* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

14 September 2001 AMR 51/140/2001 163/01

Amnesty International today reiterated its deepest sympathy for the victims of the heinous attacks in the USA and called upon the leaders of governments and community groups around the world to ensure respect for human rights in their wake.

Amid growing evidence of a backlash and attacks against Muslim and Middle Eastern community groups around the world, Amnesty International stressed that efforts to bring the perpetrators of these atrocities to justice must be characterised by the highest respect for human rights.

"The violent attacks suffered by the USA represent the gravest violation of the most basic of human rights. Perpetrators must be brought to justice. But in seeking justice for the victims of this terrible crime, the world must exercise the highest respect for the rights of all individuals. International solidarity with the victims is not about seeking revenge but about cooperating within the rule of law in bringing those responsible to justice. Scapegoating individuals or communities will achieve nothing."

Calling for calm in the days and weeks ahead, Amnesty International said, "it is important for us all to see that hatred does not become the order of the day; that fear does not become an excuse for the violation of rights and that we all remember our common humanity. We must be compassionate in our support for the victims, determined in our search for justice and vigilant about the rights of all people."

Addressing the USA, Amnesty International asked the authorities to set a leading example by ensuring adequate protection for individuals and communities in the USA and by maintaining the highest standards in their search for the perpetrators of the attacks, including not detaining or arresting individuals solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.

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