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Post-Sept 11 steps going too far: AI

March 15, 2002

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LAUSANNE (Switzerland) March 14: Anti-terrorist measures introduced since the September 11 attacks on the United States have encroached on human rights, Amnesty International said Thursday, warning of a “security overdrive” by certain countries.

The human rights body also appealed for the UN to support an urgent deployment of international observers to the Middle East.

“A number of governments have introduced ‘anti-terrorism’ measures that put at risk the human rights of their own citizens, as well as those of foreigners and those seeking asylum in their countries,” Amnesty said in a statement.

Ahead of Monday’s opening here of the annual session of the UN Human Rights Commission, the rights watchdog urged the UN to ensure protection of rights for all.

“The challenge for states is not to promote security at the expense of human rights, but rather to ensure respect of human rights for all,” said Martin MacPherson, head of the rights body’s international legal programme.

Speaking to journalists, Melinda Ching, AI’s representative to the UN, said the watchdog strongly condemned “the grave human rights violations and dramatic escalation of violence” in the Middle East.—AFP