United States of America

Hearings for the strengthening of the Inter-American System before the IACHR

Tue, 10/30/2012 (All day)
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Washington DC

The struggle of the Sarayaku community

"The Children of the Jaguar" documentary screening and panel discussion in Spanish. For more information click here.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 10:00
Center for Justice and International Law
Washington DC

Hearings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

Mon, 10/29/2012 (All day) - Fri, 11/16/2012 (All day)
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Washington DC

Hearings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

Mon, 07/16/2012 (All day) - Fri, 07/20/2012 (All day)
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Washington DC

Public Hearings 144th IACHR Sessions – March 2012

The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights will hold its 144thSessions on March 23 – 28. CEJIL and its counterpart hearings are listed here.
 
For the complete schedule of Commission hearings, click here.

Fri, 03/23/2012 (All day) - Wed, 03/28/2012 (All day)
Inter-American Commission of Human Rights
Washington DC

CEJIL condemns twelve years of human rights violations in Guantanamo

Due to persistent, flagrant violations of international law, 155 men remain detained today

Washington, DC, Saturday, January 11, 2014.- Today, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) joined a multitude of civil society organizations and peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C., in demanding the immediate closure of the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo, in compliance with its human rights obligations.

“Since we first obtained precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission in 2002, Guantanamo has become a symbol of grave breaches of international law in the fight against terrorism,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law. “Justice delayed is justice denied, and the United States has delayed twelve years too long in finally fulfilling its international obligations.”

Sat, 01/11/2014

Manifestación Guantánamo DC 11-01-2014Washington, DC, Saturday, January 11, 2014.- Today, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) joined a multitude of civil society organizations and peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C., in demanding the immediate closure of the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo, in compliance with its human rights obligations.

“Since we first obtained precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission in 2002, Guantanamo has become a symbol of grave breaches of international law in the fight against terrorism,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law. “Justice delayed is justice denied, and the United States has delayed twelve years too long in finally fulfilling its international obligations.”

As 155 men remain arbitrarily detained and Guantanamo begins its 13th year of operations, the United States still has not complied with its duty under human rights law to determine the legal basis for the men’s detention by a competent tribunal and try or release all detainees in accordance with international law; to investigate, prosecute and punish all instances of torture and ill-treatment; and to refrain from sending detainees to countries where they may be at risk of torture.

The United States government’s repeated failure to comply with these obligations was evidenced in resolutions in 2006 and 2011 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), among other international human rights bodies, finding that the State had caused irreparable harm to the detainees, and ordering the detention center’s immediate closure.

On May 1, 2013, as a mass hunger strike threatened the lives and well-being of the detainees, the IACHR issued a Joint Declaration together with the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on countering terrorism, the UN Special Rapporteur on health, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, emphatically reiterating the need to “adopt concrete measures to end the indefinite detention of persons; provide for their release or prosecution, in accordance with due process and the principles and standards of international human rights law; allow for independent monitoring by international human rights bodies; and close the detention center at the Guantánamo Naval Base".

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International human rights bodies condemn forcible transfer of Djamel Ameziane from Guantanamo to Algeria

Ameziane is the first detainee in the history of Guantanamo protected by an international human rights body

Washington, DC, Thursday, December 19, 2013.- This Thursday the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) strongly condemned the forcible transfer of Djamel Ameziane from Guantanamo to Algeria in contravention of precautionary measuresordered on his behalf.

The Center for Justice and International Law represents Ameziane, the first Guantanamo detainee whose case was admitted before an international human rights body.

Thu, 12/19/2013
Aniversario de GuantánamoWashington, DC, Thursday, December 19, 2013.- This Thursday the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) strongly condemned the forcible transfer of Djamel Ameziane from Guantanamo to Algeria in contravention of precautionary measuresordered on his behalf.

The Center for Justice and International Law represents Ameziane, the first Guantanamo detainee whose case was admitted before an international human rights body.

“In 2008, when we first requested international protection for Djamel Ameziane, the Commission issued precautionary measures that prohibit his transfer to Algeria, where he could face torture or persecution,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). “After our clients forcible transfer, today the Inter-American Commission has made it clear that the United States must be held accountable for this flagrant violation of international law.”

On December 5, 2013, the United States government had anounced that it forcibly transferred Djamel Ameziane from Guantanamo to the Algerian government, this despite his well-founded fear of persecution or torture in his native country.

Since 2008, when CEJIL requested international protection for Djamel, the Inter-American Commission had ordered the State not to return him to Algeria through precautionary measures -- an international injunction – ordered in his favor. The United States government has deliberately violated this order.

CEJIL, together with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), were able to present his petition five years ago and, in 2012, Djamel Ameziane was the first Guantanamo detainee whose case was accepted by an international human rights body.

The IACHR emphasized, in its press release: “The forced transfer of Djamel Ameziane to Algeria is in violation of the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits transfers and deportations of individuals to countries where they may run the risk of being tortured. Moreover, with this transfer the United States disregarded precautionary measures 211/08 and 259/02 of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.”

In a joint statement, the United Nations special rapporteurs on torture and counter-terrorism expressed Deep concern that “the life of Mr. Ameziane could be in danger in Algeria” and decried the United States’ violation of its non-refoulement obligations – not to return people to places where their lives or enjoyment of human rights could be threatened.

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CEJIL condemns Djamel Ameziane’s forced transfer from Guantánamo to Algeria

Washington, DC, Thursday, December 5, 2013.- Today the United States Government announced that it has transferred Djamel Ameziane from Guantánamo to Algeria despite his well-founded fear of persecution or torture in his home country, in direct contravention of precautionary measures ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

“Since 2008, the Inter-American Commission has ordered the State not to send him to Algeria, where he risks torture or persecution,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). “The United States Government’s forcible transfer of Djamel Ameziane to Algeria is a blatant breach of international law, for which the State must be held accountable.”

Thu, 12/05/2013

Djamel Ameziane fue transferido a Argelia de Guantánamo según anunció el Gobierno de Estados UnidosWashington, DC, Thursday, December 5, 2013.- Today the United States Government announced that it has transferred Djamel Ameziane from Guantánamo to Algeria despite his well-founded fear of persecution or torture in his home country, in direct contravention of precautionary measures ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

“Since 2008, the Inter-American Commission has ordered the State not to send him to Algeria, where he risks torture or persecution,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). “The United States Government’s forcible transfer of Djamel Ameziane to Algeria is a blatant breach of international law, for which the State must be held accountable.”

CEJIL and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), brought Djamel Ameziane’s case to the IACHR in 2008. In 2008, the IACHR issued precautionary measures – still in force – prohibiting the United States from sending Mr. Ameziane to Algeria. In 2012, Djamel’s petition was declared admissible by the IACHR, making it the leading international case on the Guantánamo detention center.

Djamel Ameziane is a college graduate fluent in multiple languages, who fled Algeria in the early 1990s to escape the civil war. Fearing persecution based on his minority, Berber ethnicity, he sought refuge outside Algeria, living legally in Vienna, Austria and Montreal, Canada. When he was ultimately denied permanent refuge, and fearing torture or persecution in Algeria, he fled to Afghanistan in 2001. After the U.S. invasion, he fled toward Pakistan but was captured and sold by Pakistanis to U.S. forces, who sent him to Guantánamo in February 2002. Despite the fact that no charges were made against him, and that the United States military admitted in 2008 that his detention no longer served any purpose, he was arbitrarily detained in Guantánamo for nearly 12 years without charge or trial.

“This forcible transfer only compounds the years of suffering and injustice that Djamel Ameziane has already faced in Guantánamo,” said Viviana Krsticevic.

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Inter-American Commission calls for closure of Guantanamo in public hearing

CEJIL and CCR call for United States to grant IACHR and UN experts access to the detention center

Washington, DC, October 28, 2013- The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) appeared in a hearing convened by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, Commission) to demand that the United States immediately close the detention center at the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The IACHR, a principle human rights body of the Organization of American States (OAS), convened this, the second hearing on Guantanamo in six months, in recognition of the urgent and ongoing human rights abuses there.

Tue, 10/29/2013

Audiencia ante la CIDH sobre GuantánamoWashington, DC, October 28, 2013- The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) appeared in a hearing convened by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, Commission) to demand that the United States immediately close the detention center at the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The IACHR, a principle human rights body of the Organization of American States (OAS), convened this, the second hearing on Guantanamo in six months, in recognition of the urgent and ongoing human rights abuses there.

In their presentation, CEJIL and CCR provided key updates and analysis of the massive hunger strike that grew massively since our previous hearing in March, the State practice of force-feeding, invasive “genital searches” interfering with the right to counsel, and other conditions of detention violating the detainees’ human rights.

The United States delegation did not present any substantial information arguing that due to the government shut down they did not have the capacity to prepare for this hearing. CCR and CEJIL regretted the position of the United Stated government particularly because these are issues that have been going on for several years and the state department officials responsible for the closure of Guantanamo Bay were not subject to the furlough and were well aware of this hearing.

“Despite President Obama’s announcement in May that he was recommitting himself to closing Guantanamo, including naming new special envoys and lifting his self-imposed ban on transfers to Yemen, only two prisoners have been transferred since Obama’s speech. Eighty-four men who are cleared for release remain, 56 of whom are from Yemen, yet no Yemeni has left the prison since 2010.” said CCR Staff Attorney Omar Farah, who testified today. “This group of men in particular remain imprisoned not because of anything they allegedly did, but because of where they were born.  Lifting the Yemen transfer ban has so far been an empty declaration; it has done nothing to end ongoing collective punishment on the basis of national origin.  Guantanamo is quickly becoming an internment camp for Yemenis.”

In a Joint Declaration on May 1, 2013, the IACHR, three United Nations special rapporteurs and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted that the restriction on transfers to Yemen violated international law, noting that “the general restriction on transfers imposed since January 2010 on Yemeni nationals, based solely on their nationality … constitutes a clear violation of the principle of non-discrimination.”

“In contravention of repeated orders to close Guantanamo by the Inter-American Commission and the United Nations Human Rights Council mechanisms, 164 men remain arbitrarily and indefinitely detained in Guantanamo today. Today CEJIL and CCR demand that the United States government take immediate, decisive action to close this detention center in compliance with international standards,” said Francisco Quintana, Program Director for the Andean, North America and Caribbean Region, of CEJIL.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez, who presented independent expert testimony at the hearing, joined the Commissioners in insisting that the United States government must allow the IACHR and the UN Human rights council mechanisms and special rapporteurs to conduct on-site visits in the Guantanamo detention center and meet freely and privately with the men detained there. During more than eleven years of operations, the State has never allowed such a visit to Guantanamo, despite the IACHR and the UN treaty bodies and rapporteurs’ repeated requests.

 

CEJIL calls on U.S. to implement human rights standards through immigration reform in public IACHR hearing

Washington, DC, October 28, 2013.- This afternoon, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) joined a coalition of immigration attorneys, NGOs, law clinics, labor unions, and members of directly-affected immigrant communities to call on the United States to fulfill its international obligations through comprehensive immigration reform in a public hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, Commission).

CEJIL requested that the Inter-American Commission include its comprehensive studies in its annual report and create a thematic report, hold an on-site visit to monitor U.S. detention and deportation policies, and monitor legislative and administrative developments’ impact on the rights of migrants through a transversal human rights approach taking into account the rights of migrant families, children, women, workers, and LGBTI migrants.

 

Mon, 10/28/2013

Washington, DC, October 28, 2013.- This afternoon, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) joined a coalition of immigration attorneys, NGOs, law clinics, labor unions, and members of directly-affected immigrant communities to call on the United States to fulfill its international obligations through comprehensive immigration reform in a public hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, Commission).

CEJIL requested that the Inter-American Commission include its comprehensive studies in its annual report and create a thematic report, hold an on-site visit to monitor U.S. detention and deportation policies, and monitor legislative and administrative developments’ impact on the rights of migrants through a transversal human rights approach taking into account the rights of migrant families, children, women, workers, and LGBTI migrants.

In 2010, CEJIL won a favorable judgment from the Commission in the case of Wayne Smith and Hugo Armendariz, which required the U.S. to reform its laws to allow consideration of family and community ties in deportation proceedings. Similarly, the IACHR issued a number of detailed recommendations on immigration detention and due process in 2010. The United States still has not complied with these recommendations.

“The United States government’s failure to comply with its outstanding human rights obligations currently results in widespread violations of the rights of migrant families, children, and communities. The United States must seize this historic opportunity and finally comply with international human rights standards through comprehensive immigration reform,” said Francisco Quintana, Program Director for the Andean, North America and Caribbean Region, of CEJIL. “But there are a number of administrative measures the United States can – and must – take immediately to better guarantee the human rights of migrant families and children, including incorporating human rights standards into its administrative guidelines for decision-makers in immigration proceedings, as we’ve outlined in our reports.”

At the hearing, CEJIL was joined by a broad-based coalition of representatives from the AFL-CIO, Gibbs Houston Pauw, Stanford Immigration Rights Clinic, Boston College Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, the National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON), Immigration Equality, Advocates for Human Rights, the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, and the Boston University Law Clinic, as well as supporters from faith-based immigrant rights coalitions.

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