Israeli forces seriously abused Palestinian detainees, US report says
US State Department says Israeli government generally respected human rights of its citizens in 2006, but mentions ‘serious abuses by some members of the security forces against Palestinian detainees’; report says ongoing genocide in Sudan's Darfur region was world's worst human rights abuse last year.
However, according to the department’s annual survey of human rights practices, there were problems in some areas, including serious abuses by some members of the security forces against Palestinian detainees.
“Poor conditions and improper application of security internment procedures persisted in some detention and interrogation facilities,” it said.
The report said institutional, legal, and societal discrimination against Israeli Arabs continued, and non-Orthodox Jews and other religious groups continued to face discrimination in personal and civil status matters.
“The educational systems for Arab and Jewish students remained unequal. Trafficking in and abuse of women and foreign workers remained a problem in some areas and industries although the government passed new anti-trafficking legislation,” the report said.
“De facto discrimination against persons with disabilities occurred, and government corruption and other criminal activity by political leaders was a problem.”
'Acts of terrorism undercut human rights'
The report said the ongoing genocide in Sudan's Darfur region was the world's worst human rights abuse in 2006, adding that conditions worsened in Afghanistan and Iraq, despite US-led military and civilian efforts to combat extremists in both countries.
In Iraq, where deadly attacks have surged despite the formation of a democratically elected government following the ouster of Saddam Hussein, "both deepening sectarian violence and acts of terrorism seriously undercut human rights and democratic progress in 2006," it said.
Also cited for democratic backsliding were US allies Pakistan and Egypt, along with Belarus, China, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, Russia, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, where governments cracked down on the rights of citizens or failed to protect them from abuses.
AFP contributed to the report