Despite efforts by civil rights and human rights groups to delay his confirmation, Senator Jeff Sessions was confirmed today as Attorney General. Following is a statement from Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA.
“As Attorney General, Jeff Sessions must remember that his duty is to uphold the law and protect everyone’s human rights. Attorneys General do not have the option of choosing which people should enjoy their rights, or which rights are worthy of being protected. Amnesty International’s 1.2 million members and supporters in the U.S. will be monitoring his actions closely and will hold him accountable at every turn.
“This administration has already shown a disregard for people’s human rights with an executive order that writes anti-Muslim bigotry into policy and refuses to help refugees, some of the most vulnerable, at-risk people in the world. Jeff Sessions must leave behind his deeply troubling record on human rights, including his past racist statements and his fight to allow U.S. officials to torture people. “
“His job now is to protect people’s rights, not take them away, and we won’t let him forget that.”
AIUSA expressed concerns about Sessions’ record on civil and human rights at the time of his nomination, including his record of making racist statements, fighting efforts to advance voting rights and implement criminal justice reform, seeking to restrict immigration to the U.S., and opposing marriage equality. In the Senate, he was an outspoken opponent of a resolution condemning religious bans on people entering the U.S. and a bill that would prevent U.S. officials from using torture in interrogations.