Although Amnesty International chided the USA for some minor if not non-existent human rights abuses it is hard to argue with them that 2014 was indeed a catastrophe for human rights. In places like Syria, Libya and Iraq things are so much worse today than 6 years ago. Crucifixions, genocide of Christians, mass beheadings and burning people alive was not going on six years ago. Obama’s actions need to be inspected as to why things have got so much worse.
Governments “must stop pretending the protection of civilians is beyond their power,” Amnesty International says in its human rights report for 2014. The group faults the U.S. on a range of issues, from the use of excessive force by police to rights abuses in the name of fighting terrorism.
“Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians,” Amnesty says. “And yet the world’s politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need.”
The group is calling for members of the U.N. Security Council to lose their veto power over issues of genocide and other mass atrocities, saying that vetoes by the U.S., China, Russia, France, and Great Britain have been “based on vested interests or political expediency.”
Amnesty listed Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Israel and Ukraine as places where the Security Council “has failed to deal with crises and conflict, even in situations where horrific crimes are being committed against civilians by states or by armed groups.”
“2014 was a catastrophic year for millions caught up in violence,” the 424-page annual report says.
And the violence and rights abuses will likely only feed on one another, says Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
“From Washington to Damascus, from Abuja to Colombo, government leaders have justified horrific human rights violations by talking of the need to keep the country ‘safe,’ ” Shetty says. “In reality, the opposite is the case. Such violations are one important reason why we live in such a dangerous world today. There can be no security without human rights.”
The report predicts a “bleak” 2015, noting the growing influence of violent groups such as Boko Haram, ISIS and Al Shabaab.
As for America, Amnesty notes that President Obama “acknowledged that torture had been carried out following the 11 September 2001 attacks” in secret CIA operations — but the report also faults the U.S. for not providing “accountability and remedy for the crimes under international law.” Read More: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/02/25/388914530/2014-was-a-catastrophic-year-amnesty-international-says