Trump administration skips hearing on human rights, avoids questions on executive orders

The Wisconsin Gazette

The Trump administration on March 21 skipped a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

The human rights body, which is part of the Organization of American States, was scheduled to question U.S. officials on the effects of several of President Donald Trump’s executive orders, including orders on the Muslim ban, immigration enforcement and detention and the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline, according to a statement from the ACLU.

A photo provided by the ACLU, which presented testimony at the hearing, shows the empty chairs where the U.S. government officials were to sit.

Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program, appeared before the commission and made this statement at the hearing: “Today’s no-show is a new low. The Trump administration’s decision is an unprecedented show of disrespect to the international community that will alienate democratic allies. Refusing to engage with the commission is an isolationist policy that mirrors the behavior of authoritarian regimes and will only serve to embolden them. This is another worrying sign that the Trump administration is not only launching an assault on human rights at home but is also trying to undermine international bodies charged with holding abusive governments accountable.”

The commission, which was created in 1959, has played a historic role in fighting dictatorships in the Americas and countering other human rights abuses.

On the web

The ACLU’s written testimony is at https://www.aclu.org/IACHR-Muslim-Ban-Testimony.