Excellent article on new Amnesty Report: Jailed Without Justice

Go to the full article or the report to read about a Buddhist monk detained for 10 months and a Chinese woman, held in a county jail for almost a year, simply for seeking religious/political asylum. Horrible stories about what our government is doing. (And, whenever there is lack of due process in a situation like this: It could be you!)

America should be outraged by the scale of human rights abuses occurring within its own borders.

(excerpt from) The Washington Independent
Thousands of Immigrants Held in Violation of International Law. Amnesty USA Research Shows Immigrants Unable to Challenge Their Detention
By Daphne Eviatar 3/25/09

A comprehensive report issued by Amnesty International USA Wednesday finds that tens of thousands of immigrants are being held in detention in the United States – many in violation of international law.

Conducted by Amnesty researchers based on interviews over the course of a year with immigration lawyers and judges, asylum seekers, government officials and non-governmental organizations, the report finds that U.S. immigration policy has increasingly detained immigrants – including lawful residents and even some U.S. citizens – without a meaningful ability to challenge their detentions in an objective judicial proceeding, without access to a lawyer to help them determine their legal status, and often in inhumane conditions, commingled with criminals and denied access to minimal health care.

“America should be outraged by the scale of human rights abuses occurring within its own borders,” said Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA, in a statement released with the report. “Officials are locking up thousands of human beings without due process and holding them in a system that is impossible to navigate. . . . The U.S. government must ensure that every person in immigration detention has a hearing to determine whether that detention is necessary.”

Such arbitrary detentions violate international standards such as the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, says Amnesty. The group calls on Congress to amend the immigration laws to eliminate arbitrary detention, use alternatives to detention where possible and improve detention conditions.

“Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person,” reads Article 9 of the U.N. Covenant. “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention” or deprived of liberty, the Covenant continues, except “in accordance with such procedures as are established by law.”…

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