May 15, 2015, New York, NY. Today, the United Nations Human Rights Council distributed a report containing 348 recommendations for how the United States can improve its human rights record and fulfill its human rights obligations. The Human Rights Council's review of the United States took place on May 11, 2015, and presented an opportunity for UN member States to raise questions and concerns regarding US human rights practices. Many of the recommendations address issues that directly impact International Justice Network clients, including arbitrary and secret detention, compensation for torture victims, and accountability for torture. The following recommendations were made:

  • Further ensure that all victims of torture and ill-treatment – whether still in US custody or not - obtain redress and have an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation and as full rehabilitation as possible, including medical and psychological assistance (Denmark)
  • Adopt legal and administrative measures to make effective the investigation and sanction of violations of human rights during international operations, in which members of armed forces and other government agents participate (Argentina)
  •  Put an end to the practice of secret detention (Azerbaijan)
  • Enact comprehensive legislation prohibiting all forms of torture and take measures to prevent all acts of torture in areas outside the national territory under its effective control (Austria)
  • Investigate the CIA torture crimes, which stirred up indignation and denunciation among people, to disclose all information and to allow investigation by international community in this regard (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
  • Respect the absolute prohibition on torture and take measures to guarantee punishment of all perpetrators (Costa Rica)
  • Allow an independent body to investigate allegations of torture and to end the impunity of perpetrators (Switzerland)
  •  Put an end to unlawful practices which violate human rights including extrajudicial executions and arbitrary detention, and close any arbitrary detention centres (Egypt)
  • Strengthen safeguards against torture in all detention facilities in any territory under its jurisdiction, ensure proper and transparent investigation and prosecution of individuals responsible for all allegations of torture and illtreatment, including those documented in the unclassified Senate summary on CIA activities published in 2014 and provide redress to victims (Czech Republic)
  • Stops acts of torture by US Government officials, not only in its sovereign territory, but also in foreign soil (Maldives)
  • Prevent torture and ill-treatment in places of detention and (Azerbaijan)
  • Immediately close the prison in Guantanamo and cease the illegal detention of terrorism suspects at its military bases abroad (Russian Federation)
  • Close Guantanamo and secret detention centres (Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of))
  • Close, as soon as possible, the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay and put an end to the indefinite detention of persons considered as enemy combatants (France)
  • Make further progress in fulfilling its commitment to close the Guantanamo detention facility and abide by the ban on torture and inhumane treatment of all individuals in detention (Malaysia)
  • Fully disclose the abuse of torture by its Intelligence Agency, ensure the accountability of the persons responsible, and agree to unrestricted visit by the Special Rapporteur on Torture to Guantanamo facilities (China)
  • Engage further in the common fight for the prohibition of torture, ensuring accountability and victims’ compensation and enable the Special Rapporteur on torture to visit every part of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and to conduct unmonitored interviews (Germany)
  • Investigate in a transparent manner all cases of human rights violations (Russian Federation)
  • Prosecute all CIA operatives that have been held responsible for torture by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (Pakistan)
  • Prosecute and punish those responsible for torture (Cuba)
  • Investigate torture allegations, extrajudicial executions and other violations of human rights committed in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, NAMA and BALAD camps and to subsequently close them (Iran (Islamic Republic of))

The United States has until the Human Rights Council’s next session – which will take place in September/October 2015 – to respond to the recommendations.