Political rights

UN Human Rights Committee criticizes US civil and political rights record


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GENEVA – The United Nations Human Rights Committee today released a scathing report lambasting the United States’ record on a wide range of issues, including counterterrorism operations, immigrant rights, voting rights and the criminal justice system.

The “Concluding Observations” of the committee, made up of 18 renowned independent experts, are the result of its periodic review of the United States’ compliance with a major human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ( ICCPR).

“The committee’s recommendations highlight the gaps between US human rights obligations and current laws and practices,” said ACLU Human Rights Program Director Jamil Dakwar, who attended. at committee sessions with a representative of the US government in Geneva, Switzerland, two weeks ago.

“The Human Rights Committee has rightly called on the United States for giving dangerous examples of counterterrorism operations to an unjust criminal justice system and inhumane treatment of migrants. President Obama now has the opportunity to change course and reshape his human rights legacy by taking concrete steps such as declassifying the CIA Senate torture report and ending continuous surveillance and targeted assassinations illegal. “

The committee’s concluding observations highlight areas of concern and make detailed recommendations for increasing human rights transparency and accountability at home and abroad. They cover:

– Racial profiling and use of lethal force by law enforcement, including killings on the US-Mexico border
– Labor dealing with guest workers and domestic workers
– Lack of recourse for women victims of domestic violence
– The use of the death penalty, solitary confinement, life imprisonment without parole and other unfair sentencing practices
– Deprivation of the right to vote of criminals
– Responsibility for torture and abuse during the Bush administration
– Targeted killings
– NSA surveillance programs

Today’s UN report is at:

The ACLU’s report to the UN on the United States’ human rights record can be found at: