The lives behind the lies: the campaign against “disappearances” and political killings – external statement on impunity: Crime without punishment

Despite the increased importance of human rights on the political agenda of governments throughout the world, political killings and “disappearances” continue to be committed with impunity. In some countries there is no pretence of accountability; in others, particularly in times of armed conflict, any investigations are half-hearted or concentrate on abuses committed by the other side. In some countries violations are carried out by paramilitary groups or so called “death squads”, often operating with official approval; in others, the governments claim to be powerless to control such groups, and refuse to accept responsiblity for bringing their abuses to an end. Investigations often lead to further harassment, and amnesty laws further undermine the search for the truth.

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