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As the United States’ human rights record is examined under the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review during a two-week session, which begins today, Amnesty International USA issued the following statement:

“Today, the world watches to see whether the United States will seize the opportunity for its policies to be examined fully under the light of transparency or whether it will shirk from the sunlight and bury its human rights record in the shadows of excuses,” said Bob Goodfellow, the executive director of Amnesty International USA. 

Amnesty International expressed in its Universal Periodic Review submission concerns about policies impacting refugees and asylum seekers; gun violence and criminal justice; systemic racism and freedom of peaceful assembly; persistent human rights violations associated with the US government’s national security and counter-terrorism programs; attacks on sexual and reproductive rights and the lack of protection for the LGBTI community; as well as high maternal mortality rates and levels of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

Amnesty International has updated this document to include human rights violations associated with the United States government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes concerns on the policing of the nationwide protests that took place following the torture and extrajudicial execution of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, as well as on key death penalty developments from 2020. 

“The issue of gun violence in the United States has been brought to light on a global stage, and the way authorities have responded during a moment of introspection has been disastrous. Agencies from the Department of Justice to the Federal Bureau of Instigations have shielded away from addressing the real issue of too many guns in too many hands and swept this human rights crisis under the rug,” said Bob Goodfellow. 

Amnesty International USA is calling on the United States government to thoroughly review the hundreds of human rights issues raised by civil society and to fully implement the recommendations to address the abuses documented. 

Amnesty International submitted reviews for ten of the fourteen countries that are to be reviewed during the 36th Session of the Universal Periodic Review: Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Honduras, Jamaica, Libya, Malawi, Maldives, Mongolia and the United States.

Media contact: Mariya Parodi, [email protected]