Blog of Rights


L.A. Men's Jail is a "Modern-Day Medieval Dungeon"

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 2:07pm
Old, decrepit and toxic. This is how the Men's Central Jail (MCJ) is described in a new report released today by the ACLU of Southern California. The report is based on the observations of ACLU jail monitors, numerous interviews with prisoners, and thousands of prisoner complaints gathered between 2008 and 2009.

Time to Retire Ideological Exclusion

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 6:28pm

Good news for the First Amendment! Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has signed orders earlier this week that effectively end the ideological exclusion of Professors Adam Habib and Tariq Ramadan, two prominent scholars who were denied visas to…

Senate Report Confirms Top-Level Officials Authorized Torture

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 1:20pm

Late last night, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) released its full report on the Department of Defense's (DOD) role in the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody (PDF). (A summary of the report was released last December, but it was only…

Bush Commissions End With a Whimper

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 3:29pm

As one might predict, yesterday's military commission hearings at Guantanamo, the last of the Bush administration, yielded very little in terms of clarification or justice. Attorneys in the Omar Khadr case muddled through some technicalities: namely,…

Christopher Hitchens Admits Waterboarding is Torture

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 12:33pm

You have to hand it to him: journalist Christopher Hitchens, who previously discounted that waterboarding was indeed torture, admits in the August issue of Vanity Fair that it is, indeed, torture. In the article, called "Believe Me, It's Torture,"…

Right to a Fair and Speedy Trial? Five Years Later, Gitmo Detainees Finally Charged

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 1:28pm
Today the Department of Defense (DoD) announced that five Guantanamo detainees' charges have been referred to trial by the military commission's Convening Authority, Susan Crawford. The DOD accuses these detainees of planning and executing the 9/11 attacks.


A Death "Almost Too Horrible to Believe"

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 3:34pm
We're going to tell you the story of Patrick Cavanaugh, a 60-year old inmate at the Ely State Prison in Ely, Nev. Patrick was an insulin-dependent diabetic who was imprisoned at Ely for two years. During his time at Ely, Patrick was denied regular…

New Report Reveals Ongoing Police Brutality and Abuse in Puerto Rico

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 12:49pm

A preliminary report released today by the ACLU's Human Rights Program shows a pattern of ongoing police brutality in Puerto Rico. We released this report in advance of President Obama's scheduled visit to the U.S. territory tomorrow.


President Obama: Address Police Brutality in Puerto Rico

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 4:02pm

Next Tuesday, President Obama will visit Puerto Rico.

We hope that during his time there, he'll address the ongoing First Amendment and human rights violations that the ACLU has been investigating and documenting since 2004. Over the last…

Want a Passport? Remember the Addresses of Everywhere You've Ever Lived?

Want a Passport? Remember the Addresses of Everywhere You've Ever Lived?

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 9:55am

Do you remember the names of all the bosses you've ever had? What about the addresses of everywhere you've ever lived since birth?

Or better yet: the name and address of your mother's employer at the time of your birth? And who/where provided…

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