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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 May, 2004, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Amnesty deplores African rights record
A child soldier in the streets of Monrovia
Liberian children were recruited as combatants in the civil war
Human rights group Amnesty International has produced its annual report, which says the US-led "war on terror" is behind a surge of human rights abuses around the world.

Governments everywhere were tempted to use it as an excuse for abandoning established rights and humanitarian principles, it said.

But alongside the global human rights crisis, old abuses persisted.

In Africa, 2003 saw widespread armed conflict, the repression of political opponents, the failure of governments to live up to their professed standards - and near total impunity for past and continuing abuses, the report said.

The following are some of the abuses cited across Africa:

Burundi

  • Scores of civilians killed in armed conflict by government forces and armed groups
  • Recruitment of child soldiers as combatants and sex slaves
  • Women and girls raped and sexually abused by perpetrators from different parties to the conflict
  • Widespread torture and ill-treatment of suspects

    Central African Republic

  • Recruitment of child soldiers as combatants and sex slaves during armed conflict
  • Numerous extrajudicial executions and widespread sexual violence reportedly carried out by those involved in the March 2003 coup, involving armed groups from neighbouring DR Congo
  • Women and girls raped and sexually abused by perpetrators from different parties to the conflict

    Burundi soldier
    The worst abuses were found in areas of conflict, the report said

    Ivory Coast

  • Recruitment of child soldiers as combatants and sex slaves
  • Women and girls raped and sexually abused by perpetrators from different parties to the conflict

    Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Mass slaughter, rape and mutilation of men, women and children during armed conflict
  • Tens of thousands killed and internally displaced in the east due to clashes between armed ethnic groups supported by outside powers, including Rwanda and Uganda
  • Recruitment of child soldiers as combatants and sex slaves

    Liberia

  • Thousands of deaths, sexual violence against women and children and mass displacement within Liberia and to Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea and Sierra Leone
  • Recruitment of child soldiers as combatants and sex slaves

    Nigeria

  • Former Liberian President Charles Taylor offered refuge and implied immunity from prosecution
  • Sharia (Islamic law) courts continued to hand down death sentences based on penal legislation passed since 1999 - but no executions reportedly carried out
  • Culpable homicide used as charge in cases of abortion and miscarriage in some states

    Sudan

  • Conflict in western region of Darfur killed hundreds and led to displacement of hundreds of thousands

    Darfur refugees in Chad
    Thousands have fled Sudan's Darfur region, where militias are accused of "ethnic cleansing"

  • Recruitment of child soldiers as combatants and sex slaves
  • Women and girls raped and sexually abused by perpetrators from different parties to the conflict
  • Widespread torture and ill-treatment of suspects

    Uganda

  • Lord's Resistance Army continued to abduct children and abuse them as combatants and sexual slaves
  • Women and girls raped and sexually abused by perpetrators from different parties to the conflict

    Cameroon

  • Malicious prosecution, arbitrary arrest and excessive force against demonstrators as tools of political repression

    Chad

  • Malicious prosecution, arbitrary arrest and excessive force against demonstrators as tools of political repression

    Eritrea

  • Malicious prosecution, arbitrary arrest and excessive force against demonstrators as tools of political repression
  • Widespread torture and ill-treatment of suspects

    Ethiopia

  • Malicious prosecution, arbitrary arrest and excessive force against demonstrators as tools of political repression
  • Widespread torture and ill-treatment of suspects

    Rwanda

  • Malicious prosecution, arbitrary arrest and excessive force against demonstrators as tools of political repression

    Togo

  • Malicious prosecution, arbitrary arrest and excessive force against demonstrators as tools of political repression
  • Widespread torture and ill-treatment of suspects

    Torture victim
    Zimbabwe was criticised for widespread torture

    Zimbabwe

  • Malicious prosecution, arbitrary arrest and excessive force against demonstrators as tools of political repression
  • Widespread torture and ill-treatment of suspects
  • Commonwealth renewed suspension of Zimbabwe because of government's poor human rights record

    Kenya

  • Legislation prepared to allow detraction from key human rights obligations on grounds of combating "terrorism"

    Zambia

  • More than 40 people sentenced to death for participation in alleged coup attempt - but no executions reportedly carried out

    Chad

  • Nine men executed in the first death sentences carried out since 1991

    South Africa

  • Failure to protect women effectively from criminally motivated sexual violence or to support them as survivors of violence - largely due to inadequate law enforcement and judicial process

    Swaziland

  • Failure to protect women effectively from criminally motivated sexual violence or to support them as survivors of violence - largely due to inadequate law enforcement and judicial process


  • SEE ALSO:
    Sudan rivals near peace accord
    26 May 04  |  Africa
    Kenya's struggle with an ugly past
    22 Apr 04  |  From Our Own Correspondent
    UN troops spread across Africa
    03 Mar 04  |  Africa
    Rwanda: What lessons learnt?
    26 Mar 04  |  Africa


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