Amnesty Targets U.S. Abuses: Report Contends Law Enforcement Rights Violations Are 'Widespread'

By Malcolm, Teresa | National Catholic Reporter, October 16, 1998 | Go to article overview

Amnesty Targets U.S. Abuses: Report Contends Law Enforcement Rights Violations Are 'Widespread'


Malcolm, Teresa, National Catholic Reporter


Report contends law enforcement rights violations are `widespread'

Amnesty International, whose previous worldwide campaigns have targeted such well-known human rights violators as China, Rwanda and Guatemala, has now turned its attention on the United States. For the first time in its 37-year history, human rights abuses in a major Western country will be the focus of a yearlong Amnesty International country campaign.

The London-based human rights organization launched the campaign Oct. 6 with the release of a 153-page report, titled "Rights for All," detailing cases of police brutality and violence against prisoners, among other violations of international standards.

"Human rights violations in the U.S. occur in rural communities and urban centers from coast to coast," said the Nobel Peace Prizewinning organization, which monitors human rights in over 170 countries. "They are committed by sheriffs and judges, by Immigration and Naturalization Service officials and by police and corrections officers in jails and prisons across the country."

While Amnesty International has previously published reports about specific human rights concerns in the United States, this is its first comprehensive country campaign directed at abuses in the United States. Over 1 million Amnesty members worldwide are expected to participate in the U.S. campaign.

Curt Goering, deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA, said the organization expects "overwhelming support" from its 300,000 U.S. members for the campaign. "Our interest is not to embarrass, it is to highlight these issues and make recommendations."

`We welcome their scrutiny'

State Department spokesman James Foley said the U.S. government does not object to the Amnesty probe. "We welcome their scrutiny of human rights in the United States in keeping with our recognition of the universality of human rights and our openness as a democratic society," he said in published reports. "We are proud of our political and judicial systems, which we believe are the envy of the world."

Amnesty is calling on its members to help publicize the issues contained in the report by distributing the organization's publications, raising the issue with other groups and writing to the press.

The campaign will also include a letter-writing push to President Clinton, urging him to promote human rights in the United States, and to U.S. diplomatic representatives throughout the world, asking them to relay Amnesty's concerns to U.S. authorities.

William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said that the United States' role defending human rights worldwide is weakened by its own abuses. "When the U.S. house is not in order, it makes it harder for the U.S. to take the kind of leadership role in international human rights that many of us in Amnesty would like to see it take,' he said.

Amnesty said its report on the United States "is played out against a national background of economic and racial injustice, a rising tide of anti-immigrant sentiment and front-page stories of violent crimes committed by children."

Law enforcement abuts were featured prominently in the report, which documents a "widespread and persistent pattern of police brutality."

As part of the USA Campaign, Amnesty International is recommending that the United States:

* establish independent monitoring bodies to investigate allegations of police brutality and abuse in jails and prisons;

* ban the use of stun belts, hog-tying and other dangerous restraint methods;

* ban the routine use of restraints on pregnant female inmates and all restraints during labor;

* restrict and regulate the interactions of male staff with female inmates to prevent sexual abuse;

* ratify, without reservations, the Conventions on the Rights of the Child and on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women;

* detain asylum-seekers only as a last resort and never with criminal defendants;

* ban the death penalty for juvenile offenders as a first step toward total abolition;

* adopt a code of conduct covering all transfers of military, security and police equipment, services and expertise to other countries. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Amnesty Targets U.S. Abuses: Report Contends Law Enforcement Rights Violations Are 'Widespread'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.