Obama Administration Produces First List Of Human Rights Commitments

April 27, 2009

ACLU Calls On Government To Add Missing Key Provisions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – The U.S. State Department today released its "Human Rights Commitments and Pledges of the United States of America" as part of the government's efforts to secure a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council. While President Obama's decision to join the Council was the right one, the administration's first list of human rights commitments leaves out several key issues.

The following can be attributed to Jamil Dakwar, Director of the ACLU Human Rights Program:

"While we welcome the Obama administration's commitment to upholding human rights at home and abroad, we are concerned that the first detailed list of human rights commitments to come from the new administration leaves out several key issues. In order to fully restore its position as a leader on human rights around the world, the U.S. must pledge to promote fair trial standards, end torture and arbitrary and indefinite detention and hold government officials accountable for violating U.S. and international human rights laws. The new administration has already taken steps to break with the Bush administration's disastrous human rights policies but there is still much more to do, including the domestic implementation of human rights commitments and the creation of effective monitoring and enforcement mechanisms."

The full list of commitments and pledges is online at: www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/04/122271.htm

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