Washington's global anti-terror policies are "bankrupt of vision" as human rights become sacrificed in the blind pursuit of security, the human-rights group Amnesty International charged yesterday. \nThe US-led war on terror against extremist groups such as al-Qaeda has produced the most sustained attack on human rights and international law in 50 years, Amnesty said in its annual report released yesterday. \nIrene Khan, Amnesty's secretary general, condemned terrorist assaults by groups such as al-Qaeda, saying they posed a threat to the security of people around the world. \nAmnesty also rapped partners across the world in the US' self-declared "war on terror" for jailing suspects unfairly, stamping on legitimate political and religious dissent, and squeezing asylum-seekers. \n"The global security agenda promoted by the US administration is bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle," Khan said. \n"Violating rights at home, turning a blind eye to abuses abroad and using pre-emptive military force where and when it chooses has damaged justice and freedom, and made the world a more dangerous place," she said. \nSpecifically, Amnesty lashed Washington for unlawful killings of Iraqi civilians; questionable arrest and mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan; and opposition to a new global criminal court. \n"The world is crying out for principled leadership," Khan added, saying the negative effects of US-led anti-terror policies had spread far and wide. \n"Governments are losing their moral compass, sacrificing the global values of human rights in a blind pursuit of security," she said. \n"By failing to protect the rights of those who may be guilty, governments endanger the rights of those who are innocent and put us all at risk," Khan said. \nIn Europe and Asia, Amnesty criticized regressive anti-terror legislation, attacks on refugee protection and restrictions on freedom of association and expression. \nIt singled out Britain for holding 14 foreigners without charge, Spain for closing a Basque-language newspaper, the EU for ignoring human rights in its asylum thinking, and Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan for internal repression. \nIn China, India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand "the belief ... that human rights could be curtailed under the `war on terror' umbrella was particularly apparent," with hundreds of detainees left in legal limbo, Amnesty's report said. \nArab nations also came in for criticism for allowing the transfer of people between states without judicial proceedings. \n"While some states, such as Egypt and Syria, had long-standing states of emergency in place, the `war on terror' was used as a pretext to legitimize existing practices, such as long-term administrative detention and unfair trials by special courts whose procedures fell far short of international standards," the annual report said. \n"Other states, such as Morocco and Tunisia, introduced new `anti-terrorism' laws during the year, which posed a further threat to basic human rights." \nAmnesty also condemned the "callous, cruel and criminal attacks" by armed groups such as al-Qaeda. \nThe combined effect of those attacks and states' violations of rights was to create the most serious assault on rights and humanitarian law in half a century and make "a world of growing mistrust, fear and division", it said. \nWith Iraq and anti-terror policies dominating, world attention has been diverted from old wars, the group also noted. Conflict in Chechnya, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Nepal remain "a breeding ground for some of the worst atrocities." \nKhan said she was heartened by millions of people who took to the streets in capitals around the world to protest the war in Iraq, Spaniards who marched following the March 11 terrorist attacks in Madrid and the World Social Forum in Brazil. \n"Governments need to listen," she said. "In times of uncertainty, the world needs not only to fight against global threats but to fight for global justice."
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient