For Immediate Release
PHR today expressed disappointment that President Obama failed to mention a specific human rights agenda in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. PHR had previously called on the president to seize the opportunity to lay out in detail his strategy to combat torture and mass atrocities around the world.
PHR now calls on Congress to take up the president on his offer to “engage Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world.”
Among other actions, PHR urges that the report on CIA interrogation by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence be made public and that Congress press for revision of the Army Field Manual to explicitly ban interrogation techniques that are tantamount to torture.
Said PHR Executive Director Donna McKay:” I am disappointed that the president did not heed PHR’s call to emphasize his human rights agenda for his second term. On this important occasion, he could have informed the American people about specific efforts to combat torture and mass atrocities around the world, and could have recommitted the US government to a zero tolerance policy for human rights abuses. Now we must continue our work to make sure these issues receive the attention they deserve in the White House and on Capitol Hill.”
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.