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Criminal Justice System and Human Rights Violations


We have been stated before about the importance of human rights, their implications, and how we must have a deeper understanding about this natural protection of the personal integrity in order to fulfill the common wellbeing within a civilized society. Sadly we have learned from history how the powerless people were literally disenfranchised from the society and in the most savage outcomes, many people were killed in cold blood. Empires over empires and the thirty of empowered criminals were the main cause of multiple disgraces.


In 1945 and after a bloody outcome of the WW2 a global alliance started the conversation about the abuse of governmental organizations and the violations of human rights. That was the beginning to a new chapter in the history of humanity with the creation of the United Nations (UN). Yes, believed or not, the main purpose for the creation of the UN was the protection of human rights and promote the peace in the world. The creation of International Laws to protect the human rights was not an easy task that endured about 20 years. However, in December 10th of 1948 and by a resolution signed by the member nations by those years, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was born. Since then many thing has changed but the importance and the impact of human rights has prevailed through decades.


Was that the end of a human rights violations in the world? Is the policing of human rights in the world a guarantee for protection? Is the UN an impacting organization to stop the totalitarian regimes in the world? The answers to this questions should be diverse or sometimes ambiguous and interesting at the same time. One thing is clear, the totalitarian regimes, and even the so called democratic governmental systems, are using their own justice systems and governmental agencies as a weapons of repression and threats against their own citizens.


According to the Harvard Law School in the introduction to the course of Human Rights Advocacy and Criminal Justice certification; “Domestic criminal justice systems remain major sources of human rights abuse throughout the world despite decades of normative advances in international human rights law and the development of a global human rights movement.” Jamie Fellner, a senior advisor to the U.S. Program at Human Rights Watch wrote; “Every day we confront misguided policies rooted in politics, prejudice, anger, and fear.” (2012)


One example of a misguiding policies within a domestic criminal justice system is the application of Decree Law 370 by the government of Cuba. “A total of 47 human rights organizations and independent press media denounce the violation of fundamental human rights caused by the application in Cuba of Decree Law 370.” according to a Freedom House publication on May 6, 2020. Since the establishment of Decree Law 370 “On the Computerization of Cuban Society” in July 2019 about 30 people, mostly journalists, have been targeted by the regime and have been subjected to interrogation, threats, and seizure of work equipment. Seven civil rights activists were under isolated encarcelation at the moment of the joint statement by Freedom House and 47 human rights organizations.


According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide and other religious and human rights organizations, “following the passage of the constitution, which was criticized by some religious groups, the government increased pressure on religious leaders, including through violence, detentions, and threats; restricting the right of prisoners to practice religion freely; and limiting or blocking international and domestic travel.” (As cited by US State Department, 2019).


Once this has been said, there is a long way and many barriers to be overthrown. However, the individual human rights are Inalienable, something that is impossible be taken away from or given away by the possessor. Martin Luther King once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We can see injustices somewhere without realizing our own reality if we can’t denounce it and ask the proper responsibility on our leaders.

Reference:
Fellner, Jamie (2012) The Human Rights Paradign. To Build a Better Criminal Justice System, The Sentencing Project (p.16)
Freedom House JOINT STATEMENT May 6, 2020, Cuba: Statement against the application of Decree Law 370 retrived from; https://freedomhouse.org/article/cuba-statement-against-application-decree-law-370
U.S. State Department; 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom: Cuba, OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM retrieved from: https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/CUBA-2019-INTERNATIONAL-RELIGIOUS-FREEDOM-REPORT.pdf