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There is no quick fix to Somalia’s tragedy, but it’s clear that impunity for serious abuses perpetuates insecurity. International pressure to bring an end to abuses by all sides is more crucial than ever – a more secure and rights respecting Somalia would be less prone to violence and famine.

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AU Summit: Focus on Human Rights Consequences of Conflicts | Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth releases the 2012 World Report in Cairo, Sunday January 22 2012.

World Report 2012: Strengthen Support for ‘Arab Spring’
Governments Should Support Rights, Not Abusive Allies

(Cairo, January 22, 2012) — Many democracies have allowed their ties with repressive allies to temper their support for human rights in the Arab Spring protests, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2012. For reasons of principle and long-term interest, governments should stand firm with the people of the Middle East and North Africa when they demand their basic rights and work to ensure the transition to genuine democracies.

The 676-page report, Human Rights Watch’s annual review of human rights practices around the globe, summarizes major rights issues in more than 90 countries, reflecting the extensive investigative work carried out in 2011 by Human Rights Watch staff. On events in the Middle East and North Africa, Human Rights Watch said that firm and consistent international support for peaceful protesters and government critics is the best way to pressure the region’s autocrats to end abuses and enhance basic freedoms. A principled insistence on respect for rights is also the best way to help popular movements steer clear of the intolerance, lawlessness, and revenge that can threaten a revolution from within, Human Rights Watch said.

“The people driving the Arab Spring deserve strong international support to realize their rights and to build genuine democracies,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Loyalty to autocratic friends shouldn’t stand in the way of siding with democratic reformers. International influence is also needed to ensure that the new governments extend human rights and the rule of law to all, especially women and minorities.”

The World Report 2012 documents human rights abuses worldwide, including: violations of the laws of war in Libya and Afghanistan; the plight of political prisoners in Vietnam and Eritrea; the silencing of dissent in China and Cuba; internet crackdowns in Iran and Thailand; killings by security forces in India and Mexico; election-related problems in Russia and the Democratic Republic of Congo; mistreatment of migrants in Western Europe; neglectful maternal health policies in Haiti and South Africa; the suppression of religious freedom in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia; torture in Pakistan and Uzbekistan; discrimination against people with disabilities in Nepal and Peru; and detention without trial in Malaysia and by the United States.

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