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.

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April 7, 2020 • Report

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, authorities must release immigration detainees

The Trump administration is failing to protect people in immigration detention during the COVID-19 public health emergency, Amnesty International said today in a new report, ‘We are adrift, about to sink’: The looming COVID-19 disaster in US immigration detention facilities. The United States has the largest immigration detention system in the world, with Immigration and …

April 7, 2020 • Press Release

Workshop for media will examine COVID-19 impact on the Middle East and North Africa

As part of a series of workshops exploring human rights concerns related to the COVID-19 response, Amnesty International USA will be holding a workshop titled “The impact of COVID-19 on the Middle East and North Africa”. The workshop will cover how COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of millions of people living throughout the Middle East …

April 1, 2020 • Press Release

U.S. military pledges to report publicly on civilian casualties in Somalia

Reacting to a statement from US Africa Command (AFRICOM) pledging to begin, by the end of April, public reporting on civilian casualties resulting from its military operations in Somalia, Libya and elsewhere in Africa, Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, said: “This is a welcome, though long overdue, step towards providing truth and …

March 31, 2020 • Press Release

“Hope Can’t Be Quarantined” campaign to help immigrants and asylum-seekers held in detention during the COVID-19 crisis

As a response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) have launched a new campaign entitled “Hope Can’t Be Quarantined.” The initiative encourages the public to support immigrants and asylum-seekers held in detention at this time of crisis and offers several ways to get involved. Participants …

March 31, 2020 • Press Release

Human rights organization calls on the President to take action on COVID-19

The United States should take immediate action to ensure that every person who requests access to COVID-19 testing can receive it, Amnesty International USA said today in a letter addressed to United States President, Donald J. Trump. The human rights organization called on the President to ensure that adequate and quality personal protective equipment (PPE), …

March 30, 2020 • Press Release

Workshop for media will examine technology and surveillance in the age of COVID-19

As part of a series of workshops exploring human rights concerns related to the COVID-19 response, Amnesty International USA will be holding a workshop titled “Technology and Surveillance in the Age of COVID-19”. The workshop will cover the themes of how digital technologies track and monitor individuals and populations, concerns around digital surveillance powers, and …

March 29, 2020 • Press Release

As federal judge weighs release of children in immigration detention, COVID-19 risks grow

Responding to a temporary restraining order by Judge Dolly M. Gee of the United States District Court directing the government to make continuous efforts to release children currently being held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) custody, Denise Bell, researcher for refugee and migrant rights at Amnesty International USA …

March 27, 2020 • Press Release

Immediately revoke suspension of environmental protections

Responding to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement it would suspend enforcement of environmental laws indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Richard Pearshouse, Amnesty International’s Head of Crisis and the Environment, said: “The Trump administration is cynically abusing this crisis to achieve its pre-COVID-19 goal of gutting U.S. environmental regulations. “It’s difficult to overstate …

March 24, 2020 • Report


Faced with an unprecedented pandemic, governments across the Americas have begun to respond to COVID-19 in a variety of ways, ranging from calling for states of emergencies, to imposing travel bans, to implementing quarantines. Stakes are high and the way governments respond to this pandemic could determine the future of millions of people. Governments are …

March 24, 2020 • Press Release

Amnesty International highlights human rights priorities in the Americas for state responses to COVID-19

Amnesty International has published recommendations today for states in the Americas to ensure that their responses to COVID-19 are in line with their international human rights obligations, as well as flagging a series of human rights violations in the region that predate the pandemic but could be exacerbated by it. The paper, which sets out four things …

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