NEW YORK — Ten people who monitored human rights abuses were killed, two disappeared and nearly 500 more were tortured, detained or harassed in 39 countries this year, a human rights group said Saturday.
Human Rights Watch, a New York-based monitoring group, said the largest number of cases occurred in Chile, Czechoslovakia, South Africa and the Soviet Union.
But it said the cases should not be considered "an index of repressiveness.
"Some countries--Saudi Arabia and North Korea are examples--are so repressive that, as far as we know, no one is able to engage in human rights monitoring," the group said.
"Elsewhere--Indonesia, Guatemala, Romania and Vietnam are examples--monitoring human rights abuses has been so risky that only a handful of brave souls have taken up the effort to report and document . . . abuses," it added.
It said five of the 10 killings occurred in Colombia, two in El Salvador and one each in Brazil, the Soviet Union and the Philippines.