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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August 13, 2018 • Press Release

Nebraska Set to Carry Out Its First Execution in 21 Years

Amnesty International USA urges the state of Nebraska not to resume executions, ahead of plans by the state to carry out its first execution in 21 years on August 14. “The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights,” stated Kristina Roth, Senior Program Officer for Criminal Justice Programs at Amnesty International USA. “The …

August 10, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty International USA Statement on Charlottesville Anniversary and Rallies

Ahead of a planned “Unite the Right 2” rally in Washington DC and the anniversary of the Charlottesville tragedy on August 12, Amnesty International’s executive director Margaret Huang issued the following statement: “Failure from our leaders to denounce racial and ethnic hatred has only emboldened those who wish to normalize discrimination,” said Margaret Huang, executive …

August 9, 2018 • Press Release


270 local and state elected officials from 42 states expressed their support for resettling refugees in their communities in a bipartisan letter sent to President Trump on Tuesday. The letter, supported by refugee advocacy organizations and resettlement agencies, urges the President to resettle at least 75,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2019. The letter was signed …

August 1, 2018 • Press Release

Trump’s Policies Will Place Thousands of Refugee Lives in Grave Danger

Responding to reports that President Donald Trump may seek to cap U.S. refugee admissions at no more than 25,000 refugees for Fiscal Year 2019, the lowest goal in the history of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, Ryan Mace, Grassroots Advocacy and Refugee Specialist at Amnesty International USA stated: “The United States betrays both its values …

July 26, 2018 • Press Release

US Coalition Efforts to Ensure Accountability for Civilian Deaths are a Welcome First Step, But More Clarity Necessary

The US-led coalition has today issued a press release accepting responsibility for all civilian deaths documented in Amnesty International’s June 5th report into the aerial bombardment of Raqqa. Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser, said: “After weeks of obfuscation and denials, the US-led coalition has finally admitted responsibility for the deaths of approximately …

July 24, 2018 • Press Release

House of Representatives Must Reject Funding Increases for ICE and CBP

The House Appropriations Committee must reject all funding increases for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in next year’s budget for the Department of Homeland Security, Amnesty International urged in a letter as the committee prepares to mark up the FY19 DHS budget. The current bill proposes increased spending on …

July 24, 2018 • Press Release

State Department Gathering on Religious Freedom Must Lead By Example

As the State Department hosts the first Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, Amnesty International USA urges the Trump Administration to examine its own policies of religious discrimination, while at the same time addressing religious persecution worldwide. “Religious freedom is under attack in all corners of the world, which is why it’s more important than ever …

July 22, 2018 • Press Release


Following this evening’s airing of Showtime’s, Who Is America, host Sacha Baron Cohen will be auctioning off the “Water Board Kit” seen in his interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney to benefit Amnesty International. The auction is now live here and will run until Tuesday, July 24. In the piece, Cohen asked former Vice President Dick Cheney …

July 17, 2018 • Press Release

Syria: Putin takes hypocrisy to a new level with remarks on Raqqa civilian deaths

In an interview with Fox News following the Helsinki Summit on 16 July, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized the high civilian death toll from the US-led Coalition’s aerial bombardment of Raqqa, Syria. Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Maalouf responded: “The US-led Coalition should absolutely face heightened scrutiny for its conduct in last year’s four-month Raqqa offensive. Our field …

July 13, 2018 • Press Release

Russia and USA must use Putin-Trump summit to take responsibility for human rights

“While both Trump and Putin have drawn justified criticism for their respective human rights records, their meeting presents a chance for both to make a profound difference on several global fronts, if they can rise to the opportunity,” said Daniel Balson, Amnesty International USA’s Advocacy Director for Europe and Central Asia ahead of the meeting …