Torture, massacres and state-sponsored murder were documented on an unprecedented scale in 1992, human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in its annual report Thursday.
"Governments continue to put politics before people's lives," said the report, which singled out the United States for immigration policies that close the door to Haitian refugees.The 354-page report said that last year more than 110 governments used torture in their prisons or police stations, and 45 governments executed political opponents and "troublemakers."
It devoted special criticism to the horrors of the Bosnian civil war - and how that dismal situation is compounded by European countries' reluctance to accept more refugees.
Pierre Sane, secretary-general of Amnesty International, told reporters that the report was the most comprehensively damning one issued in the 32-year history of the organization.
Sane said the assessment reflected both the 161-nation scope of the report and the confluence of "appalling human rights catastrophes" in 1992.
In the same week that the U.N. Population Fund declared that people are migrating in search of better lives in record numbers, Sane said he feared that legitimate asylum seekers are getting lost in a tide of economic refugees.
He lambasted the United States and western European countries for failing to follow an international agreement that prohibits the forcible repatriation of refugees when they are at risk of death, torture or persecution because of their beliefs, ethnicity or sex.