Amnesty calls for halt on Kavanaugh nomination

September 25, 2018 News , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS , United States

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Amnesty International

 

 

Amnesty International USA on Monday called for a halt to a vote on President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States unless and until any information relevant to Kavanaugh’s possible involvement in human rights violations—including in relation to the U.S. government’s use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, such as during the CIA detention program—is declassified and made public.

 

Margaret Huang, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA said:

 

“Amnesty International takes no position on the appointment of particular individuals to government positions, unless they are reasonably suspected of crimes under international law and could use their appointment to the position in question to either prevent accountability for these crimes or to continue perpetration.

 

“In addition to concerns about Kavanaugh’s involvement in torture and other ill-treatment by the U.S. government, Amnesty International is deeply concerned about Brett Kavanaugh’s record on a range of other human rights issues, including sexual and reproductive rights.”

 

 

The letter, addressed to Senators, is reproduced below:

 

 

September 24, 2018

 

Dear Senator,

 

Amnesty International USA calls on you to halt the vote on President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Amnesty International takes no position on the appointment of particular individuals to government positions, unless they are reasonably suspected of crimes under international law and could use their appointment to the position in question to either prevent accountability for these crimes or to continue perpetration. At the same time, the organization calls on governments to thoroughly vet candidates in regard to any human rights concerns arising from their prior conduct.

 

Amnesty International believes that the vetting of Brett Kavanaugh’s record on human rights has been insufficient and calls for the vote on his nomination for Supreme Court of the United States to be further postponed unless and until any information relevant to Kavanaugh’s possible involvement in human rights violations—including in relation to the U.S. government’s use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, such as during the CIA detention program—is declassified and made public.

 

Amnesty International has long called for declassification of any documents or other materials depicting or describing enforced disappearance, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or other human rights violations, including acts of abduction and rendition, by US or non-US personnel after the attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001.

 

According to his biography, Brett Kavanaugh “served for more than five years in the White House for President George W. Bush. From July 2003 until May 2006, he was Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary to the President. From 2001 to 2003, he was Associate Counsel and then Senior Associate Counsel to the President.” In a letter dated August 16, 2018, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to make a number of documents related to Brett Kavanaugh’s record public, noting that, “at least two documents that are publicly available on the Bush Library website from Judge Kavanaugh’s time as Staff Secretary suggest that he was involved in issues related to torture and rendition after 9/11.” More information must be made public to determine Kavanaugh’s role in relation to such practices.

 

In addition to concerns about Kavanaugh’s involvement in torture and other ill-treatment by the U.S. government, Amnesty International is deeply concerned about Brett Kavanaugh’s record on a range of other human rights issues, including sexual and reproductive rights, access to abortion, women’s rights, LGBTI Rights, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, environmental rights, gun violence, refugee rights, criminal justice, surveillance and detentions at Guantánamo.

 

As sexual assault also implicates a number of human rights, including the right to be free from gender-based discrimination and violence, we also call for a thorough vetting in regard to any allegations made against Kavanaugh to this effect, including those by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez.

 

Sincerely,

Margaret Huang

Executive Director

Amnesty International USA

 

 

 

 

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Amnesty International is a non-governmental organisation focused on human rights with over 7 million members and supporters around the world. The stated objective of the organisation is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.”

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2 Comments

  1. Sarah Ito September 29, at 19:05

    Nothing happened to the presumption of innocence. This is not a trial. This is about insuring that his character is appropriate for the Supreme Court. It is about dispelling the presumption that women lie about having been sexually assaulted. If it takes time to sort out fact from fiction, so be it.

    Reply
  2. Ron Larson September 26, at 03:24

    What happened to the presumption in innocence?

    Reply

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