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Allison
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European Court: U.S. Extraordinary Rendition “Amounted to Torture”

European Court: U.S. Extraordinary Rendition “Amounted to Torture”

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 10:30pm
Almost nine years ago, Khaled El-Masri was abducted, forcibly disappeared, and tortured by Macedonian authorities and the CIA. Until today, his well-documented claims of abuse had yet to be affirmed by any authorities responsible for his mistreatment or by a court of law. In a landmark ruling today, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that El-Masri’s treatment at the Macedonia airport by U.S. agents in cooperation with Macedonian officials “amounted to torture.” The court also found that while in CIA custody El-Masri was subjected to abuses including sodomy, forced nudity, total sensory deprivation, solitary confinement, force feeding, physical assault, sleep deprivation, inadequate food and water and denial of medical care in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, and that his entire period of captivity constituted a “forced disappearance” in violation of international law. According to ACLU Human Rights Program Director Jamil Dakwar, the ruling represents “a huge victory for justice and the rule of law.” He added:
Death Penalty Abolition Movement “To See Sunny Days”

Death Penalty Abolition Movement “To See Sunny Days”

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 11:29am

On July 3, U.N. delegates and NGO representatives from around the world gathered at the U.N. Headquarters in New York for an invigorating conference entitled “Moving Away From the Death Penalty - Lessons from National Experiences.” Panelists,…

International Human Rights Body Seeking Answers on U.S. Civil and Political Rights Record

International Human Rights Body Seeking Answers on U.S. Civil and Political Rights Record

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 4:16pm

An international human rights body is set to question the United States on its obligations under a key human rights treaty. The U.N. Human Rights Committee, an independent body of experts tasked with monitoring compliance with the International Covenant…

Efforts to Close Guantánamo Must Be Accompanied By an End to Force-Feeding

Efforts to Close Guantánamo Must Be Accompanied By an End to Force-Feeding

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 11:17am

In nominating Clifford Sloan earlier this week to head the Office of Guantánamo Closure, President Obama took a welcome step toward closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay. However, as the hunger strike at the prison continues, more can and must be…

U.N. Human Rights Report Foreshadows Recent Surveillance Revelations

U.N. Human Rights Report Foreshadows Recent Surveillance Revelations

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 3:44pm

Revelations this week that the U.S. government has the ability to secretly tap into a wide range of Americans' online activities, including Skype video chats and Facebook communications, serve as an eerie reminder of the threat state surveillance poses…

ACLU, in Geneva, Advocates Against Death Penalty, Solitary Confinement

ACLU, in Geneva, Advocates Against Death Penalty, Solitary Confinement

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 10:32am

One year ago, the ACLU's Amy Fettig stood before the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn the use of solitary confinement in the United States. In a written statement also submitted to the Council last year, the ACLU expressed serious concern…

U.N. Human Rights Expert to Investigate U.S. Targeted Killing Program

U.N. Human Rights Expert to Investigate U.S. Targeted Killing Program

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 5:28pm

The U.S. government’s targeted killing policy and its use of drones for killing will be the subject of an investigation by the United Nations, it was announced today. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson,…

New Government Report Reveals Over 200 Children Have Been Held in U.S. Custody in Afghanistan Since 2008

New Government Report Reveals Over 200 Children Have Been Held in U.S. Custody in Afghanistan Since 2008

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 1:36pm

In recent years, several human rights bodies have faulted the U.S. for failing to live up to its international legal commitments to protect children in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. This week, the U.S. issued its written response to questions…

Italian Court Upholds Rendition Conviction of CIA Agents

Italian Court Upholds Rendition Conviction of CIA Agents

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 5:21pm

The U.S. government may have closed without any prosecutions its inquiries into and investigations of CIA involvement in torture, homicide and other gross human rights violations, and convinced courts to dismiss civil accountability suits for such…

"Zero-Tolerance" on Trafficking Must Mean What It Says

"Zero-Tolerance" on Trafficking Must Mean What It Says

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 4:54pm

U.S. officials have acknowledged that human trafficking is a problem of "crisis proportions," both outside and inside America's borders. Yet despite professed intent to end this scourge, including with the help of a "zero-tolerance, one strike approach,"…

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