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World Seeing Breakdown of Int'l Law    04/24 06:15


   LONDON (AP) -- The world is seeing a near breakdown of international law 
amid flagrant rule-breaking in Gaza and Ukraine, multiplying armed conflicts, 
the rise of authoritarianism and huge rights violations in Sudan, Ethiopia and 
Myanmar, Amnesty International warned Wednesday as it published its annual 

   The human rights organization said the most powerful governments, including 
the United States, Russia and China, have led a global disregard for 
international rules and values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human 
Rights, with civilians in conflicts paying the highest price.

   Agnes Callamard, Amnesty's secretary general, said the level of violation of 
international order witnessed in the past year was "unprecedented."

   "Israel's flagrant disregard for international law is compounded by the 
failures of its allies to stop the indescribable civilian bloodshed meted out 
in Gaza," she said. "Many of those allies were the very architects of that 
post-World War Two system of law."

   The report highlighted the United States' failures to denounce rights 
violations committed by Israel and its use of veto power to paralyze the U.N. 
Security Council on a cease-fire resolution in Gaza, as well as Russia's 
ongoing aggression in Ukraine. It also pointed to China's arming of military 
forces in Myanmar and the way Beijing has shielded itself from scrutiny over 
its treatment of the Uyghur minority.

   "We have here three very large countries, superpowers in many ways, sitting 
on the Security Council that have emptied out the Security Council of its 
potentials, and that have emptied out international law of its ability to 
protect people," she told The Associated Press in London.

   The report, which detailed Amnesty's assessment of human rights in 155 
countries, underlined an increasing backlash against women's rights and gender 
equality in 2023.

   It cited the brutal suppression of women's protests in Iran, the Taliban's 
decrees "aimed at erasing women from public life" in Afghanistan, and legal 
restrictions on abortion in the U.S. and Poland, among others.

   The rights organization also warned about the threat of new technologies if 
left unchecked, saying the rapid advancement in artificial intelligence and 
mass surveillance tools could be deployed to stoke conflict, encroach on rights 
and freedoms and sow discord in a landmark election year.

   Unregulated tech advances "can be weaponized to discriminate, disinform and 
divide," Callamard said.

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