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UN Chief: Governments Cannot Ignore Human Rights Rules on Torture


United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has warned governments around the world not to ignore international agreements prohibiting torture.

In a statement issued for International Human Rights Day Saturday, Mr. Annan said there has been a disturbing trend of nations claiming exceptions to prohibitions on torture, based on their own national security perceptions.

The U.N. chief said torture can never be a tool to fight terror, but rather is an instrument of terror.

In a separate statement, 33 U.N. human rights experts expressed alarm at attempts by many countries to circumvent international human rights laws by giving new names to practices such as torture.

The experts called on governments to respect human rights standards and to not ignore them when they become, in the statement's wording, "inconvenient."

Some information for this report provided by AFP.

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