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While some Western officials publicly appear to gloss over Kuwait's human rights violations as a thing of the past, Western diplomats, human rights officials and Palestinian leaders in Kuwait say the abuses continue against foreign workers, particularly Palestinians.

"Kuwaiti leaders tell us these abuses have stopped when in fact they continue regularly," said one high-level Western diplomat. "We are trying to identify the checkpoints and areas where they are happening so we can try and stop them ourselves."Until now, President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker offered oblique answers about the U.S. position in the matter.

Scores of Iraqis and Palestinians interviewed tell of being harassed, tortured or raped in recent weeks.