Blog of Rights

Jamil
Dakwar

Jamil Dakwar (@jdakwar) is the Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Human Rights Program (HRP) which is dedicated to holding the U.S. government accountable to its international human rights obligations and commitments.  He leads a team of lawyers and advocates who use a human rights framework to complement existing ACLU legal and legislative advocacy primarily in the areas of counter-terrorism, racial justice, immigrants’ rights, women’s rights, and criminal and juvenile justice. HRP conducts human rights research, documentation and public education, as well as engages in litigation and advocacy before U.S. courts and international human rights bodies.

HRP’s docket includes both domestic lawsuits and petitions before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of individuals sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for crimes committed when they were children; victims and survivors of torture, forced disappearance, trafficking and domestic violence; disenfranchised felons; domestic workers and low-wage undocumented immigrants; as well as a challenge to the Oklahoma constitutional amendment banning the use of Sharia and international law. Jamil also serves as the ACLU Main Representative to the United Nations, and has testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, United Nations human rights bodies, and the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE), about human rights violations in the U.S.

Prior to joining the ACLU in 2004, Jamil worked at Human Rights Watch, where he conducted research, advocated, and published reports on issues of torture and detention in Egypt, Morocco, Israel, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Before coming to the United States, he was a senior attorney with Adalah, a leading human rights group in Israel, where he filed and argued human rights cases before Israeli courts and advocated before international forums. He is a graduate of Tel Aviv University and NYU School of Law.

Privacy Might Be Getting an International Champion

Privacy Might Be Getting an International Champion

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:25pm
The U.N. Human Rights Council could take a big step this month toward protecting privacy rights around the world. At its current session, the HRC plans to vote on whether to appoint an independent expert on the right to privacy, called a "special rapporteur."
How Does the Federal Government Handle Prosecutions of Police Officers?

How Does the Federal Government Handle Prosecutions of Police Officers?

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 2:26pm

Should we take the Department of Justice's word on how federal prosecutions of police officers are being conducted and resolved, or do we need to see the data?

After a police officer is accused of a crime and the Department of Justice decides…

The U.N. Puts America on the Hot Seat for Torture

The U.N. Puts America on the Hot Seat for Torture

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 1:54pm

The eyes of the international community will be focused on the United States this week. Government representatives will appear before the U.N. Committee against Torture to defend U.S. compliance with the anti-torture treaty the United States ratified…

Will Obama Follow Bush Down the Made-Up Torture Loophole?

Will Obama Follow Bush Down the Made-Up Torture Loophole?

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 1:11pm

Twenty years ago, the United States ratified an international treaty banning the use of torture and cruelty worldwide. Three successive American presidents, with bipartisan support, threw their weight behind the treaty – Ronald Reagan signed it in…

Welcoming "the Scrutiny of the World" on Human Rights

Welcoming "the Scrutiny of the World" on Human Rights

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 12:32pm

Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, President Obama took a moment to reflect on America's domestic human rights record and the situation in Ferguson.

I realize that America's critics will be quick to point…

After Ferguson, U.N. Calls on U.S. to Get Its Act Together on Race Discrimination

After Ferguson, U.N. Calls on U.S. to Get Its Act Together on Race Discrimination

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:06pm

In the last several weeks, the state of Missouri has captured news headlines around the globe: first, with reports coming out of Ferguson of yet another unarmed African-American young man shot and killed by police, and then with accounts of a violent…

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U.S. Human Rights Record Undergoes International Scrutiny

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:25pm

This week, the United Nations Human Rights Committee will review U.S. compliance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by the U.S. in 1992. The review will cast light on a dark underbelly of American…

Texas Shouldn't – BUT JUST DID – Execute a Mexican National

Texas Shouldn't – BUT JUST DID – Execute a Mexican National

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:52pm

Yesterday, at 9:32 p.m., the state of Texas executed Edgar Arias Tamayo, a 46-year-old Mexican national. Injecting lethal drugs into Mr. Tamayo's bloodstream was a clear violation of the United States' international obligations, and yet the state of…

How to Honor Mandela's Legacy

How to Honor Mandela's Legacy

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 12:53pm

Today's worldwide celebrations of international Human Rights Day coincide with the commemoration of the life and legacy of the late Nelson Mandela – the freedom fighter, political prisoner, African National Congress leader, and first president of…

U.N. to Review NSA Privacy Violations Among Other U.S. Rights Abuses

U.N. to Review NSA Privacy Violations Among Other U.S. Rights Abuses

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 11:31am

Human rights advocates from across the country are joining together today in a National Day of Action to raise awareness about the state of human rights in the United States at the local, state, and federal levels, and to spotlight areas where the…

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