World governments are facing a call to recommit themselves to fighting human rights abuses.
In its latest report, Amnesty International says 60 years after the adoption by the UN of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, people are still tortured or ill-treated in at least 81 countries.
People face unfair trials in at least 54, and are not allowed to speak freely in at least 77 countries.
Amnesty’s Irene Khan said: “We are challenging governments to apologise for six decades of human rights failures, and to take action to correct the situation.”
Khan says Myanmar, Darfur, Zimbabwe, Gaza and Iraq demand immediate action, saying 2007 was characterised by the impotence of Western governments and the ambivalence or reluctance of emerging powers.
Amnesty says China and Russia must live up to their human rights promises, while the US must close the Guantanamo camp and reject the use of torture.
It also says the EU has to investigate the complicity of member states in so-called “renditions” of terrorist suspects, saying the bloc must set the same standards for its own members as it does for other countries.