Friday, January 16, 2009

Accountability and the Obama Administration

This article provides a good discussion of the decisions the Obama Administration will need to make in light of comments by Susan J. Crawford, the convening authority for the U.S. military commissions, about the torture by the U.S. military of Guantánamo detainee Mohammed al-Qahtani.

As noted in the article, the prosecution of Charles ("Chuckie") Taylor, Jr. under the U.S. law prohibiting torture was an extremely positive step toward holding torturers accountable. We encourage the Obama Administration to follow the precedent set by the Taylor case and hold all torturers in our borders accountable for their crimes. Mistreatment of fellow human beings by methods that are universally condemned simply cannot be ignored.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

HR USA Executive Director Theresa Harris to Speak at Launch of New AAAS Coalition

Theresa Harris, Executive Director of Human Rights USA, will speak tomorrow (January 15, 2009) at the launch of the Science and Human Rights Coalition of the American Association for the Advancement of Scientists (AAAS).

On a panel called, "Hearing from the Human Rights Community: How Science and Scientists Can Contribute," Ms. Harris will discuss how computer scientists provided critical support for Human Rights USA's lawsuit against Yahoo, Inc. and how the group relies on scientific research for its ongoing work to protect freedom of expression online. The panel also features Cathy Albisa of the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, John Bradshaw of Physicians for Human Rights,and Matthew Smith of EarthRights International. Sage Russel of AAAS will moderate the discussion.

From the AAAS website,

"After a full year of preperation and deliberation, the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition is ready to be launched. Join us in celebrating the promising new initiative!

The Launch of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition is an opportunity to learn about the Coalition, its areas of activity, and how you and your scientific association can become a part of this important new initiative, to discover the varied contributions that science and scientists can make to human rights, and have the opportunity to equip your scientific association with the information and tools needed for robust engagement in human rights."

Human Rights USA is proud to support a coalition that aspires to strengthen the relationship between the human rights and scientific communities. The launch will be held at the AAAS Headquarters, located at 1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington DC 20005.