Amnesty International continues to urge positive engagement on human rights

'The Attorney General has made highly critical comments about the organisation. The allegations are both unfounded and inaccurate,' Amnesty International said today.

Each year Amnesty International brings to the attention of governments around the world its concerns in their countries. Many of these governments engage in dialogue and address these human rights issues. Amnesty International's Secretary General, Pierre Sané, has recently met with the Presidents of Chile and Nigeria, the Prime Minister of Jamaica and Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary General. However, Amnesty International has yet to meet with the government of Trinidad and Tobago, which continually refuses to meet with the organisation yet persists in regularly attacking its reputation.

Amnesty International remains committed to seeking a constructive face-to-face dialogue with the government of Trinidad and Tobago: 'We are aware that the Attorney General will be attending the human rights committee in Geneva later this month and have therefore requested he meet with our staff at the United Nations,' said the organisation.

Amnesty International remains seriously concerned that human rights violations continue to persist in Trinidad and Tobago. The organisation has repeatedly requested to meet with the government of Trinidad and Tobago to discuss its human rights concerns, including:

*the use of corporal punishment

*prison conditions so squalid as to amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment

*the use of the death penalty

*the unprecedented withdrawal from international human rights protections

*incidences of police brutality

'Amnesty International urges the people of Trinidad and Tobago to visit its web site (www.amnesty.org) to see for themselves the human rights concerns we have in their country. They can then decide for themselves about the truth on human rights protection on the islands,' said Amnesty International today.

'Our message to the people of the Caribbean is the same as to the people of the world: the human rights of all citizens must be respected and promoted by governments, citizens, trade unions and civil society.'

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