Bank Holiday Weekend: Check Out Human Rights in Holiday Hot Spots

Among the most popular holiday spots are countries where people's human rights are threatened by incommunicado detentions, torture or death.

'It is time to realise that information on the weather forecast or sea temperature is not the only important thing about your holiday destination. If you spend just a few minutes discovering information on the country's human rights record this could help you better understand both the situation and local people's concerns. It may also hopefully encourage you to travel with your eyes open and campaign for change on your return,' says Amnesty International UK Media Director Lesley Warner.

In Tunisia, one of the very popular spots for British tourists, everyone taken into detention is at risk of torture. Detainees are routinely denied medical examination and confessions allegedly obtained under torture are routinely used as evidence in court. Detainees are not allowed to contact their families and often not informed about their right to legal counsel. In prison disease runs rife in overcrowded cells. Political prisoners in particular are frequently tortured or ill-treated and suffer from discrimination. Many have been kept in prolonged solitary confinement for years.

The third most popular country visited by British tourists is the USA, a country where 71 prisoners were executed last year. This made the total number of executions 820 since the death penalty resumed in 1977. The USA has also carried out the greatest number of known executions of child offenders - 13 since 1990. Meanwhile criticism continues on the detention without charge or trial of more than 600 foreign nationals in the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

So when you log on to your computer to check the international weather forecast online before you start packing, make a note to go onto Amnesty International's website for the latest on human rights - www.amnesty.org.uk.

Background

On 17 August 2003, journalist Abdallah Zouari was arrested for the second time since being released from more than a decade of imprisonment in June last year. Abdallah Zouari, a 46-year-old journalist for the Islamist publication al-Fajr (Dawn), was arrested at Ben Guerdane (500km to the south of Tunis).

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