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Amnesty deplores misuse of human-rights reporting

Amnesty International accused some countries Wednesday, including the US, of applying double standards and misusing evidence of human-rights abuses in other countries for political propaganda.

Among examples cited in the human-rights group's annual report: reporting of Poland by Soviet news media; statements by US officials on Central America; and the sudden focus by Britain on torture and disappearances in Argentina during last year's war between the two nations in the Falklands. Amnesty called for a single, universal standard for protection of rights everywhere, regardless of politics or nationality.

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The report said at least 1,609 political and other prisoners were put to death in 42 countries in 1982. It detailed cases of executions, torture, and political imprisonment in 117 countries.

Torture and political imprisonment were widespread in Africa, the Americas, and Eastern Europe, the report said. But it also singled out Western European countries - such as West Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, and Greece - along with East Germany, the Soviet Union, and Hungary for imprisoning conscientious objectors to military service.

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