March 27, 2014 - Today, the UN Human Rights Committee issued highly critical concluding observations on the United States’ compliance with international human rights requirements. CCR had submitted several detailed reports to the committee in advance of its hearings March 13-14, and much of their substance was reflected in both the committee’s questioning and its conclusions. The committee expressed deep concern over:
- the U.S. “targeted killing” program;
- the lack of progress in the closure of Guantánamo, urging the U.S. to expedite the process of transferring detainees out of the prison, including to Yemen, and reiterating its position that the U.S. must end its practice of indefinite detention without charge or trial;
- the secrecy and lack of accountability around Bush-era abuses, including the limited number of investigations, prosecutions and convictions of contractors and high ranking U.S. officials for killings and torture of detainees;
- the imposition of the death penalty in a racially discriminatory manner and the conditions on death row;
- reports of criminalization of people living on the street for everyday activities such as eating, sleeping, and sitting in particular areas, raising concerns of discrimination and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment;
- the use of prolonged solitary confinement, particularly for at-risk people and those in pretrial detention, urging the abolition of solitary for people under 18 and for people with serious mental illness, and strict limitations on its use, overall; and
- the targeting of Muslims by the NYPD, and racial profiling overall (while underlining its support for recent plans to reform the use of stop and frisk).
CCR applauds the UN and the international community for holding the US accountable to its international obligations and shedding a necessary light on areas where it is falling short. However, we regret the HRC failed to question the U.S. government on the devastation the invasion and occupation of Iraq has brought to both Iraqi civilians and U.S. veterans.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.
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