EU Observer covers the annual report released yesterday by Amnesty International on the state of human rights around the world.
The news site notes the human rights abuses against ethnic minorities and refugees in certain EU member states, the abuse of Roma people in recent months and the threat of rising xenophobia in Greece following the establishment of the Golden Dawn political party.
Citing abuses documented in the report, EU Observer reports:
“Rough treatment of refugees from Africa and Asia, harsh enforcement of counter-terrorism laws against Muslims and naked racism against Roma people emerged as systematic problems in Europe.
“Italy, Germany and the UK faced criticism over their use of counter-terrorist laws to detain or extradite mostly Muslim suspects.”
In the UK section, Amnesty covers the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions on whether to pursue criminal charges against security agents accused of complicity in maltreatment and torture of detainees abroad and on rendition. It also cites the cases of Abdel Hakim Belhadj and Sami an-Saadi.
The report cites the attempts by the Home Secretary to deport with assurances Abu Qatada to Jordan stating, “The government continued to rely on unreliable and unenforceable diplomatic assurances when seeking to deport individuals alleged to pose a threat to national security to countries where they would be at risk of grave human rights violations, including torture."
The report mentions the recent passing of the Justice and Bill noting that while the Bill improved, to a degree, oversight of the intelligence services, the Bill “contained provisions to end the ability of courts to order the disclosure of “sensitive” information, including information pertaining to alleged human rights violations, which would assist individuals in a case against a third party.”
The report also makes mention of the inquiry launched into abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan, and one such case, that of Serdar Mohammed. It also notes the pleas of victims’ lawyers for a full public inquiry into the allegations amid disappointment with the parameters and progress in the work of the Iraq Historical Allegations Team.
The Amnesty International report can be found here.