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Human rights don’t start at the water’s edge – there’s urgent work to be done here at home.

Amnesty International works to protect human rights in the United States. Amnesty International advocates for human rights-oriented approaches to national security, criminal justice and police accountability; works to abolish the death penalty; and campaigns for individuals at risk.

In 2014, President Obama acknowledged that torture had been carried out following the 11 September 2001 attacks (9/11) under a secret detention program authorized by his predecessor and operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). However, accountability and remedy for the crimes under international law committed in that programme remained absent. The declassified summary of a Senate report into the program was released in December. Scores of detainees remained in indefinite military detention at the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, while military commission trial proceedings continued in a handful of cases. Concern about the use of prolonged isolation in state and federal prisons and the excessive use of force by police continued. Thirty-three men and two women were executed during the year.

USA Newsroom



February 18, 2019 • Press Release

Amnesty International USA to Honor Jamal Khashoggi at Annual Media Awards Ceremony

The first Amnesty International USA Press Freedom Award recognizing extraordinary courage and dedication to speaking truth to power through journalism will honor late Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The award will be presented at the Amnesty International USA Media Awards on April 3. “Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared while making preparations for his wedding, had everything …

February 6, 2019 • Press Release

United States Must Center Human Rights and Suspend Security Assistance to Cameroon

In response to reports that the US government has decided to cut security and military aid to Cameroon amid concerns over its human rights record, Adotei Akwei, deputy director for advocacy and government relations for Amnesty International USA issued the following: “Cameroonian security forces have indiscriminately killed, arrested, and tortured people, firing on crowds, displacing …

February 5, 2019 • Press Release

Amnesty International USA Response to 2019 State of the Union

The following can be attributed to Joanne Lin, national director of advocacy and government relations at Amnesty International USA: “Tonight’s State of the Union was just another opportunity for the president to peddle his politics of hate and fear to a captive audience. He has emboldened despotic regimes around the world by turning a blind …

February 5, 2019 • Press Release

Yemen: UAE recklessly supplying militias with windfall of Western arms

An open source investigation published by Amnesty International today highlights a growing danger in Yemen’s conflict as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recklessly arms militias with a range of advanced weaponry. The investigation, “When arms go astray: Yemen’s deadly new threat of arms diversion to militias,” shows how the UAE has become a major conduit …

January 31, 2019 • Press Release

Tracy Wilkinson of the LA Times and Alli Maloney of Teen Vogue Named as Judges for Amnesty International USA Media Awards

Two judges have been named to the panel of Amnesty International USA’s Media Awards, which will re-launched in New York City on April 3 after a decade-long hiatus. Tracy Wilkinson, correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and Alli Maloney, news and politics features editor for Teen Vogue, will serve as judges for the international and student categories, respectively. More judges for …

January 19, 2019 • Press Release

Trump’s Unacceptable Proposal on Border Fails to Protect Human Rights

The president’s proposal fails to provide adequate protection for Dreamers and TPS recipients. A temporary three-year extension of status is not a permanent legislative solution.

January 17, 2019 • Press Release

Governor Signs Bill Providing Common Sense Gun Reform in Illinois

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill today that will make it easier to oversee and track down careless gun dealers in Illinois. Senate Bill 337 creates the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act, the Firearm Dealer Certification Act and Gun Trafficking Information Act, which will collectively require annual training for gun dealers, mandate safe storage of their weapons to prevent theft, require that employees at gun dealer businesses also undergo background checks, and prohibit new gun dealers from opening a business within 500 feet of any school or daycare.

January 11, 2019 • Press Release

Statement in Response to Closure of Tornillo Tent City

The following can be attributed to Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA: “Warehousing thousands of children in tents for weeks and months on end has been one of the most disastrous policies of the Trump administration responding to children and families seeking safety at the border. We welcome the closure of the children’s …

January 10, 2019 • Press Release

17 Years Later, Guantanamo Prison Remains a Threat to Human Rights

The military prison at Guantánamo Bay remains a stain on the human rights record of the United States and continues to present site for ongoing violations as long as it stays open, said Amnesty International USA on the eve of the January 11 anniversary of its opening. “When President Trump revoked President Obama’s order to …

January 8, 2019 • Press Release

Universal Background Checks Are Critical to Addressing Human Rights Crisis of Gun Violence

Legislation introduced today requiring universal background checks for firearm sales presents an important opportunity to address the human rights crisis of gun violence, Amnesty International USA said today. “The failure to require background checks on all sales and transfers of firearms in the United States creates dangerous loopholes, and people are paying with their lives. …