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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
South Asia rivals 'abuse rights'
Indian troops patrol border near Jammu
Amnesty says 100 civilians die in Kashmir a month
India and Pakistan have come in for fierce criticism from Amnesty International over their human rights records.

In the disputed state of Kashmir, human rights abuses continued to be committed by armed groups, police and security forces on a large scale

Both countries are taken to task in the group's annual human rights review for bringing in harsh security legislation following the attacks of 11 September.

In Kashmir, Amnesty accuses the world of turning a blind eye to the conflict until it risked turning nuclear. It says 100 civilians are killed there each month.

Nepalese policeman
Both sides 'guilty' in Nepal
The report also highlights the US-led bombing campaign in Afghanistan, and internal conflicts in Nepal, Sri Lanka and India, where it says human rights are being sacrificed for security reasons.

"Human rights were traded away in almost all parts of the world," Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan said, publishing the report in London.

"Democratic states jumped on the bandwagon almost as rapidly as authoritarian regimes."

Rape and torture

Key areas of concern to Amnesty in South Asia are:

US officials admitted that a number of civilian targets were hit in error, but there was a lack of public information about whether necessary precautions had been taken to avoid civilian casualties


  • Afghanistan, where the report says an unknown number of civilians have been killed by US-led bombing since last October, or had their property destroyed. The report also voiced concern at the treatment of al-Qaeda and Taleban suspects by US forces.

  • Nepal, where the report said civilians had been killed, abducted and tortured on both sides of the conflict between the authorities and Maoist rebels following the breakdown of peace talks in November.

  • Sri Lanka, which has seen a marked increase in cases of rape by police, army and navy personnel, and where torture generally continues to be reported on a daily basis, Amnesty says. Disappearances, however, were said to be down on previous years.

    The Indian authorities failed to protect people from communal violence which led to the deaths of hundreds of people and displacement of thousands


  • India, where the Muslim community had become a target for victimisation after 11 September "by both the state and some Hindu political groups", the report alleged. Gujarat state, where hundreds, most of them Muslim, have died in religious violence was also a focus of concern.

  • Pakistan, which had failed to protect religious minorities and where women and prisoners still faced torture, the report said, pointing in particular to attacks on Shi'i Muslims by Sunnis in Karachi. The report also said the state had failed to stop abuse of women, several hundred of whom had been killed for "shaming" their families.
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28 May 02 | Asia-Pacific
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