It’s that time of the month where we do our roundup of some the latest human rights news from across the web. This month is another month where most of the news focuses on the United States, which is kind of a good thing, since there’s isn’t enough discussion of human rights in the United States. Below are some of most important human rights news articles from the past month:
Rights Groups, In Letter to Obama, Question Legality and Secrecy of Drone Killings – The New York Times – Our rally a few weekends ago was perfect timing, since from then on have we seen an increase in the coverage regarding drone secrecy. The impact our rally had isn’t the point. The point is that more people are paying attention to this secrecy and what our tax dollars are going toward. This nine-page letter, of which Amnesty International was a signatory, asks the administration to “publicly disclose key targeted killing standards and criteria; ensure that U.S. lethal force operations abroad comply with international law; enable meaningful Congressional oversight and judicial review; and ensure effective investigations, tracking and response to civilian harm.”
Three Human Rights Victories You Helped Make Happen – Amnesty International Blog – Yes, our work actually makes a difference! But, as a human rights activist and a reader of this blog, you knew that already. However, it’s always great to have a reminder of what you an accomplish when it comes to protecting human rights and to changing the law. Our recent victories include abolishing the death penalty in Maryland and securing the Arms Trade Treaty.
Guantanamo Bay and Indefinite Detention: Hunger Strike Continues – Human Rights Watch – Over half of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are participating in a hunger strike at the prison, which is in its third month and is partly started by the growing realization that some of these people may never go home. Others say the protest started in February after guards handled Korans in a disrespectful way during the search. Whatever the case may be, when you consider that more than half of the detainees were approved for transfer to their home or third countries by an Obama administration interagency task force in 2009, it’s hard to see why Guantanamo Bay needs to be open.
Still the Guy Who Taught America to Torture – The Economist – Four years after the presidency of George W. Bush, it’s getting safe to discuss what his administration’s legacy is, and what this man’s legacy is as president. Particularly regarding his policies in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and the War on Terror, his record is abysmal, putting it a little more bluntly. The article makes a great point that the positions of Bush and his administration may see centrist now, but are really right-wing, and only seem centrist because the mentalities have continued to linger since he left office.
How Do I Become an International Human Rights Lawyer – The Guardian – For anyone wanting to pursue a career in human rights, human rights law is an option, albeit a competitive one. This article discusses what it takes to be a human rights lawyer in the UK (not sure if the landscape is similar in the US). Hint: learn a language and volunteer to do similar work to build experience.