This is the ABC’s take on Amnesty’s report:
This year Amnesty’s annual report into global human rights abuses focuses on the politics of fear, and argues fear thrives on “myopic and cowardly leadership”.
The Government is singled out for criticism for its portrayal of “asylum seekers in leaky boats” as a “refugee invasion”, which Amnesty secretary-general Irene Khan says contributed to John Howard’s election win in 2001.
Amnesty spokeswoman Katie Wood says Australia also failed to act strongly on claims of mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
“Australia should have been fairly sceptical of the assurances given by the United States, given the amount of information about torture and other ill treatment practised by the US in Guantanamo and elsewhere,” she said.
“It should have been enough to put them on notice to really insist upon an independent and proper investigation into all those allegations made not only by David Hicks but also Mamdouh Habib.”
The London-based group also says it is seriously concerned about the low rates of prosecution for violence against women and the “lack of support services for Indigenous women”.
“The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women expressed concern about the high level of violence against women, and the low rates of prosecution and convictions in sexual assault cases,” the report said.
“The committee was also concerned about the continued violence and discrimination faced by women in Indigenous, refugee and migrant communities.