For Immediate Release: March 15, 2017
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
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The Center for Inquiry, a U.S.-based organization that advances reason, science, and secular humanism, today told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva that the United States is regressing in its role as a leading defender of human rights. Citing examples such as the current administration’s appeals to xenophobia, its hostility to a free press, and the rescinding of protections for transgender individuals, CFI urged its home country to “respect equal dignity and human rights at home and abroad.”
“We have been disturbed by the recent rise in baseless, xenophobic rhetoric and actions by political leaders, and heightened social hostilities, in many states — including our home country,” Michael De Dora, CFI’s main representative to the United Nations, told the assembly in Geneva, saying further, “Across the country, there has also been a wave of proposals to criminalize protests, and an increase in threats and attacks — some deadly — on religious minorities.”
Said De Dora, “The U.S. government can serve as force for good, if it so chooses.”
CFI holds special consultative status with the United Nations, and has led several efforts to advance humanist values and free expression around the world, including the fight to free imprisoned Saudi dissident Raif Badawi and its campaign to rescue freethinking Bangladeshi bloggers who have been targeted for murder by violent Islamists. Michael De Dora also serves as the president of the United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
The full written statement is available here.