Blog of Rights

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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.
Accountability for Torture

Take the CIA Out of the Loop on the Torture Report

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:18pm

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Fool me three times? Good grief, no one should ever be fooled three times.

But that's exactly what will happen to the Senate Intelligence Committee – and the American people…

American women sitting in front of the capitol building

Immigrants Have No Access to Justice

By Sarah Mehta, Fellow, Immigrants' Rights Project, ACLU at 5:08pm

Yesterday, I joined several organizations aiming to inform the U.S. government of its human rights commitments regarding access to justice .

My presentation focused on access to justice in the U.S. immigration system and was part…

Border Patrol Agents on motor bikes

Why is U.S. Border Patrol Shooting Rock-Throwing Teenagers?

By Vicki B. Gaubeca, ACLU of New Mexico at 12:15pm

Sixteen-year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was walking near the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico to meet his brother for a late-night snack when he was fatally shot by U.S. Border Patrol agents. An autopsy later showed the body of the…

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....

New Information About CIA Extraordinary Rendition Program Highlights Need For Transparency, Accountability

New Information About CIA Extraordinary Rendition Program Highlights Need For Transparency, Accountability

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 2:39pm

We may be finally learning more about the CIA's involvement in the 2003 abduction and rendition to torture of a Muslim cleric, Hassan Mustafa Nasr (aka Abu Omar). This week, Sabrina De Sousa confirmed that she was a former CIA undercover officer, and…

Disability Is No Excuse to Deprive One of Civil Liberties

Disability Is No Excuse to Deprive One of Civil Liberties

By Susan Mizner, Disability Counsel, ACLU at 3:20pm

The guardianship system in this country raises serious concerns. That's why the guardianship trial of Jenny Hatch, a vibrant and active 29-year-old in a battle over who controls her life, struck such a chord. Jenny spoke for many other people with…

International Body Slams U.S. Solitary Confinement Practices

International Body Slams U.S. Solitary Confinement Practices

By Ian Kysel, Aryeh Neier Fellow, ACLU Human Rights Program at 5:07pm

There are more than 80,000 people in solitary confinement in the United States. Last week, the widespread misuse and abuse of solitary confinement in jails and prisons across the country drew international condemnation when the Inter-American Commission…

The Right to Life Denied: Death Penalty Violates the Constitution and International Law

By Avinash Samarth, ACLU National Security Project at 3:51pm

Yesterday, in Warsaw, Poland, Jamil Dakwar of the ACLU Human Rights Program delivered a statement to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) addressing the continued use of capital punishment in the United States.

The…

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

By Mishi Faruqee, Juvenile Justice Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:22pm

This week, fifty years after the March on Washington, President Obama stood on the National Mall and listed out some of the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. High up on the list: not letting our criminal justice system become "simply…