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Human rights group blasts Colombia peace talks

Human rights group blasts Colombia peace talks for sacrificing victims' right to justice

Human rights group blasts Colombia peace talks

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Human Rights Watch is harshly criticizing an agreement between Colombia's government and leftist rebels to judge war crimes committed during the country's long-running conflict.

The Washington-based group says the decision to set up a special peace tribunal to judge war crimes sacrifices victims' rights to justice and guarantees impunity.

The partial agreement on victims announced this month in Cuba was hailed by both sides as a breakthrough in the three-year-old talks, helping pave the way for a peace deal in the coming months.

Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that only an agreement that punishes crimes with jail time meets international standards for justice. Under the terms of the deal, guerrillas and state agents confessing crimes can carry out sentences helping rebuild war-torn communities.