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Worldwide encroachments on human rights threatening achievements of past 70 years

February 24, 2016, 4:35 UTC+3 LONDON

"More than 70 years of hard work and human progress lies at risk," said Salil Shetty, the Secretary General of the organization

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LONDON, February 24. /TASS/. Gross encroachments on human rights are taking place all around the world and the fact puts in jeopardy the achievements reached in the sphere of rights protection over the past seventy years, Amnesty International said in a report on the status of human rights in 160 countries of the world in 2015.

"Not only are our rights under threat, so are the laws and the system that protect them. More than 70 years of hard work and human progress lies at risk," said Salil Shetty, the Secretary General of the organization.

"The United Nations’ human rights bodies, the International Criminal Court, and regional mechanisms such as the Council of Europe and the Inter American Human Rights system, are being undermined by governments attempting to evade oversight of their domestic records," he said.

Amnesty International says its workers registered the cases of torture and maltreatment of people in more than 122 countries last year. More than 30 states "illegally forces refugees to return to the countries where they would be in danger."

"In at least 19 countries, war crimes or other violations of the "laws of war" were committed by governments or armed groups," the report said, adding that intimidations of rights activists, lawyers and reporters had taken place in 91 countries.

"Instead of recognizing the crucial role these people play in society, many governments have deliberately set out to strangle criticism in their country. They have broken their own laws in their crackdowns against citizens," Salil Shetty said.

Also, the cases of restrictions on the freedom of expression had been registered in 113 nations.

"The misguided reaction of many governments to national security threats has been the crushing of civil society, the right to privacy and the right to free speech; and outright attempts to make human rights dirty words, packaging them in opposition to national security, law and order and ‘national values’. Governments have even broken their own laws in this way," he said.

The report described the acutest refugee and migration crisis as one of the most graphic violations of human rights since the end of World War II, as the number of refugees exceeded 16 million people last year.

In the wake of it, Amnesty International leveled criticism at the EU, which had to grapple with a huge inflow of refugees last year.

While Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan taken together hosted more than 3.7 million refugees from the war-torn Syria, the EU proved unable to give a consisted, humane and respectful response to the challenge, the report said.

"The world today is facing many challenges which, at their source, have been created or prolonged by governments who have played politics with people’s lives. Refugees are suffering in their millions as conflicts proliferate, and armed groups deliberately attack civilians and commit other grave abuses," said Salil Shetty.

"It is within world leaders’ power to prevent these crises from spiralling further out of control. Governments must halt their assault on our rights and strengthen the defences the world has put in place to protect them," he said. "Human rights are a necessity, not an accessory; and the stakes for humankind have never been higher.".

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