Contact: Sharon Singh, [email protected], 202-675-8761
(Washington, D.C.) – Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA executive director, issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama and his administration's need of a ‘kill list’ and ‘disposition matrix’ (a secret system of detention and execution):
“The revelation that a U.S. government ‘disposition matrix’ is at the centerpiece of the Obama administration's efforts to foil terrorism is Orwellian, using bland bureaucratic language to describe what essentially amounts to a hit list. International human rights and humanitarian law spell out the rules for when a government may use lethal force or lawfully detain a suspect. Instead of abiding by these standards, President Obama seeks to further entrench a framework of a permanent ‘global war’ as a license to kill or detain without charge or trial anyone, anywhere, anytime based on a secret U.S. determination that the action is justified.
“Unlawful killings and other human rights violations by the U.S. government weaken the credibility of the United States as an advocate for human rights. These actions set dangerous precedents that other countries may exploit to avoid responsibility for their own unlawful killings and that undermine the foundations of the international framework for human rights protection.
“There has also been widespread speculation that current U.S. policies and practices in regards to national security may inadvertently be building support for the very armed groups and terror attacks that U.S. officials look to thwart.”
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.