We welcome Ethiopia’s stated commitment to rights-based development and the government’s important efforts to improve respect for the rights of women, children, persons with disabilities, and migrant workers, as well as its longstanding support for up to 500,000 refugees. However, the Human Rights Council’s review of Ethiopia comes at a time of increasing concern about the rights situation in the country.
The undersigned civil liberties, human rights, and other public interest organizations write in support of the USA FREEDOM Act (S. 2685), which Senator Leahy reintroduced on July 29. We urge both the Senate and the House to pass it swiftly and without any dilution of its protections.
The US Senate should move swiftly to approve a surveillance reform bill introduced on July 29, 2014, by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy. The bill, known as the USA Freedom Act, is a significant improvement over a companion bill that the US House of Representatives passed on May 22 and, if approved, has the potential to end bulk collection of phone records in the US.
Iranian authorities should immediately ensure the release of three journalists and a fourth person arrested in recent days, including the Tehran correspondent for The Washington Post, unless they plan to bring recognizable criminal charges against them and guarantee them fair trials. The arrests are the latest in a series of actions that Iran’s security and intelligence forces, supported by elements within the judiciary, have taken against at least 10 journalists in recent months.
Large-scale US surveillance is seriously hampering US-based journalists and lawyers in their work, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a joint report released today. Surveillance is undermining media freedom and the right to counsel, and ultimately obstructing the American people’s ability to hold their government to account, the groups said.
The Snowden revelations on mass surveillance practices, especially by the US and UK, have triggered a global struggle over the right to privacy—and a report by the outgoing UN human-rights commissioner has set the terrain for the next phase.
Governments around the world should heed the findings of the UN’s human rights commissioner on mass surveillance. Governments should rein in mass surveillance and respect the privacy of all Internet users, no matter where they are located.