Amnesty says impunity emboldens Mideast rights violations

Amnesty International says the world community's "chilling complacency toward wide-scale human rights violations" in the Middle and North Africa emboldened governments to commit "appalling" violations last year.

The group's annual survey of the human rights situation in the region, released in Beirut on Tuesday, says ongoing crackdowns on dissent and civil society "intensified significantly" in Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

It also cited the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Istanbul, saying it "has not been followed by concrete action to ensure those responsible are brought to justice."

Amnesty called on all countries to immediately suspend the sale or transfer of arms to Israel and the warring sides in Yemen "until there is no longer substantial risk that such equipment could be used to commit" violations.