May 24 - Rights group Amnesty International releases their annual report, saying that world leaders have failed to take a clear stand on issues like Syria. Sarah Sheffer reports.
Egyptian voters queue up to vote for President. Their first free election since the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. It is no longer business as usual for tyranny and injustice, says rights group Amnesty International in the launch of their 2011 annual report. Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty, said 2011 was a year filled with the demands of ordinary people for justice and dignity. But he said it was also a year of failed leadership by world powers. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY GENERAL OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SALIL SHETTY, SAYING: "How many thousands of lives had to be sacrificed in Syria before the Security Council could come up with ultimately what was a very feeble resolution putting a very small number of military observers inside Syria?" Amnesty said the failure of world powers was evidence that the U.N.'s security council is inhibited by vested interests. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY GENERAL OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SALIL SHETTY, SAYING: "These permanent five members are meant to represent all the member states but actually, they are pretty much representing themselves so we have a real problem in the way in which the Council is behaving..." Violence in Syria -- according to social media video, which Reuters can't fully verify due to Syrian restrictions. Permanent security council members Russia and China have shielded Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from tough sanctions. Russia -- a key arms supplier to Syria -- worries about regional stability should Assad fall. However, elsewhere, Shetty is less pessimistic. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY GENERAL OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SALIL SHETTY, SAYING: "Amazing things have happened. So I think we could be cynical but - it's just that we have a new reality. Millions of people are standing up, demanding their rights, there is much more transparency, there is no place to hide - with technology, with the media, so - I don't think we are in the same space we were," The rights group also said tough austerity measures in Europe should not relieve states of their responsibilities. Sarah Sheffer, Reuters