Taking a Stand: The Evolution of Human Rights

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Macmillan, Sep 27, 2011 - Political Science - 256 pages
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Juan Méndez has experienced human rights abuse first hand. As a result of his work with political prisoners in the late 1970s, the Argentinean military dictatorship arrested, tortured, and held him for more than a year. During that time, Amnesty International adopted him as a "Prisoner of Conscience." After his release, he moved to the United States and continued his lifelong fight for the rights of others, and the lessons he has gleaned over the decades can help us with our current struggles. Here, he sets forth an authoritative and incisive examination of torture, detention, exile, armed conflict, and genocide, whose urgency is even greater in the wake of America's recent disastrous policies. Méndez offers a new strategy for holding governments accountable for their actions, providing an essential blueprint for different human rights groups to be able to work together to effect change.

 

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Contents

1 Detention
1
2 Torture
31
3 Disappearances
47
4 Imigration
65
5 Solidarity
79
6 Law
97
7 War
117
8 Acountability
137
9 Justice
163
10 Genocide
185
11 Conclusion
205
Personal Postscript
223
Acknowledgments
229
Notes
233
Index
241
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About the author (2011)

Juan Méndez is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture. Previously, he served as the first Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations on the Prevention of Genocide and is the former president of the International Center for Transitional Justice. He spent 15 years at Human Rights Watch, then served as executive director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica and was president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States. He is currently a visiting professor of Law at Washington College of Law. He lives in New York City.

Marjory Wentworth is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet whose has worked extensively in human rights for organizations such as the UN High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland; The Whole World Institute of Boston; and Church World Service in New York. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

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