We all need safety from violence and terrorism, but no government should sacrifice people’s human rights in the name of national security.
Unfortunately, in the United States and beyond, that’s exactly what’s happening – and Amnesty International is helping stop it.
On multiple fronts, the United States government is violating human rights in the name of national security, often in violation of both U.S. law and international law.
Amnesty International helps expose and end national security policies that violate human rights. We’ve secured fair treatment for people in individual cases, we’ve helped force the government to release information about its activities, and we’ve played a key role in helping end practices that abuse human rights.
Number of people detained at Guantanamo by the end of January 2019.
Number of people deported under the NSEERS program, without being convicted of any crimes, before it was dismantled
Number of protests Amnesty International USA held in the weeks after President Trump issued his first Muslim Ban.
In 2002, Shaker Aamer, a U.K. resident and father of four, was one of the first people sent to the notorious makeshift prison the U.S. started at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Shaker was born in Saudi Arabia; he studied in Georgia and Maryland, and he worked as a translator for the U.S. Army during the Gulf War.
Shaker always maintained his innocence. He said he was subjected to torture for years. He was cleared for transfer out of Guantánamo in 2007, indicating that authorities had no plans to charge him – but he was not released.
Amnesty International campaigned aggressively for Shaker’s release for more than a decade – mobilizing thousands of people to write letters, directly advocating with the U.S. and U.K. governments, and working closely with his family and attorneys. Finally, in October 2015, Shaker was flown to the U.K. and freed. He had been imprisoned for 13 years without being charged with a crime.
The military prison at Guantánamo Bay continues to facilitate grave violations of human rights by the U.S. Government. Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the military prison’s opening on January 11, 2001, Daphne Eviatar, Director of the Security with Human Rights Program at Amnesty International USA, said: “This is an anniversary that should never have been reached. Since the Bush administration, there has been agreement among national security experts and across the political spectrum that the Guantánamo prison – a notorious site of torture and unjustifiable indefinite detention – should be closed.
The Taliban, United States military, and Afghan security forces were all responsible for attacks that resulted in extensive civilian suffering before the country’s government collapsed earlier this year, Amnesty International said in a new report today.
The Honorable Christopher Miller Acting Secretary Department of Defense 1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, DC 20301-1000 RE:Amnesty International USA calls for halt to domestic deployments of military forces in …
AIUSA Statement on The Impact of Eroding Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa on Democratic Practices 093020 Human Rights are essential for accountability, transparency and respect for the rule of law, …
August 24, 2020 Dear Representative: On behalf of Amnesty International USA, I am writing to share our top foreign policy and human rights policy recommendations. The list of issues that …
The Honorable Tibor Nagy Assistant Secretary of State Bureau of African Affairs U.S. Department of State C and 22nd Street Washington DC 20520 June 9, 2020 Dear Assistant Secretary Nagy, …
When a society becomes overrun by fear, it can be primed to accept policies that undermine human rights while providing an illusion of safety and security. We’ve seen it time and again throughout U.S. history – with disastrously counterproductive results.
Gingrich’s comments are the latest in this trend: After horrific terrorism attacks, pundits take to cable news to offer discriminatory, anti-Muslim proposals and rhetoric.
In an unprecedented victory for torture accountability, the U.S. Justice Department decided not to block a private lawsuit from going forward, and to actually allow survivors and victims of CIA torture to have their their day in court.
Too little, and much too late. CIA Director John Brennan this week declared that the CIA would refuse to engage in waterboarding in the future, even if ordered to do …