States fail to protect civilians from militant violence: Amnesty International
GENOCIDE AND MASS ATROCITIES
The rights group urged the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Britain,China, France, Russia and the United States - to renounce their veto rights in situations of genocide and mass atrocities. Since 2011, Russia and China have cast four vetoes to block international action in Syria, where more than 210,000 have been killed since the conflict began, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Security Council has failed to deal with conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Israel and Ukraine, even when civilians had been subjected to "horrific crimes", Amnesty said. Amnesty also urged all governments to ratify and adhere to a global arms trade treaty, which came into force in December and aims to regulate the $85 billion industry and keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers and criminals.
A huge number of arms were delivered to Iraq, Israel, Russia, South Sudan and Syria in 2014, despite the likelihood of these weapons being used against civilians, it said. The report also highlighted how several governments in 2014, including Kenya and Pakistan, had reacted to security threats with "draconian and repressive" tactics.
Kenya passed anti-terrorism measures last year that opposition groups and activists said would threaten liberties and free speech, while Pakistan lifted a 2008 ban on the death penalty. "Government leaders justify human rights violations by talking of the need to keep the world 'safe'", Shetty said. "But knee-jerk reactions do not work. Instead they create an environment of repression in which extremism can thrive."