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Amnesty: Human Rights Trampled Following 9/11

Amnesty International has said human rights around the world have been trampled in the name of national security following the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States. The London-based group reached this conclusion in its annual report on human rights.

The secretary general of Amnesty International, Irene Khan, said the terrorist attacks have unleashed legal restrictions, abuses against immigrants, and racist attacks in many parts of the world.

"What happened on September 11th was a crime against humanity - a gross abuse of human rights of thousands of people. But developments in the wake of the attacks also affected the human rights of many others. In the days, weeks and months that followed, governments around the world eroded human rights in the name of security and anti-terrorism," Ms. Kahn said.

Ms. Khan also said the United States and Britain should have done more to investigate abuses allegedly committed during the military campaign against al-Qaida terrorists and the Taleban militia in Afghanistan. "The United States and the United Kingdom rode roughshod over international humanitarian law principles, refusing to investigate civilian deaths or mass killings in Afghanistan in which they were allegedly involved," she said.

The Amnesty International report said that last year, 47 countries permitted executions outside the legal system. It said another 27 countries carried out legally sanctioned death sentences. It documents disappearances in 35 countries and torture in 111 others. And it said at least 56 countries are holding prisoners of conscience.