From Guantanamo Bay to Juvenile Executions, New Report Shows Extensive US Violations of Human Rights
Amnesty International, Aug. 24, 2002
(Washington, DC) – Releasing a new report today, Amnesty International charged the Bush Administration with dangerous exceptionalism on human rights and warned that global public relations initiatives could not hide a litany of violations.
“It is time for this administration to live up to its human rights commitments, rather than expending effort to wriggle out of them or hide their violations,” said Dr. William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. “A ‘war on terror’ that leaves human rights protections in the rubble is in no one’s interest.”
In the report, ‘USA: Human Rights v. Public Relations,’ the organization called for substantive change in US practice on human rights.
In legal maneuvers, the US has sought to bar access to the US courts for the Guantanamo Bay prisoners and has paid mere lip service to the requirements of the Geneva Conventions.
The US not only opposed, but also attempted to stall, the adoption of the optional protocol to the Convention Against Torture, which would allow unannounced visits to prisons and police stations, and has continued to allow the use of the electro-shock stun belt in places of detention.
The US has failed to support other international agreements, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Bush Administration has actively sought to undermine the International Criminal Court.
The United States is the world’s leading executioner of juvenile offenders, and is scheduled to execute another juvenile offender, Toronto Patterson, on August 24. As one of a dwindling number of countries that allow the imposition of the death penalty, the US also has continued to execute foreign nationals who had been denied access to consular assistance.