Geneva report highly critical of U.S. commitment to human rights

| Thu Aug. 3, 2006 7:02 PM EDT

The Geneva hearings are over and the final report has been released. It is not pretty, insofar as the U.S. and human rights are concerned.

Every four years, nations representing the Conventions against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights meet to review meet to review compliance of ICCPR nations. An official report is issued, along with a "shadow report," what The Raw Story refers to as "a rebuttal from non-government organizations (NGO), advocacy groups, and citizen representatives. The US "shadow report" was prepared by The Coalition for Human Rights at Home, a coalition of 142 not-for-profit groups."

This year's 456-page shadow report describes over a hundred instances of human rights violations, in a response to the official report issued by the United States. Also, the U.S. was a mere seven years late in developing its report, which it is obligated to prepare as an ICCPR signatory nation.

The Raw Story goes on to describe correspondence between the Committee and the U.S. as a "cat and mouse game," in which the Committee addresses questions to the U.S., and the U.S. responds by saying it has already answered those questions. When the Committee then says "please clarify when you answered that and what the answer was," it receives no further communication.

Jamil Dakwar, a staff attorney with the Human Rights Program, National Legal Department of the ACLU, calls the interplay a "dialogue of deaf."