• Press Release

Obama Speech Offers Lessons for Trump

December 6, 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: Mandy Simon, [email protected]

(NEW YORK, NY) – Responding to President Obama’s speech today on counterterrorism, Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International USA’s Security with Human Rights program, released the following statement:

Today President Obama made the case for a national security policy that respects human dignity and human rights. With a president-elect who has enthusiastically embraced waterboarding, a special registry for Muslims and expansion of indefinite detention at Guantanamo, it cannot be overstated that these legal boundaries must be drawn – repeatedly.

“Regardless of who is president, the U.S. has international human rights obligations. The U.S. cannot live up to those obligations if it returns to systematic torture and continues to hold people indefinitely without charge.

“While we strongly disagree with some parts of the administration’s national security rulebook, we do think its disclosure is a positive step toward transparency. When the U.S. government shares documents like these publicaly, it’s a sign that those in power value accountability and an informed debate. Now, with a Trump administration on the horizon, it is more important than ever that we do not forget those values.”