The Obama administration has leveraged its participation in the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to promote human rights abroad while neglecting to apply these same values domestically, especially by failing to hold torturers accountable, a US advocacy group said in a post on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — "While the United States has used its first six years of [UN] HRC membership to advance human rights overseas, its participation has had little direct bearing on human rights at home," American Civil Liberties Union Human Rights Program Director Jamil Dakwar said.
Dakwar noted that earlier this week the White House made new pledges to protect human rights ahead of US re-election to the HRC, despite the administration’s failure to hold the CIA accountable for its torture program and delays in closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"This kind of rhetoric is emblematic of the Obama administration’s hypocrisy and cherry-picking when it comes to US international legal obligations," Dakwar claimed.
While the president issued an executive order on his second day in office to end the CIA’s secret detention and torture program, Dakwar continued, Obama declined to push meaningful measures of accountability for crimes committed by US intelligence services during President George W. Bush’s administration.
Dakwar further argued that the Obama administration has prevented UN special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, from investigating alleged abuses at Gitmo and US domestic prison facilities.
"American leadership on the world stage suffers when the country presents such a stark double standard on human rights and denies independent human rights monitors access to US facilities abroad, like Guantanamo, and here in the United States," he stated.
The majority of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility were sent there in the aftermath of the US declaration of a global War on Terror driven by the attacks on September 11, 2001. According to a 2015 Senate Intelligence report, terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo Bay and other facilities were subjected to torture under a CIA program that reportedly ended in 2006.
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