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U.S. Accused of Human Rights Violations

Friday, May 25, 2007

By FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press Writer

GENEVA — A U.N. investigator accused the United States on Friday of human rights violations in its fight against terrorism, criticizing the use of military commissions to try civilians and interrogation practices.

Martin Scheinin, of Finland, also said several U.S. laws enacted since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks had undermined civil liberties, citing the Patriot Act, the Detainee Treatment Act and the Military Commissions Act.

It is "regretful that a number of important mechanisms for the protection of rights have been removed or obfuscated under law and practice since the events of September 11," Scheinin said in a preliminary report written after meeting with U.S. diplomats and justice and security officials.

A final report will be presented to the 47-nation, Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council later this year.

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