rights violations in abductions and murders both in this city and in the city some Latin American countries. Former Chilean leader of Chihuahua. The number of women killed in Augusto Pinochet was placed under house arrest on Guatemala rose to up to 665 compared to 527 in 2004, charges related to human rights violations. Having been and the increase of sexual abuse and murders of stripped of his legal immunity and declared “mentally women in El Salvador that began in 2002 continued. competent” to stand trial, victims and their relatives Little progress was made in investigating these killings were hopeful that their quest for justice for over 30 and preventing future ones. years might be fulfilled. The lack of specific definitions in law to criminalize Victims and relatives of more recent grave human violence against women continued to be an obstacle to rights violations saw their right to justice move closer obtaining justice in a region where gender-based to realization when the former Peruvian President, discrimination remained endemic in state institutions. Alberto Fujimori, was arrested in Chile pending an However, some progress was made. In Mexico, the extradition request on charges of murder, forced Supreme Court ruled that rape within marriage is a disappearance and torture. crime, ending a 15-year legal battle during which The Argentine Supreme Court of Justice declared the members of the judicial system argued that since the Full Stop and Due Obedience laws null and void, purpose of marriage was procreation, forced sexual opening the way towards truth and justice for relations by a spouse was not rape but “an undue thousands of victims of human rights violations exercise of a [conjugal] right”. In Guatemala, the committed in Argentina between 1976 and 1983. Constitutional Court suspended a law that allowed Adolfo Scilingo, an Argentine former naval officer rapists, in certain circumstances, to escape prosecution who had admitted to being aboard planes carrying if they married their victim. detainees who were drugged, stripped naked and Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) thrown into the sea during the military governments in people continued to suffer discrimination and Argentina, was tried and sentenced in Spain on charges violence. In the USA a study carried out by AI of crimes against humanity. In another case, a ruling by indicated a heightened pattern of misconduct and Spain’s Constitutional Court opened the way for former abuse by police of transgender individuals and of all Guatemalan President Rios Montt and other former LGBT people of colour or who are young, immigrants, military officials to be tried for human rights violations. homeless or sex workers. In Nicaragua, gay and 32 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 32. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – AMERICAS lesbian relationships continued to be criminalized The conflicts over resources, such as land and water, and a number of sodomy laws were still in force in and privatization plans were reflected by the number of Caribbean countries. human rights defenders attacked on account of their efforts to raise legitimate concerns in these areas. Economic, social and cultural rights A summit of Americas’ governments held in According to UN studies, there were signs of a slight Argentina in November failed to break the deadlock on reduction in poverty levels in some countries in the long-stalled negotiations to establish a Free Trade Area region. However, these figures masked pockets of of the Americas (FTAA). Some countries, led by decline in some places, including Haiti, and in some Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, vigorously opposed rural areas in Guatemala, Peru and elsewhere. Income the initiative. and social inequalities remained among the highest in However, liberalized trade and investment the world, undermining the potential for overall continued to prevail in the region, through bilateral development. Marginalized and dispossessed agreements or sub-regional arrangements. There were communities in rural and urban settings in many protests about the effect of such agreements on countries continued to live in extreme poverty with entrenching poverty in large sectors of the population their rights to health care, clean water, a livelihood, and the failure of governments to ensure that human education and shelter disregarded. rights safeguards were built into the agreements. Participation of indigenous peoples in political Human rights continued to take a back seat to affairs was not matched with improvements in their economic interests, increasing the risk that enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, irresponsible trade practices or investment decisions despite repeated calls by international banks and would undermine human rights. Areas of specific others to develop help and support for indigenous concern included labour rights, access to affordable peoples and afro-descendants and to invest in rural medicines and intellectual property rights. communities. A World Bank study of indigenous peoples in Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Death penalty Peru found that indigenous peoples were 13 to 30 per Death sentences continued to be handed down in cent more likely to be poor than non-indigenous several countries, including Belize and Trinidad and peoples. Tobago. However, the only executions in the region The HIV/AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 24,000 were in the USA. Mexico abolished the death penalty lives in the Caribbean in 2005, making it the leading for all crimes. cause of death among adults aged between 15 and 44. A In December the USA carried out its 1,000th total of 300,000 people were believed to be living with execution since 1977, when executions resumed after a HIV in the region, including 30,000 people who became moratorium. Despite this shameful landmark, the trend infected in 2005. In the other parts of the region, towards restricting its application continued. In March, infection rates rose, especially among men. Women sex the US Supreme Court banned the execution of child workers were also badly affected. offenders (those aged under 18 at the time of the crime), ©REUTERS/Eliana Aponte Indigenous children who have fled one of many areas of conflict in Colombia take shelter in a refugee camp in San José del Guaviare, May 2005. Amnesty International Report 2006 33
  • 33. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – ASIA-PACIFIC bringing the USA into line with international standards prohibiting such executions. Two people were released ASIA-PACIFIC from death row on grounds of innocence. However, among the 60 people executed in 2005 were people With 56 per cent of the world’s population, two with mental disabilities, defendants without access to emergent economic superpowers, a host of armed effective legal representation and foreign nationals conflicts, a series of natural disasters and civil society denied their consular rights. organization ranging from minimal to vibrant, the Asia- Pacific region continued to provide a challenging and Human rights defenders dynamic context for the promotion of human rights in Human rights activists across the Americas campaigned 2005. Ongoing conflicts and security concerns vigorously to hold governments and armed groups to persisted, heightening the vulnerability of populations their obligations to respect international and domestic and providing the context for many grave abuses. human rights standards. Welcome moves in 2005 towards a greater Women’s rights activists struggled to reform acceptance of international human rights standards antiquated laws on rape and domestic violence and included the ratification by Afghanistan of the UN were often threatened or intimidated for trying to Refugee Convention, the ratification by India of the support victims of violence and sexual abuse. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Indigenous activists in Central America championed the Child on the involvement of children in armed their community’s rights to defend their livelihoods and conflict, and the ratification by the Indonesian the right to be consulted on issues that affect their parliament of the International Covenant on Civil and ancestral lands, such as the extraction of natural Political Rights and the International Covenant on resources or the construction of dams. AI feared that Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. some gay, lesbian and transgender activists went National human rights institutions continued to underground following mounting homophobia in operate in several countries, including Afghanistan, Jamaica and some other Caribbean countries. India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka The difficulties and dangers faced by activists in the and Thailand, although not in Bangladesh, China and Americas ranged from intimidation and restrictions Viet Nam. In Pakistan, a draft bill to establish a national on travel, to arbitrary detention and unfounded human rights commission was presented to parliament. accusations of terrorism and other violent activities. There were also positive moves towards cooperation The authorities often refused to take reports of between national human rights bodies, including those violations against human rights defenders seriously, in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. suggesting that the reports were fabricated or 2005 saw moves towards a thawing of relations exaggerated. Activists working locally on rural between states historically hostile to each other. There poverty and development, often in isolated areas, and were talks and cross-border transport between India journalists covering issues such as corruption were and Pakistan, and six-party discussions on North Korea killed in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico. In progressed with an accord in which North Korea Ecuador, members of an NGO that campaigns to pledged to abandon its nuclear programme in return protect indigenous communities and the environment for assurances on aid and security. from the adverse effects of oil drilling and fumigation Politicized religious movements impacted on the of coca plantations were threatened with death. In everyday reality of human rights, especially in south Cuba human rights activists, political dissidents and Asia. There were constraints on women’s movement and trade unionists continued to be harassed and dress as well as impediments to the ability of minority intimidated and attacks on freedom of expression and groups to practise their beliefs and live peacefully. association were frequent. Asia moved centre stage in international trade and The use of the judicial system to hamper the work of business affairs with the Global Compact and the World human rights defenders by threatening them with Trade Organization’s meetings held in China and Hong investigation or detention on unfounded criminal Kong. India and China continued to show fast rates of charges was a serious problem in Colombia, Cuba, economic growth. However, national indicators Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Mexico. Cases were suggested that millions of people were living in poverty also reported in the USA. — from more than a quarter of the population in Government efforts to protect human rights Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, defenders at risk were marred by extended delays by Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, to some authorities in implementing requests for around half the population in Bangladesh and Viet Nam. precautionary measures to protect named Although the Internet was widely taken up, in parts individuals, as recommended by the Inter-American of Asia it was not the tool of freedom of expression it Commission of Human Rights. Some governments only had promised to be. In China, access continued to be managed to offer protection measures such as bullet- heavily monitored by the state, with many websites proof vests and were unable to muster sufficient blocked and users prosecuted for posting political political will to tackle deep hostility towards human opinions or information embarrassing to the rights work within their governments, or to correct government. In Viet Nam, the sharing of opinions and legal provisions restricting the right to defend information on the web resulted in prosecutions for human rights. “espionage”. 34 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 34. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – ASIA-PACIFIC Amnesty International Report 2006 35
  • 35. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – ASIA-PACIFIC People in Hong Kong protesting against the death penalty in China, July 2005. ©REUTERS/Bobby Yip Security concerns Troubled states Attacks against civilians by armed groups affected In a number of states in the region, the national many parts of the region, including Afghanistan, framework through which protection against and Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka. redress for human rights abuses could be sought was Bombings caused carnage and robbed hundreds of weak and ineffective. people of their lives. The Afghan state continued to fail to deliver safety, Some state responses to such attacks were security and the rule of law to its people. Warlords disproportionate and at times discriminated against believed to have been responsible for human rights marginal or minority groups, reinforcing pre-existing abuses wielded power and instilled a climate of fear in grievances or persecution. Arbitrary arrests in the parts of the country. Fundamental flaws in the criminal name of combating terrorism were reportedly made in justice system, the legacy of decades of conflict, and Afghanistan, including by US and Coalition forces, and deeply embedded discrimination against women in Pakistan by the security forces. In China, people profoundly militated against the promotion of human charged with terrorism and “state secrets” offences rights and justice for past and continuing violations, were tried in secret. In India, the Unlawful Activities particularly for women and girls. (Prevention) Act continued to provide the state with In Nepal, the King cited the need to counter violence many of the powers that had been heavily criticized in by Maoist groups to declare a state of emergency in annulled counter-terrorism legislation. In Australia, February, dismiss the government and suspend civil detention without trial and renewable control orders liberties. Mass detentions followed and there was a were introduced through counter-terrorism legislation. further breakdown in security for much of the New national security legislation in South Korea population. continued to be used against those engaged in peaceful In Timor-Leste, the very newness of the institutional political activities. In Malaysia, alleged Islamists had structures meant there was a shortage of judges, two-year detention orders renewed despite the prosecutors and defence lawyers. This seriously National Human Rights Commission urging the trial or impacted on the right to a fair trial and other aspects of release of all Internal Security Act detainees. the criminal justice system. The role of the USA in its “war on terror” continued in Elsewhere in the region, governments in countries the region during 2005. Air attacks by US forces killed at including Myanmar, North Korea and Viet Nam least 15 civilians in Pakistan and dozens in Afghanistan. appeared to be largely impervious to pressure to Abuses reportedly continued in US bases in Afghanistan uphold human rights. The authorities in Myanmar, for and prompted popular unrest, during which people example, continued to violate human rights through were killed. Men returning to Afghanistan from US widespread and long-term political imprisonments, custody in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, brought home forced labour, land confiscations and displacement of gruelling accounts of torture and ill-treatment which minorities, thereby showing utter disregard for the further fuelled local anger, anxiety and unrest. population and the international community. 36 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 36. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – ASIA-PACIFIC Armed conflicts global human trafficking was estimated to originate Armed conflicts persisted in several places, including from or be located in Asia. Many countries in the region Afghanistan, parts of India, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri continued to view trafficked women as illegal Lanka and southern Thailand. immigrants and failed to prosecute the traffickers. Two areas of armed conflict that were affected by the Justice and safety often escaped women facing December 2004 tsunami saw very different developments violence because of inadequate or non-existent state in the following 12 months. Indonesia underwent a mechanisms, or because penalties for perpetrators process of negotiation leading to a peace agreement in were inconsistent or did not reflect the seriousness of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam in August. By contrast, Sri the violence. As a result, many of those who Lanka witnessed increased violence, including the perpetrated violence against women enjoyed impunity. assassination of the Foreign Minister in August, growing The need for changes in attitudes as well as legal insecurity in the east, and a marked deterioration of the reform meant that progress in challenging the violence situation in the north in December, shortly after the was patchy and slow. Some notable efforts included the election of a new President. At the end of 2005 there was establishment of an inter-ministerial council aimed at deep concern about the escalation of violence in Sri combating violence against women in Afghanistan; the Lanka and the viability of the ceasefire agreement. adoption or proposal of laws to protect women from The conflict in southern Thailand continued to domestic violence in Cambodia, Fiji and India; the deteriorate in 2005 with a considerable heightening of introduction of legislation against sexual harassment in the climate of fear and constraint. Both sides to the China; the draft before parliament of anti-trafficking conflict were implicated in human rights abuses and legislation in Indonesia; and the establishment of the violence. In the Philippines a ceasefire between the first purpose-built shelter for victims of family violence government and secessionist forces in Mindanao, in the Solomon Islands. although fragile, largely held throughout 2005. The plight of the so-called “comfort women” demonstrated the low priority of delivering redress to Discrimination women victims of violence. Having been victims of States continued to fail in their duty to protect the military systems of sexual slavery more than 50 years human rights of all, both by maintaining discriminatory ago, these women continued to campaign for laws and by failing to ensure that those who suffer reparations through the courts in Japan and elsewhere, discrimination have adequate redress. but at the end of 2005 were still waiting for justice. Ethnicity, gender, socio-economic factors and sexual identities continued to provide the backdrop for Migrants and refugees discrimination across the region. Among those targeted Asia continued to see significant migration flows within were dalits (“low caste” people) and adivasis and beyond the region. Migrant workers and their (indigenous people) in India; Ahmadis in Bangladesh, families faced uncertainty, vulnerability and poor Pakistan and Indonesia; Montagnards and Buddhists in treatment in many countries, including Japan, Viet Nam; indigenous peoples in Australia; Karen, Mon, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan. Few states in the Rohingyas and Shan in Myanmar; Uighurs in China; and region, particularly receiving states, had ratified the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across International Convention on the Protection of the the region. Among the abuses such targeted groups Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their suffered were forced labour, displacement, Families. persecution, and restrictions on freedom of expression Refugees and asylum-seekers faced marginalization, and the right to practise their religion. harassment and arbitrary arrest. Laws and practice in On a positive note, a landmark ruling by a Fiji court several states allowed ill-treatment of refugees, recognized that provisions in the Penal Code used including caning of migrants and asylum-seekers in against consensual homosexual activity violated Malaysia and arbitrary detention of asylum-seekers constitutional guarantees on privacy and equality. and refugees in detention centres in Australia. The conflicts in Sri Lanka and Nepal generated Violence against women significant numbers of internally displaced people. In Women and girls continued to suffer a vast array of Nepal, an estimated 200,000 displaced people suffered forms of violence, including domestic violence, forced a severe lack of services, including housing, health and abortions and sterilizations, forced marriages, killings education. In Sri Lanka, hundreds of thousands of and crimes of “honour”. Such abuses were systematic people displaced by the conflict and the tsunami were and carried out on a massive scale. particularly vulnerable to conflict-related violence. Violence against women continued to be closely interrelated with cultural attitudes and practices of Natural disasters gender discrimination, such as wanting babies to be The region suffered devastating natural disasters in boys, the belief that women should not leave the home 2005, and the extent of the impact of the 2004 tsunami and the view that women should not take decisions became clear during the year. In Indonesia, it emerged relating to marriage. that over 700,000 people had died, were still missing or Gender discrimination constrained life and had been displaced as a result of the tsunami. In employment choices, thus making women and girls Thailand, at least 100,000 people had been affected. In particularly vulnerable to trafficking – a third of all Sri Lanka, 35,322 people died and 516,150 were Amnesty International Report 2006 37
  • 37. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – ASIA-PACIFIC displaced. In India, an estimated 15,000 people died Practices that aggravated the suffering of those and more than 112,000 were displaced. awaiting execution included the sudden announcement A powerful earthquake that struck the Pakistan/India of executions in Japan, so that those about to be killed border region in October 2005 left an estimated 73,000 did not have the chance to meet their families and other dead in Pakistan and at least 1,200 dead in India’s loved ones. In Pakistan, the unreliability of Jammu and Kashmir state. Between 2 and 3 million documentation relating to registration of births led to a people were made homeless. Further deaths and lack of confidence that all those facing execution were widespread suffering were witnessed in the severe adults and that a 2001 commutation order for juveniles weather conditions in the following Himalayan winter. on death row was applied to all child offenders Concerns about relief efforts after the tsunami and the sentenced to death. earthquake centred on ongoing conflict, access to Key abolitionist voices in the region included the remote areas and allegations of discrimination. President and Chief Justice to the Supreme Court in India, the Foreign Minister in Sri Lanka and the Home Economic, social and cultural rights Minister in Japan. However, no country in the Asia- India and China enjoyed considerable international Pacific region abolished the death penalty in 2005. attention and support for their economic growth and status as emerging players in the global economic Human rights defenders scene. While claims of a decrease in the number of Human rights activists, particularly those defending the those in “absolute poverty” were contested, any rights of women, came under increasing attack by parallel improvement in human rights was not private individuals and groups as well as by agents of manifest. Economic development did not prioritize the state. Human rights defenders across the region realization of economic, social and cultural rights. In faced threats, harassment, and arrest and assault for China, rural migrant labour continued to suffer dire their work. China detained many human rights conditions, and hundreds of thousands of peasant defenders, including journalists and lawyers, and some farmers were increasingly marginalized through land were sentenced to prison terms. Activists were also expropriation, lack of health care and the failure of the arrested during political crackdowns in Cambodia and state to provide education for millions of children in Nepal, and human rights defenders suffered death rural areas. Rural-urban disparities and the growing threats in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. gap between rich and poor fuelled social unrest in the Impunity for crimes against human rights defenders countryside. In India, legislation was introduced in remained a problem, even in the most high-profile 2005 to guarantee minimum annual employment for the cases. In Thailand, for instance, despite pressure from poor in selected areas. the Prime Minister to resolve the “disappearance” of Across the region, conflict and environmental human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit in March degradation still adversely affected many communities. 2004, none of the suspects had been brought to justice In Afghanistan, up to a third of the population could not by the end of 2005. rely on safe or reliable sources of food, drinkable water Despite the tremendous pressures facing human or shelter. In India, thousands of people were still rights defenders, the scale of human rights activism awaiting remedies for the 1984 Bhopal disaster. across the region was remarkable. Human rights defenders were at the forefront of struggles to advance Death penalty economic, social and cultural rights, particularly in The Asia-Pacific region continued to have a poor profile China, India and the Philippines. Women human rights with regard to the death penalty, although a notable defenders began forging partnerships, including at the minority of countries were abolitionist. The death first-ever global gathering of women human rights penalty was retained in 26 countries, including defenders in Sri Lanka in December 2005. At this Afghanistan, China, India, Japan, Pakistan, Singapore, meeting, which brought together some 200 activists Thailand and Viet Nam. Capital offences included tax from around the world, women activists developed a fraud, murder, drugs smuggling, robbery and range of strategies to combat the violence, kidnapping. discrimination and other abuses they experience In South Korea an unofficial moratorium remained in specifically because of their gender and because of place. A death penalty abolition bill introduced in 2004 their work in defence of human rights. by a member of parliament and former death row In some cases, victims of abuse became committed inmate passed its first parliamentary hurdle, with human rights defenders. In Pakistan, for example, bipartisan support, in February 2005. Mukhtaran Mai, a survivor of gang-rape, became an China and Mongolia still refused to make death activist for the right of all women to live their lives in penalty statistics public and official statistics from safety and dignity. some other countries were considered unreliable. Even so, official statistics remained high. They included at least 1,770 executions and 3,900 death sentences in China, at least 31 executions and 241 death sentences in Pakistan, at least 21 executions and 65 death sentences in Viet Nam, and at least 24 death sentences in Afghanistan. 38 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 38. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – EUROPE/CENTRAL ASIA human rights role. Adoption of the EU’s constitutional EUROPE/CENTRAL ASIA treaty, incorporating its Charter of Fundamental Rights, stalled after rejection by voters in two member states. Direct attacks on civilians, including in Russia, Spain, The EU’s proposed new Agency for Fundamental Rights, Turkey and the UK, led to loss of life and many injuries. while potentially a significant step forward in Governments continued to attack human rights in the overcoming EU complacency towards observance and name of security, including through measures that fulfilment of human rights within its own borders, undermined the universal and absolute ban on torture showed a limited and ad hoc approach to human rights and other ill-treatment. policy – with abuses by member states largely excluded The legacy of previous conflicts, including impunity from its remit. for crimes committed during them, persisted. Cyprus continued to be a divided island and no significant Security and human rights progress was made in resolving the status of the Security continued to eclipse observance of region’s internationally unrecognized entities, situated fundamental human rights, to the detriment of both within the borders of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova issues. In the UK, new measures purportedly to but remaining outside of those states’ de facto control. counter terrorism were enacted even though the However, steps were taken to open talks on the final country had some of the toughest anti-terrorism laws status of Kosovo. in the region. The enactment of other measures, Many countries in the region were a magnet for those including provisions that would undermine the rights attempting to escape poverty, violence or persecution. to freedom of expression, association, liberty and fair The fact that asylum is principally a human rights issue trial, was pending at the end of the year. People continued to be all but lost in the face of political previously held without charge or trial, labelled pressure to control “illegal immigration” or to prioritize “terrorist suspects” on the basis of secret intelligence “security concerns”. In breach of their international they were not allowed to know and therefore could obligations, some states unlawfully detained asylum- not refute, were placed under restrictive “control seekers and conducted expulsions without due orders” after their detention had, in 2004, been ruled process, including to countries where those seeking incompatible with their human rights. Most of them protection were at further risk of violations. Asylum- were subsequently reimprisoned under immigration seekers, migrants and minorities remained among powers pending deportation on national security those continuing to face racism and discrimination grounds: many of the men and their families suffered across the region. serious deterioration in their mental and physical While the process of accession to the European health as a result of their ordeals. Union (EU) continued to encourage human rights The UK government also continued to undermine progress in some states, institutionally the EU the universal and absolute ban on torture by trying to continued to have a minimalist concept of its domestic deport people they deemed to be terror suspects to ©EMPICS/AP/Mikhail Metzel Uzbekistani refugees in Kara Darya, Kyrgyzstan, after fleeing violence and killings in Andizhan, Uzbekistan, May 2005. Amnesty International Report 2006 39
  • 39. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – EUROPE/CENTRAL ASIA 40 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 40. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – EUROPE/CENTRAL ASIA countries with a history of torture or other ill- acknowledge that it faced a crisis of protection, rather treatment. The authorities sought to rely on than of asylum. Elsewhere, intense international inherently unreliable and ineffective “diplomatic pressure was placed on Kyrgyzstan to honour its assurances” featured in Memorandums of obligation to offer protection to those fleeing the Understanding agreed with states with a well- Andizhan events in Uzbekistan. documented record of torture. In December the highest court in the UK delivered a landmark Racism and discrimination judgment upholding the absolute inadmissibility as Continuing racism, discrimination and intolerance evidence in legal proceedings of information were often identity-based. In many countries in the extracted under torture. However, earlier in the year region, Jews and Muslims were among those targeted a German court ruled that evidence possibly obtained by individuals and organizations for hate crimes. under torture or other ill-treatment was admissible in In Russia, there were hundreds of racially motivated legal proceedings. In France, a draft anti-terrorism physical assaults; at least 28 of them resulted in deaths. law would allow longer periods of incommunicado In France, migrants and French nationals of North detention and so would remove safeguards against African and sub-Saharan extraction, apparently torture and other ill-treatment. enraged by discriminatory practices in employment Disclosures at the end of the year suggested the and other areas, and the often racist and aggressive involvement of a number of European states in illegal conduct of the police, began rioting in cities and towns and secret transfers (“renditions”) by the USA of across the country in October after the deaths of two individuals to countries where torture was rife, or to US boys in disputed circumstances. A state of emergency custody in military bases and secret locations around was declared. the world. Both the Council of Europe and the European Across the region Roma remained severely Parliament launched inquiries into allegations of secret disadvantaged in key areas of public and private life US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) detention centres such as housing, employment, education and health in Europe and of CIA-chartered aeroplanes making services. They were also frequently the targets of flights in or out of European airspace said to have been racism by law enforcement officials. used in abductions and unlawful transfers of prisoners. In some countries of the former Yugoslavia, In Uzbekistan, the authorities responded brutally discrimination on ethnic grounds in areas such as when a group of armed men seized various buildings in employment and housing continued to block a durable the city of Andizhan in May. Witnesses reported that and dignified return for many people displaced by the hundreds of people were killed when security forces conflict. fired recklessly and without warning on a mostly Others faced discrimination around issues of their unarmed and peaceful crowd of demonstrators that legal status. Meskhetians in the Krasnodar Territory in included children. Russia continued to be refused recognition of their In a disturbing development in Turkey, against a citizenship on ethnic grounds, and so were unable to background of increasing violence between the access a wide range of basic rights. In Greece, the security services and the armed opposition Kurdistan authorities still refused to reissue citizenship Workers’ Party (PKK), there were reports of direct documents to members of the Muslim population in official involvement in the November bombing of a western Thrace, with those affected thereby denied bookshop in the Ôemdinli district of Hakkâri in which access to state benefits and institutions. In Slovenia, one man was killed. thousands of people unlawfully “erased” in 1992 from the registry of permanent residents, mainly people Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants from other Yugoslav republics (many of them Roma), There was a consistent pattern of human rights were still waiting for their status to be resolved. As a violations linked to the interception, detention and result of the “erasure” many were denied full access to expulsion by states of foreign nationals, including their economic and social rights. those seeking international protection. At least 13 A climate of intolerance against the lesbian, gay, people were killed when trying to enter the Spanish bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla from Morocco, allegedly Latvia, Poland and Romania saw local authorities as a result of Spanish and Moroccan law enforcement actively obstructing public events organized by LGBT officers using disproportionate and lethal force to groups amid openly homophobic language used by prevent them entering the enclaves. some highly placed politicians. However, in Spain and Men, women and children continued to face the UK new laws recognized partnerships for same sex obstacles in accessing asylum procedures. In Greece, couples. Italy, Spain and the UK, some were unlawfully detained and others were denied necessary guidance and legal Violence against women support. Many were unlawfully expelled before their Domestic violence against women and girls remained claims could be heard, including from Cyprus, Greece, widespread across the region, affecting all ages and Italy, Kazakstan, Malta, Russia and Spain. Some were social groups. Positive attempts to tackle it included sent to countries where they were at risk of human provisions in the new Turkish Penal Code offering rights violations. The fact that EU member states were greater protection for women against violence in the among those doing this illustrated the EU’s failure to family, and special courts established for women victims Amnesty International Report 2006 41
  • 41. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – EUROPE/CENTRAL ASIA of domestic violence in Spain. However, the law in Spain Croatian Army General Ante Gotovina, although other – as in other places – continued to leave the onus on the suspects continued to evade arrest. Lack of full victim, not the state, to lodge a formal complaint or take cooperation with the Tribunal together with the initiative in organizing protection. insufficient efforts by domestic courts remained an Other gaps in legal protection included no specific obstacle to justice. criminalization of domestic violence in countries such as Albania and Russia. Too often, initiatives such as the Death penalty opening of a shelter, the establishment of a helpline or There was further progress towards total abolition of provision of other services happened through the the death penalty in the region. Legal amendments in efforts of individuals and NGOs struggling with Moldova removed the last provisions for the death inadequate funding. Moscow, the capital of Russia and penalty from the Constitution. Similar draft a city of 10 million people, remained without a single constitutional amendments were proposed in shelter for women who were victims of violence. Kyrgyzstan. Poverty, lack of education, family breakdown and Uzbekistan announced that capital punishment crime networks contributed to the continuing problem would be abolished from 2008, but this was little of trafficking of human beings, including of women and comfort for all those affected by the death penalty. girls for enforced prostitution. Protection for the Dozens of people were believed to have been survivors and prosecution of the perpetrators were sentenced to death and executed during 2005 in a hindered by issues such as a failure to provide criminal justice system flawed throughout by trafficked people with an automatic right to protection corruption and which consistently failed to and assistance; the lack, or inadequate implementation investigate allegations of torture. Relatives, of, witness protection law; failure to criminalize tormented by uncertainty, were not told in advance internal trafficking; and threats and fears of reprisals. the date of executions and were denied the bodies of One potentially positive step was the opening for their executed relatives and knowledge of where they signature in May of the Council of Europe’s Convention were buried. Uzbekistan also flouted its international on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. legal obligations by executing at least one person whose case was under consideration by the UN Abuses by officials and impunity Human Rights Committee, at one point even assuring Torture and ill-treatment, often race-related, were the Committee that the man remained alive when the reported across the region. Victims described a death certificate indicated that he had been executed catalogue of abuses, including being beaten, stripped three weeks earlier. Belarus and Uzbekistan remained naked and threatened with death; deprivation of food, the region’s last executioners. water and sleep; having plastic bags placed over their heads; and threats against their family. In some cases, Repression of dissent detainees reportedly died as a result of such abuse or Civil, political and religious dissent remained excessive use of force, including in Bulgaria, Russia and systematically and often brutally repressed in Belarus, Spain. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In Uzbekistan, official Although there were some positive developments, attempts to block alternative reports of the many including moves by new administrations in Georgia and deaths in Andizhan involved widespread intimidation, Ukraine to tackle torture and ill-treatment, there were beatings and detentions, including of witnesses, still obstacles in these and other countries that demonstrators, journalists and human rights prevented the eradication of such abuses. The defenders. In Belarus, opposition activists were obstacles included police cover-ups, victims’ fear of imprisoned on false criminal charges. In Turkmenistan, repercussions, lack of prompt access to a lawyer, and political dissidents and members of religious minority the lack of an effective, properly resourced and groups were among those harassed, arbitrarily independent system to investigate complaints. Failure detained and tortured. to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial In Russia, the climate of hostility towards human investigations led to an overwhelming climate of rights defenders intensified and some individuals were impunity in Turkey, Uzbekistan and elsewhere in the prosecuted for exercising their right to freedom of region. In Russia, impunity remained the norm for expression. A new law affecting NGOs, requiring serious human rights abuses in the context of the stricter registration rules and increased state scrutiny, Chechen conflict. threatened to further compromise the independence of In many countries, conditions in prisons, as well as in civil society. detention centres for asylum-seekers and irregular In Serbia, increasing attacks by non-state actors on migrants, were inhuman and degrading. human rights defenders, with the tacit support of the Intense international pressure on some countries in state, were reminiscent of the period under former the western Balkans produced improved cooperation President Slobodan Miloševi». In Turkey a wide range with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former of critical opinions remained open to criminalization, Yugoslavia early in the year, with the capture or with writers, publishers, human rights defenders and apparently voluntary surrender of a number of academics among those prosecuted under a law which suspects accused of crimes, including war crimes and penalized “denigration” of Turkishness, the state and its crimes against humanity. Among those held was former institutions. 42 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 42. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA In spite of threats, intimidation and detention, some of the victims, although not yet justice. In Libya, however, human rights defenders across the region the authorities announced a belated investigation into remained resolute in continuing their work, inspiring the killing or “disappearance” of possibly hundreds of others to join them in aiming for lasting change and prisoners at Tripoli’s Abu Selim Prison in 1996. respect for the human rights of all. Women, for so long subject to discrimination in both law and practice, finally won the right to vote in Kuwait AI regional reports and achieved greater recognition of their human rights • Europe and Central Asia: Summary of Amnesty in countries such as Algeria and Morocco. Even in Saudi International’s Concerns in the Region: January-June Arabia, the exclusion of women from participation in 2005 (AI Index: EUR 01/012/2005) the country’s first ever municipal elections sparked • Council of Europe: Recommendations to Strengthen debate and growing pressure for change. the December 2004 Draft European Convention on Only time will tell whether these were the first signs Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (AI Index: of real and overdue change or merely instances that IOR 61/001/2005) bucked the trend. However, the emergence of an • Human rights dissolving at the borders? Counter- increasingly active and outspoken community of terrorism and criminal law in the EU (AI Index: IOR human rights activists was a further promising 61/013/2005) development. Using the Internet and the opportunities • Amnesty International’s Statements to the 2005 provided by the growth and popularity of satellite OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting television, human rights activists were able (AI Index: IOR 30/014/2005) increasingly to communicate information and share • Delivering on human rights: Amnesty International’s ideas unimpeded by national boundaries both within ten-point program for the UK Presidency of the and beyond the region and to derive new strength and European Union (AI Index: IOR 61/017/2005) solidarity from the regional and global alliances to • Reject rather than regulate: Call on Council of Europe which they contributed. member states not to establish minimum standards However, 2005 also brought repression and misery to for the use of diplomatic assurances in transfers to far too many people in the region as their human rights risk of torture and other ill-treatment (AI Index: IOR were abused or denied. Some were targeted because of 61/025/2005) their political views, others because of their religion or ethnicity, yet others for their sexual orientation. Throughout the region women were subject to varying degrees of discrimination and violence because of their gender. Countless others were unable to enjoy fully their economic, social and cultural rights. MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA Conflict, violence and crimes under international law At first sight, the pattern of widespread abuse that has The persistence of armed conflict and other forms of long characterized human rights in the Middle East and political violence was the context for war crimes and North Africa remained firmly entrenched in 2005. crimes against humanity perpetrated by several Indeed, considering the appalling toll of abuses parties. Thousands of children and adult civilians were perpetrated by all parties to the conflict in Iraq, the killed or injured in the continuing conflict in Iraq, many continuing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians, of them victims of suicide bomb attacks carried out by and some of the views expressed by Iran’s new militant groups that frequently targeted civilians. Other President, the picture could have appeared very bleak. civilians, including Iraqis and foreign nationals, were Despite this and the persistence of grave violations abducted and held hostage; some were released but across the region, there were some signs to suggest that others were killed by their captors. Troops of the US-led 2005 might come to be seen as a time when some of the multinational force and Iraqi government forces also old certainties began to look less certain and a new committed widespread abuses, including torture and dynamic began to take hold. The wall of impunity unlawful killings of civilians, and detained thousands of behind which so many perpetrators of torture, political suspects arbitrarily and without access to due process. killings and other abuses had sheltered for so long In November, the Iraq conflict spilled over to Jordan began to fracture. Former Iraqi President Saddam when suicide bombers apparently linked to Iraq Hussain was brought to trial on charges relating to targeted three hotels in the capital, Amman, killing 60 executions of villagers in 1982, and an unprecedented people and wounding many others. In Egypt, bombs UN Security Council-mandated inquiry implicated that targeted civilians exploded in Cairo in April and senior Syrian and Lebanese officials in the 2005 Sharm el-Sheik in July; 90 people were killed and at assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq least 100 were injured. al-Hariri. New evidence emerged of human rights violations In Morocco, the Arab world’s first truth commission by governments and intelligence services in the shed important light on grave human rights abuses Middle East/North Africa region and those in the USA committed over a period of more than 40 years and and other Western countries in their close brought acknowledgement and reparation for at least collaboration in the “war on terror”. AI interviewed Amnesty International Report 2006 43
  • 43. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA detainees in Yemen who said that they had been they were eventually brought to trial only for courts briefly detained and tortured in Jordan and then held to dismiss their allegations out of hand without for many months in secret detention centres under US investigation. control, whose location they never learned, before The problem was exacerbated by the continued being flown to Yemen. Yemeni authorities told AI that prevalence of exceptional courts, including military the detainees were being held at the behest of the US courts empowered to try civilians. In Egypt and Syria, government. such courts were maintained under long-standing There was increasing information to indicate that states of emergency. Special courts were also used to individuals suspected of terrorism by the US authorities try and sentence political suspects in Lebanon and had been secretly and forcibly transferred to countries, Oman. In Libya, the General People’s Congress including Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Syria, for abolished the People’s Court, a notoriously unfair interrogation. Senior US officials continued to proclaim special court that had previously sentenced many their administration’s opposition to torture despite critics and opponents of the government to long prison such transfers (“renditions”) of suspects to countries terms or death. Despite this, neither in Libya nor in whose security services had long records of torturing most other countries in the Middle East and North detainees with impunity. Neither the USA nor any of the Africa could it be said that there was an independent countries concerned disclosed the number of those judiciary, especially in cases having a political or transferred, where they were being held or their security aspect. identities. Police and security forces also operated largely As a further sign of close collaboration, three behind a shield of impunity when they used excessive countries – Lebanon, Libya and Jordan – signed force, causing deaths and injuries, whether in Iran and bilateral agreements with the UK under which they Yemen, where the victims were often members of agreed to accept individuals whom the UK authorities religious or ethnic minorities; in Egypt and Morocco, said were suspected of terrorism and wished forcibly to where the targets included refugees and migrants; or in expel. All three countries, under the terms of these the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where Palestinian Memorandums of Understanding with the UK, were children were among those killed with impunity by required to provide specific assurances that anyone Israeli troops. In Iraq, both US and other foreign forces returned under the agreement would not be tortured or and those of the Iraqi government used excessive force treated inhumanely, in implicit recognition that these with impunity. countries had failed to respect the guarantees against Killings of civilians by Israeli forces and Palestinian torture to which they had previously committed under armed groups continued in Israel and the occupied international law. West Bank and Gaza Strip, although on a lesser scale Several countries invoked the “war on terror” as a than in recent years. While Israel used a wide range of justification for maintaining long-standing emergency judicial and extrajudicial means to punish Palestinians powers, as in Egypt, or for introducing new legislation individually and collectively for killings of Israelis, that threatened to violate human rights ostensibly in Palestinian victims were denied justice and redress. the interests of protecting national security, as in Impunity remained the rule for Israeli forces who Bahrain. Scores of prosecutions on terrorism-related unlawfully killed and ill-treated Palestinians. In July charges were mounted in countries that included Israel passed a new law denying Palestinians the right Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. In many to claim compensation for death, injury or damage cases, defendants appeared before special or ordinary caused by Israeli forces. The Palestinian Authority also courts whose procedures fell far short of those required failed to take action against Palestinian armed groups by international fair trial standards. Some complained responsible for unlawful killings and abductions amid that they had been tortured and ill-treated while held increasing lawlessness. in pre-trial detention and forced to “confess”. However, The issue of impunity for past grave abuses came into courts rarely ordered investigations or gave credence sharp focus during the year. In Algeria, the government to such claims. held a national referendum to win support for its plan to extend an amnesty to those responsible for the Impunity, justice and accountability thousands of political killings, “disappearances” and With few exceptions, perpetrators of human rights widespread torture that were so much a feature of the abuses continued to benefit from impunity as internal conflict that raged from the early 1990s. governments failed to hold them to account and In neighbouring Morocco, however, an Equity and ensure justice for their victims. In many countries in Reconciliation Commission appointed by King the region, security and intelligence services were Mohamed VI completed its inquiries into given free rein to detain suspects for long periods, “disappearances” and other violations committed often holding them incommunicado and without between 1956 and 1999, and at the end of the year charge and exposing them to torture and ill- submitted its final report. Although its statutes treatment, confident that they did so with official categorically excluded the identification of individual acquiescence and without fear of intervention by the perpetrators, the Commission represented a unique courts. Detainees were frequently tortured in Syria in initiative within the region, one that appeared likely to pre-trial detention. In Egypt, Iran and Tunisia, clarify a good number of cases of past abuse and ensure defendants frequently complained of torture when both official acknowledgement of, and the payment of 44 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 44. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA Amnesty International Report 2006 45
  • 45. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA Iraqi and US soldiers searching the scene after a suicide bomb attack outside Rashad police station in Baghdad, July 2005. ©EMPICS/AP/Hadi Mizban reparation for, some of the suffering to which victims parties to the UN Refugee Convention and its 1967 and their relatives had been exposed. The independent Protocol. Long-standing refugee communities within Moroccan Human Rights Association, meanwhile, the region continued to face discrimination and denial organized its own informal public hearings in which of their human rights by governments in host countries. some victims named individuals they held responsible Palestinian refugees in Lebanon remained barred from for past violations against them. working in certain professions, despite some easing of In Iraq, justice continued to be denied to countless restrictions during the year, and faced other limitations victims of abuse. However, former President Saddam severely affecting their rights to education and Hussain was finally called to account for some of the adequate housing. Despite the Israeli withdrawal from crimes committed when he was in power, crimes whose the Gaza Strip, the situation for Palestinian refugees enormity was reflected following the discovery of mass there and in the occupied West Bank continued to graves in 2003. Facing charges related to only one of the worsen because of land acquisitions, house many incidents of killings for which his government demolitions, closures and other controls on movement was believed responsible, it remained to be seen imposed by the Israeli authorities and the increasing whether he would receive a fair trial. The initial lawlessness arising from rivalry between Palestinian conduct of the trial did not inspire confidence. Yet, for a armed groups. once-powerful leader to have to answer to some of his In Egypt, a three-month demonstration by Sudanese victims was a breakthrough for a region in which refugees and migrants seeking improvements in their impunity had been well-entrenched for so long. living conditions, protection from return to Sudan and In neighbouring Syria, senior government figures resettlement in a third country came to a head in came under pressure as a UN investigation implicated December when police used force to disperse the them and Lebanese political leaders and security demonstrators. At least 27 people were killed and officials in the February bomb explosion that killed others were injured. former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri and 22 Europe’s restrictive immigration policies contributed others in Beirut. However, the killings and to the difficulties faced by several North African “disappearances” of thousands of Syrian and Lebanese countries which refugees and migrants from further nationals in past decades remained almost entirely south sought to traverse in order to gain entry to uninvestigated. Europe’s southern borders. The Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla emerged as particular pressure points. Refugees and migrants Between August and October, Spanish and Moroccan Most countries lacked a legal regime for the protection police used excessive force against people, mostly from of refugees and asylum-seekers. Only seven – Algeria, West Africa, who sought to enter Spanish territory by Egypt, Iran, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen – were climbing the border fences. At least 13 people were killed. 46 Amnesty International Report 2006
  • 46. REGIONAL OVERVIEWS – MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA Many others were rounded up by Moroccan police, Human rights defenders transported to remote desert areas along the border with Human rights defenders continued to face a Algeria and dumped, left to fend for themselves without momentous task as they sought to promote wider adequate water or shelter. Amid wide publicity and understanding and ensure more effective protection of condemnation, both governments said they would the rights due to all people in the region regardless of investigate the killings, but no government officials had age, gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or been prosecuted or disciplined by the end of 2005. other defining characteristics. They faced many obstacles and in some cases put their lives on the line to Women’s rights defend their own and others’ fundamental rights. Women continued to suffer legal and other forms of Independent human rights organizations were active discrimination throughout the region, although 2005 saw in a majority of countries, despite restrictive laws a quickening process of change. In Kuwait, women for designed to regulate the operation of non- the first time became eligible to vote in the country’s governmental groups. However, human rights national elections. In Morocco, King Mohamed VI defenders continued to be targeted for abuse or announced that citizenship would be granted to all harassment, particularly in Iran and Syria. In Tunisia, children born of women with foreign spouses and that a the run-up to a UN-sponsored world summit in discriminatory law severely limiting this right would be November was accompanied by an increase in state reformed. In Algeria too, amendments to the Family repression directed against leading human rights Code removed some aspects of discrimination, although activists. The repression persisted through the summit not enough to give women equal status with men. itself which, ironically, aimed to advance international That such changes represented something of a information exchange through the use of new breakthrough said a lot about how much further change technology. Sahrawi human rights defenders who is necessary before women truly achieve equal status in documented abuses by Moroccan forces in confronting the region. Violence against women, including within protests earlier in the year were jailed in Western the family, remained widespread and insufficiently Sahara. addressed by governments and state authorities. In Iraq, where increasing religious sectarianism emerged AI regional report as a feature of the political breakdown, women came • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: Women under greater threat of violence because of how they deserve dignity and respect (AI Index: MDE dressed and behaved. 04/004/2005) Economic, social and cultural rights Many communities faced denial of or were hampered from accessing basic economic, social and cultural rights. Marginalized people were particularly vulnerable, including Bedouins in Israel, Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, members of ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, and migrants, especially women migrant workers in Gulf countries and Lebanon. For Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israeli policies and controls made life especially harsh. Palestinians were left without shelter by destruction of their homes; without livelihood by the seizure of land and closures; and without access to adequate health care due to road closures and checkpoints. Access to scarce water resources increasingly emerged as a likely flashpoint for the future. Death penalty Both Iran and Saudi Arabia continued to carry out executions – at least 94 and 88 respectively in 2005. In both countries the real totals were probably higher. Iran’s victims included child offenders, while a large proportion of those executed in Saudi Arabia were foreign nationals, including some who were sentenced after trials whose proceedings they did not understand. In September, Iraq carried out its first executions since the death penalty was restored in August 2004, and the effective moratorium on executions that had existed in the Palestinian Authority since 2002 was ended by five executions. Algeria, Israel, Morocco and Tunisia remained abolitionist in practice. Amnesty International Report 2006 47
  • 47. Amnesty International Report 2006 the state of the world's human rights in figures hope hypocrisy duplicity paralysis failed promises violence small against arms women Figures as of 23 May 2006, unless otherwise indicated.
  • 48. Amnesty International Report 2006 the state of the world's human rights in figures HOPE Remarkable progress on the abolition of the death penalty showed the potential for public pressure to bring about change. then now Number of countries that had abolished the death penalty in law or in practice by 2005. In 1977 2005 1977, the year when the USA resumed the use of the death penalty, only 16 countries were abolitionist. 16 122 countries countries 1 Country known to AI that still executed juvenile offenders in 2005. country
  • 49. Amnesty International Report 2006 the state of the world's human rights in figures HYPOCRISY In 2005, the US Administration acknowledged the use of quot;renditionquot;. Rendition is the practice of transporting persons forcibly and without due process from one country to another where they risk being interrogated under torture or ill-treatment. Renditions are illegal under international treaties to which all European governments are party. 2005 2005 was the year in which evidence was made public of the involvement of European governments in US-led renditions. 1000 Approximate number of secret flights directly linked to the CIA that used European airspace between 2001 and 2005, some of which may have carried prisoners. flights 100s Estimated number of persons who may have been subject to renditions around the world. people 6 Number of European countries implicated in the rendition of 14 individuals to countries where they were tortured. Number of European countries that has issued 1 arrest warrants for CIA agents suspected of kidnapping prisoners for rendition.
  • 50. Amnesty International Report 2006 the state of the world's human rights in figures DUPLICITY Governments championed human rights on the one hand, and undermined them on the other. Torture 141 Countries party to the UN Convention against torture and other ill-treatment. 104 Countries out of the 150 in AI's 2006 report that have tortured or ill-treated people.
  • 51. Amnesty International Report 2006 the state of the world's human rights in figures PARALYSIS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY The conflict in Darfur has been described as staggering in scale and harrowing in nature. Urgent action is needed by the United Nations and the African Union to protect civilians in Darfur Armed conflict 2.2 million Number of refugees and people displaced by the conflict. Estimated number of deaths from starvation, 285000 disease and killings in Darfur since 2003. deaths 7000 Number of African Union monitors deployed in Darfur. African Union monitors 13 Number of UN Security Council resolutions adopted on Darfur. UN resolutions 0 Number of United Nations peacekeepers deployed in Darfur. UN peacekeepers
  • 52. Amnesty International Report 2006 the state of the world's human rights in figures FAILED PROMISES At the Millennium Summit in 2000, the world's leaders set clear targets to solve some of the most vexing global social problems. But, they failed to turn their promises into performance. Governments promised to achieve universal primary education by 2015. 100 Number of children who remain out of school. million children out of school Estimated number of child soldiers. 300000 child soldiers 46% Number of girls in the world's poorest countries with no access to primary education. girls
  • 53. Amnesty International Report 2006 the state of the world's human rights in figures TORTURE & TERROR Thousands of people have been detained without charge or trial, tortured and ill-treated in the name of counter- terrorism. 1592 Number of days since the USA opened the Guantánamo Bay prison camp for 'war on terror' suspects on 11 January 2002. days 759 Total number of people who have been detained at Guantánamo Bay. detainees 13 Age of Mohammed Ismail Agha when taken into US custody in Afghanistan in late 2002 before later being transferred to Guantánamo. years old 0 The number of detainees at Guantánamo Bay who have been convicted of a criminal offence. convictions
  • 54. Amnesty International Report 2006 the state of the world's human rights in figures VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN From birth to death, in times of peace as well as war, women face discrimination and violence at the hands of the state, the community and the family. 2 million 2 million girls at risk of female genital mutilation each year. Only 9 countries have specific legislation outlawing female genital mutilation. girls at risk of genital mutilation 25% 25 % of women experience sexual abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime. 79 countries have no legislation against domestic violence. women sexually abused rapes conviction 5.3% of rapes reported in England and Wales in 2003 resulted in a conviction. 12760 5.3% England & Wales ? UNKNOWN: the total number of women raped in conflict. Rape is commonly used as a weapon of war. Establishing exact figures is difficult due to insecurity, logistics, fear women raped of stigmatisation and risk of reprisal against women who report rape. in conflict
  • 55. Amnesty International Report 2006 the state of the world's human rights in figures SMALL ARMS The proliferation of small arms is fuelling conflict, poverty and human rights abuses worldwide. Two bullets for every person on the planet and one gun for every ten. An average of 1000 people are killed every day may by small arms. 1000 23 people killed every day development military For every $1 spent on development assistance assistance ONE DOLLAR ONE DOLLAR $10 is spent on military budgets. ONE DOLLAR ONE DOLLAR ONE DOLLAR ONE DOLLAR ONE DOLLAR ONE DOLLAR ONE DOLLAR ONE DOLLAR ONE DOLLAR 88% of reported conventional arms exports are 88% from the 5 permanent members of the Security Council - China, France, Russia, UK and USA. conventional arms exports