May 15, 2015, New York, NY. Today, the United Nations Human Rights Council distributed a report containing 348 recommendations for how the United States can improve its human rights record and fulfill its human rights obligations. The Human Rights Council's review of the United States took place on May 11, 2015, and presented an opportunity for UN member States to raise questions and concerns regarding US human rights practices. Many of the recommendations address issues that directly impact International Justice Network clients, including arbitrary and secret detention, compensation for torture victims, and accountability for torture. The following recommendations were made:
- Further ensure that all victims of torture and ill-treatment – whether still in US custody or not - obtain redress and have an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation and as full rehabilitation as possible, including medical and psychological assistance (Denmark)
- Adopt legal and administrative measures to make effective the investigation and sanction of violations of human rights during international operations, in which members of armed forces and other government agents participate (Argentina)
- Put an end to the practice of secret detention (Azerbaijan)
- Enact comprehensive legislation prohibiting all forms of torture and take measures to prevent all acts of torture in areas outside the national territory under its effective control (Austria)
- Investigate the CIA torture crimes, which stirred up indignation and denunciation among people, to disclose all information and to allow investigation by international community in this regard (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
- Respect the absolute prohibition on torture and take measures to guarantee punishment of all perpetrators (Costa Rica)
- Allow an independent body to investigate allegations of torture and to end the impunity of perpetrators (Switzerland)
Amnesty International Report Highlights CIA Torture and Enforced Disappearance of IJN Client Redha al-Najar
April 21, 2015, New York, NY. Amnesty International issued a report today condemning the US government’s failure to take effective measures to end impunity for the unlawful abuses committed as part of the CIA’s torture and detention program. The report, USA: Crimes and Impunity, highlights the case of International Justice Network (IJN) client Redha al-Najar, one of the victims of the CIA’s secret program. The report details the nature of Mr. al-Najar’s enforced disappearance from Pakistan in 2002 and the torture he endured while imprisoned at CIA black sites for nearly 700 days. Mr. al-Najar's horrific abuse was first described in the Executive Summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture, released to the public in December 2014.
April 7, 2015, New York, NY. The International Justice Network (IJN) strongly condemns the April 2 arrest of Nabeel Rajab, leading human rights defender and president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Mr. Rajab was charged with “spreading false news” on Twitter after he posted a series of tweets denouncing the use of torture at Bahrain’s notorious Jaw Prison. Mr. Rajab is a close, long-standing ally of IJN, and one of the most courageous human rights defenders in the world. His arbitrary detention serves as a poignant reminder of his commitment to human rights, even at great personal sacrifice. As his home was being surrounded by Bahraini security forces, Mr. Rajab said, "What is certain is that the struggle for human rights and justice will continue in this country until all violations, and torture and crimes end. All those policeman and all those people will not stop my work or my resistance.”
March 26, 2015, New York, NY. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the judgments of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit against Redha al-Najar and Amanatullah Ali, two Bagram detainees who sought to challenge their arbitrary detention by the U.S. Government. This marks the end of a nearly decade-long legal battle waged by the International Justice Network (IJN) in U.S. courts seeking justice for Bagram detainees.