Amnesty slams US anti-terror drive

Reuters, Aug. 19, 2003

REUTERS[ TUESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2003 09:33:04 AM ]

LONDON: Amnesty International on Tuesday urged the United States to call off plans to try terrorist suspects before military tribunals, and to give international observers access to prisons in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

The international human rights organisation said it was seriously concerned about persistent allegations of ill-treatment and the refusal of US authorities to grant access to independent human rights organisations and lawyers.

“Allegations of abuses such as arbitrary arrests, prolonged incommunicado detention, ill-treatment, interrogations without legal counsel and threats of unfair trials by military bodies are raised each year in the US State Department’s reports on human rights practices in other countries,” Amnesty International said.

“Now they are being made against the US government in the context of its ‘war on terror’.”

“The administration has sought to insulate its actions from domestic judicial review and from the eyes of the international community. The USA is undermining the rule of law, and setting a dangerous example in so doing,” Amnesty International concluded.

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