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Amnesty International has accused the Federal Government

Amnesty hits Aust on refugees, women's rights
Amnesty International has accused the Federal Government of fearmongering by portraying asylum seekers as a threat to national security.

This year Amnesty's annual report into global human rights abuses focuses on the politics of fear, and argues fear thrives on "myopic and cowardly leadership".

The Government is singled out for criticism for its portrayal of "asylum seekers in leaky boats" as a "refugee invasion", which Amnesty secretary-general Irene Khan says contributed to John Howard's election win in 2001.

"The committee was also concerned about the continued violence and discrimination faced by women in Indigenous, refugee and migrant communities.

"There were concerns about the lack of appropriate action against the trafficking of women into Australia."

Amnesty has also expressed concern over Attorney-General Philip Ruddock's power to proscribe organisations as terrorist groups.

Mr Ruddock last year rejected recommendations by the Security Legislation Review Committee to make this a judicial process.

The report accuses the US of trampling on human rights and using the world as "a giant battlefield" in its "war on terror".
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