On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.More
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Many countries have instituted blasphemy laws in the name of protecting religious freedom. But these laws are often used to persecute religious minorities and suppress freedom of expression. We press the U.S. government to vigorously oppose them, and why we led a successful effort at the U.N. to oppose a “defamations of religious” measure—a global blasphemy code. Photo: Corbis.

We partner with LGBT and other civil society activists in Russia who are fighting for their rights. Taking our cue from these activists, we urge the U.S. government to emphasize human rights in its diplomacy with Russia, all the more important now that the Putin government has launched a far-ranging clampdown on dissent. Photo: AP.

Across the world, including in the United States, women are disproportionately poor and uneducated, and they face discrimination and gender-based violence. These problems hurt everyone because societies aren’t free unless women are. Whether we’re helping female refugees or partnering with female activists or combating gender-based persecution, we make women’s human rights a priority, and we urge the U.S. government to do the same. Photo: AP.

In both Europe and the United States, xenophobic rhetoric and hate crimes are on the rise. In Europe, xenophobia fueled by far-right parties is part of growing tide of hatred against migrants, Muslims, Jews, and Roma. We press the United States to work to combat hate both at home and abroad, instituting laws and practices to keep xenophobia at bay without violating free speech protections.

Military commissions at Gitmo, now in their third incarnation, are a failed experiment. Structurally shoddy and constitutionally dubious, they have produced few convictions while undermining the rule of law. Federal trials, by contrast, have produced more than 400 convictions of terrorists since 9-11, denied Al Qaeda members the warriors’ martyrdom they seek, and set a standard of justice before the world. Photo: AP.

Due process refers to a fair judicial process, which includes a fair trial, qualified legal representation, and the ability to appeal. We’ve championed the right of due process for activists opposing repressive regimes, and we’ve also led the battle against the military tribunals at Gitmo, which undermine due process. Photo: AP.

After 9-11, Congress authorized military force against those responsible. But the war morphed into an ever-expanding conflict that has enabled human rights abuses. Torture, indefinite detention, unjust military commissions, and legally dubious drone strikes threaten national security as terrorists use them to win supporters and U.S. credibility crumbles. American ideals are a national security asset: the U.S. government best protects Americans when it protects human rights. It’s time to protect national security and fight terrorism in a smart, tailored, rights-respecting way.

We amplify the voices of interrogators and intelligence professionals with firsthand experience in the torture program and decades of experience on the frontlines of the battle against terrorism.