The election of Barack Obama to the US presidency opens new opportunities for an end to the seven-year assault on human rights by the US administration.
Amnesty International urged US President-elect Obama to make human rights central to his new administration on Wednesday. The organization is calling for certain concrete steps in his first 100 days in office that would demonstrate a genuine commitment to bringing the USA into line with its international obligations.
The new president will have the authority to rectify some of the unlawful policies and practices adopted during his predecessor’s term in office in the name of counter-terrorism and national security.
Counter terror with justice: a human rights challenge
In the first 100 days, Amnesty International is calling on the new administration to:
announce a plan and date to close Guantánamo;
issue an executive order to ban torture and other ill-treatment, as defined under international law;
ensure that an independent commission to investigate abuses committed by the US government in its “war on terror” is set up.
Amnesty International has numerous human rights concerns in relation to the USA. The organization is seeking a meeting with President-elect Obama to discuss how the USA will take forward policies that will advance internationally recognized human rights both at home and abroad.