Blog of Rights

Guantánamo Diary: An Epic for Our Times

Guantánamo Diary: An Epic for Our Times

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 1:33pm
Literary history was made today with the publication of the first-ever book by a still-imprisoned Guantánamo detainee. Mohamedou Ould Slahi's "Guantánamo Diary" was finally published with some redactions after years of litigation to declassify it.
California Gives Hope to Child Offenders Sentenced to Die in Prison

California Gives Hope to Child Offenders Sentenced to Die in Prison

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 6:43pm

Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s Senate Bill 9, the Fair Sentencing for Youth Act, giving California youth sentenced to die in prison a second chance at life. There are 309 child offenders serving life-without-parole sentences…

Lift Children Out of the Criminal Justice System – Don't Lock Them Away

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 5:17pm

What kind of person looks into the face of a child and sees no hope? What kind of society locks up children as if they were adults — and sometimes even throws away the key? Unfortunately, ours does. As a case in point, Kansas City prosecutors…

Getting Gitmo Down to Zero

Getting Gitmo Down to Zero

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:51pm

On January 11, 2002, the first prisoners were slammed into hastily assembled cages at the Guantánamo Navy base, and men then streamed in from across the globe. Typically brought into custody without even the most basic due process review, the newly…

U.S. Violating Human Rights of Children, Says U.N. Committee

U.S. Violating Human Rights of Children, Says U.N. Committee

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 11:41am

The Obama Administration recently underwent its first U.N. treaty body review, and the resulting concluding observations made public yesterday should be a cause for alarm. The observations, issued by independent U.N. experts tasked with monitoring…

Madonna Pappan

U.N. to Confront United States on Persistent Racial Discrimination

By Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 1:18pm

Imagine the government taking away your two children in a hearing that lasts less than 60 seconds.

Madonna Pappan and her husband, members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, don’t have to imagine it, because it happened to them. And…

Mandela Faced the "Goliath" of Racial Discrimination

Mandela Faced the "Goliath" of Racial Discrimination

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 3:21pm

Nelson Mandela's life is a rebuke to oppression and to those who would respond with frustrated resignation or hatred. It is difficult to imagine a more unlikely success story against seemingly impossible odds. South Africa's system of apartheid seemed…

Armed Guards at Every Home: The View from El Salvador

Armed Guards at Every Home: The View from El Salvador

By Rachel Nusbaum, Media Strategist, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:03pm

The story always starts the same way: unaccompanied kids, and sometimes whole families, fleeing terrible violence in Central America.

It must be terrible indeed, because the journey north is a perilous one. Yet parents and kids continue to…

NSA Surveillance Unravels International Law

NSA Surveillance Unravels International Law

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:29pm

It wasn't long ago that President Obama announced on Reddit, "We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those who want to start a business."

The NSA's surveillance…

Making School a Safe Place for All Students

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:35am

In 19 states across the country, corporal punishment in schools is still legal. Sadly, in many states, children are better protected against physical discipline in detention facilities than they are in their own classrooms. That fact is a startling…