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US slammed over grim rights record


Thu Nov 4, 2010 1:48AM

The WikiLeaks reports contain numerous official accounts of alleged detainee abuse by US-led troops in Iraq.
US President Barack Obama had failed to fulfill his promise to eradicate torture in Iraq and in interrogations of terror suspects, human rights campaigners say.

Representatives of US and international groups also expressed disappointment at Obama administration over its failure in addressing violations committed by the previous administration.

“Many of us would have been much happier two years ago, we expected very much deeper change. The momentum has been lost,” AFP quoted Gerald Staberock of the International Commission of Jurists as saying on Thursday.

Detention of terror suspects and mounting casualties by US drone attacks in Afghanistan amounted to “a grim picture on accountability,” Staberock said.

The activists say the current and previous US administrations should be accountable to all allegations of torture in Iraq and interrogations of terror suspects around the world.

“Not only is justice not being done, it is also prevented from being done,” he pointed out.

“We are now seeing that this administration is becoming an obstacle to achieving accountability in human rights,” said Jamal Dakwar, a director at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Dakwar criticized US government lawyers for defending officials of Bush administration against civil lawsuits brought by torture victims against them in court.

He said the lawyers make efforts to “extinguish” the lawsuits.

“Until today not a single victim of torture has had their day in a US court. This is very sad,” Dakwar added.

Newly-published Iraq war secrets by WikiLeaks have revealed a large number of brutalities against Iraqi civilians, many recounting tales of abuse by coalition forces.

The field reports contain numerous official accounts of alleged detainee abuse by the multi-national troops in war-torn Iraq.

One such document dating back to September 2005 depicts the forces brutally kicking and stoning a farmer over allegations that he was planting an improvised explosive device.

The secret documents published by the whistleblower website over the weekend are a part of the nearly 400,000 classified reports about the US-led invasion of Iraq dating from January 2004 to the end of 2009.

The documents have shed light on a spate of crimes and offences committed in Iraq over the past few years, including rape, assassinations and murders.

The site has also exposed documents on the similar US-led war in Afghanistan and is expected to disclose additional related details.

DB/MGH

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