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July 18, 2006

United States Continues to Reject Human Rights Laws

(New York, May 5, 2006) – Appearing before the UN Human Rights Committee, the United States today reiterated its position that it is not legally bound by the internationally accepted human rights standards during the “war on terror.”

“While the United States says that it treats detainees ‘humanely’ and provides those charged with ‘fair trials’, it continues to reject human rights rules that give those concepts meaning,” said Gabor Rona, Human Rights First International Legal Director, who was in Geneva to observe the proceedings. “The U.S. is virtually alone in denying that well-established human rights norms are binding when it acts against terrorism outside its borders. This position is legally incorrect and further isolates the U.S. from its allies,” Rona said.

UN Human Rights Committee is a body of legal experts established by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a treaty the United States ratified in 1992. The Committee is holding its 87th Session in Geneva to consider periodic reports submitted by countries in accordance with the Covenant. This week, the United States presented its second and third periodic reports. The Human Rights First Report to the Committee is available at http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/Issues/ihrm/index.asp