War on civilrights
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Report: War on terror led to civil rights violations
Fri Sep 6, 5:37 PM ET
NEW YORK - The administration of President George W. Bush ( news - web sites) has violated constitutional rights, human rights and principles of open government in the name of its war on terror, a lawyers' group claims in a new report.
According to the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, new security laws and practices have breached Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, inappropriately broadened executive branch powers and led to mistreatment of immigrants.
Many government actions have been undertaken in excessive secrecy, encouraging other governments to deny rights in similar ways, according to the report from the New York-based group involved in human rights, refugee and workers' rights issues.
"The composite picture outlined by this report shows that too often the U.S. government's mode of operations since September 11 has been at odds with core American and international human rights principles," Michael Posner, the group's executive director, said in a statement.
The Justice Department ( news - web sites) did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the report.
The report cites, among many examples, a more restrictive Justice Department interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act. It also criticizes federal officials' increased ability under the USA Patriot Act to conduct searches without notifying the subject of the investigation.
Refugees have found increased barriers to resettlement in the U.S. and immigrants have been excessively and unfairly detained in the name of fighting terror, the report says.
The report contains dozens of recommendations for remedies, including the revocation of the more stringent FOIA standard, more Congressional oversight of the Patriot Act and improved attorney access to facilities where immigrants are detained.