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.

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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 exceptionalism — our refusal to acknowledge that human rights treaties have effect overseas. Unlike most of the world (the only other exception being Israel), the United States continues to claim that human rights treaties don’t apply to U.S. activities overseas.
Rights Groups to Government: Allow U.N. Torture Expert to Examine U.S. Use of Solitary Confinement

Rights Groups to Government: Allow U.N. Torture Expert to Examine U.S. Use of Solitary Confinement

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program & Ian Kysel, Aryeh Neier Fellow, ACLU Human Rights Program at 9:53am

Human and civil rights groups around the country have asked the U.S. government to invite a U.N....

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…

Seeking International Accountability for Victims of U.S. Torture

Seeking International Accountability for Victims of U.S. Torture

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:12pm

Today the international community commemorates the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The U.S. government should take this time to reflect on some astounding statistics: Despite well-documented evidence of the systemic use of torture…

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…

U.S. Actions in Snowden Case Threaten Right to Seek Asylum

U.S. Actions in Snowden Case Threaten Right to Seek Asylum

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program & Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:16pm

Revelations about the NSA's secret surveillance activities continue to make headlines both at home and abroad. In the last week alone, Brazil expressed concern about recent reports of NSA spying on millions of Brazilian citizens, the European Parliament…

Urgent White House Action Needed to Avert Guantánamo Human Rights Crisis

Urgent White House Action Needed to Avert Guantánamo Human Rights Crisis

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:37am

There is a serious human rights crisis brewing at the prison at Guantánamo Bay. A hunger strike that began in early February has spread...

­Executing Human Dignity: U.S. Death Penalty System Dominates IACHR Report

­Executing Human Dignity: U.S. Death Penalty System Dominates IACHR Report

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:09pm

According to a recent Inter-American Commission on Human Rights report on the death penalty in the Americas, the United States stands out as an outlier in a region that has come close to abolishing the death penalty. This report will be officially…

Remembering 9/11 and Reclaiming Accountability for Human Rights

Remembering 9/11 and Reclaiming Accountability for Human Rights

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:01pm

Many people in the United States and around the world remember the horrific events of September 11th, 2001 as some of the worst crimes against humanity of the last decade. These attacks savagely flouted the fundamental values of international human…

The UDHR at 60

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:54am

(Originally posted on AlterNet.)

Born of a need to recognize "the inherent dignity and...the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family," the Universal Declaration of Human Rights came into being 60 years ago…

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