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Amnesty International Blasts U.S. Over Rights Record

U.S. President George W. Bush 26 May 2004 -- Amnesty International says today that armed groups and governments produced in 2003 the most widespread attack on human rights in 50 years.

The London-based human rights group strongly criticized the United States in a report issued today for promoting a global antiterrorism agenda that Amnesty International called "bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle." But it said also that governments around the world undermined human rights protections last year in the name of security.

"Looking back over the last 12 months, what I see is a war on human values -- a war that has been fought on the one hand by armed groups that are ready to go to any extremes of inhumanity to attack ordinary people, and on the other side we see governments that have shown an equal zeal in attacking human rights and global principles," Amnesty International Secretary-General Irene Khan said.

The report said that Russian federal forces have almost total impunity for abuses in Chechnya. It denounces as "appalling" the human rights situations in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It describes Afghanistan as "a country slipping slowly into chaos."