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Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Police accused in race report

Report said minority groups get rough justice
Britain is one of a number of countries singled out for criticism in a report on racism in the justice system published by the human rights group, Amnesty.

The report said the British police were "negligent over racism" adding that progress to root out racial prejudice within police forces and other public institutions had been slow.

The United States, where Amnesty said a disproportionate number of people from ethnic minorities were executed, was also singled out for particular criticism.

China, India, Rwanda and Turkey were also named in the report which said that across the world hundreds of millions of indigenous people and ethnic minority groups were victims of racism.

Racism is a blatant attack on the very notion of basic human rights

Amnesty report

It also criticised the treatment of asylum seekers around the world who it said "faced xenophobia, ill-treatment and other abuse".

It urged governments to adopt plans to fight racism through specific measures including legislation, investigating racist abuse by officials and ensuring fair policing.

'Unique opportunity'

The report has been drawn up ahead of the World Conference Against Racism in South Africa due to begin on 31 August in Durban.

But Amnesty said South Africa had yet to rid itself of the shadow of apartheid pointing to the broadcast last year of a secret police video which showed white police officers setting dogs on three black men.

The human rights group also said preparations for the conference had been overshadowed by political disputes.

"There is a fear that the conference may fail to reach agreement on a common platform.

"If that happens the world will have missed a unique opportunity to make a difference in the fight against racism," it said.

See also:

11 Jan 01 | Scotland
Police given mixed report on racism
22 Sep 00 | Americas
US report admits racism
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