Blog of Rights

Their Lives Depend on It: Every Unaccompanied Child Needs a Lawyer

Their Lives Depend on It: Every Unaccompanied Child Needs a Lawyer

By Layla Razavi, Regional Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 1:21pm
At first glance, the kids I met at the Ft. Sill military base in Lawton, Oklahoma, seemed like ordinary teenagers. They wore friendship bracelets they'd made in arts and crafts. Boys had baseball caps and girls had brightly colored nail polish with tiny flowers painted on them. But, one by one, they started to share their stories, and it became clear that their lives are anything but ordinary.
Death and Abuse at the Southwest Border

Death and Abuse at the Southwest Border

By Lia G. Melikian, ACLU at 4:20pm

As Congress debates how to respond to children's migration from Central America, we must not forget that Customs and Border Protection is in dire need of improved oversight and accountability. Here are three examples of how the system is failing and…

Prisoners Tortured by the CIA Find Justice (In Europe)

Prisoners Tortured by the CIA Find Justice (In Europe)

By Marcellene Hearn, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 5:11pm

A court handed down a huge victory yesterday, for two men who were rendered to a secret prison in Poland and tortured by the CIA. But it wasn't in an American court. And it wasn't the United States that was held to account.

In two landmark…

Guantanámo Judge to Prosecution: Turn Over the Torture Evidence

Guantanámo Judge to Prosecution: Turn Over the Torture Evidence

By Marcellene Hearn, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 1:16pm

Last month, a military judge dealt a significant blow to U.S. prosecutors' efforts to suppress torture evidence in the Guantanámo military commissions.

In a ruling in the U.S.S. Cole case, unsealed last week, Judge James Pohl told prosecutors…

The Kids Aren't Alright: America Fails to Protect Youth in Crisis

The Kids Aren't Alright: America Fails to Protect Youth in Crisis

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:40pm

Earlier this year, I sat in an immigration office in Nogales, Mexico, surrounded by children who had just been deported from the United States. All of the children I spoke with, ranging in age from 11 to 17 years old, traveled to the United States…

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…

NSA

Dear Privacy Board: It’s Us, the 95%

By Naureen Shah, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 3:07pm

There are seven billion people in the world, and 95 percent of them live outside the United States. We know from dozens of revelations from the last year that few, if any, are immune from the watchful eyes of the National Security Agency.

Yet…

Why #BringBackOurGirls Isn't Enough

Why #BringBackOurGirls Isn't Enough

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:46pm

When Boko Haram kidnapped girls in Nigeria, the Obama administration voiced its strong opposition. Social media sprang into action, with millions—including the First Lady and many members of Congress—participating in the viral social media campaign…

U.S. Admits Modern-Day Slavery Exists at Home

U.S. Admits Modern-Day Slavery Exists at Home

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 1:08pm

Some of America's most vulnerable workers are victims of modern-day slavery, and the government knows it. What's worse: These workers are protecting U.S. military and economic interests – but the U.S. isn't protecting them.

In its annual…

The CIA Can't Control the Truth at Guantánamo Forever

The CIA Can't Control the Truth at Guantánamo Forever

By Marcellene Hearn, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 11:33am

The government is continuing to fight on various fronts to keep its torture program secret. It's not going to win.

Last week I watched the televised feed in the latest round of pre-trial hearings in the death penalty case against Abd al-Rahim…