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Human Rights Watch

FEBRUARY 22, 2007
1:19 PM

CONTACT: Human Rights Watch

US: 10 Steps to Restore Moral Authority

WASHINGTON - February 22 - Congress should adopt a 10-step plan to reverse the Bush administration’s detention and interrogation policies, a coalition of human rights, civil liberties and religious groups said in a letter sent today to the Congressional leadership. First on the agenda is the restoration of access to courts for detainees to bring habeas corpus challenges – the age-old protection against the arbitrary exercise of executive power. Among other things, the coalition also calls on Congress to enact legislation that would stop renditions to torture; permanently ban the use of secret prisons; and prohibit the use in any adjudicative proceedings of evidence obtained through coercion and abusive interrogation practices, including in the newly authorized military commissions.  
“For the last five years, the Bush administration has ignored the rule of law,” said Jennifer Daskal, US advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “It has authorized abusive interrogations, indefinite secret detention without charge, and rendition to torture – all practices Washington condemned when carried out by others.”  
Congress should follow the 10 steps laid out in the letter, Human Rights Watch said. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is good policy – one that would restore the United States’ reputation as a nation that respects human rights and the rule of law.  
“The new Congress now has the chance – and the mandate – to right the wrongs of the past five years and restore Washington’s moral authority at home and abroad,” said Daskal.  
The letter to Congressional leadership detailing the 10-step plan  
Ten Steps to Restoring the United States' Moral Authority


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