LONDON (AFP) – World leaders have proved “shameful and ineffective” in failing to protect civilians from groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Amnesty International said on Wednesday, calling 2014 a “catastrophic” year.
In its 415-page annual report detailing abuses in 160 countries, the group accused governments of “pretending the protection of civilians is beyond their power”. It said millions of civilians had been killed from Syria to Ukraine, Gaza to Nigeria, while the number of displaced people around the world exceeded 50 million last year for the first time since the end of World War II.
“2014 was a catastrophic year for millions caught up in violence,” said Amnesty’s secretary-general Shalil Shetty. “The global response to conflict and abuses by states and armed groups has been shameful and ineffective. As people suffered an escalation in barbarous attacks and repression, the international community has been found wanting.”
It warned that the situation would get worse this year unless leaders took immediate action. Amnesty singled out the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for criticism, with Mr Shetty saying it had “miserably failed” to protect civilians.