International Coalition to End Torture
Raising Human Rights Awareness Around the World



Criminal Justice System
Many of the most serious human rights violations in the US occur in the realm of criminal justice. The criminal justice system—from policing and prosecution through to punishment—is plagued with injustices like racial disparities, excessively harsh sentencing, and drug and immigration policies that improperly emphasize criminalization. As a result, the United States has the largest reported prison population in the world. Specific policies often have a particularly harsh impact on youth, racial minorities or low-income populations accused of or victimized by crime. Jail and prison conditions are in many respects unsafe and inhumane. The US Program investigates such injustices and advocates for reforms to ensure that the US meets its international legal obligations to ensure accountability for serious offenses, while doing so in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

We urge the United States Congress to reform the criminal justice system in the United States continued here


Torture is always wrong. This principle is long established in international law. Yet, in Iran, torture in state detention is common, involving a range of practices including shackling, beatings, and intimidation and degrading treatment. Disadvantaged and marginalized groups including women and suspected members of opposing political movements or parties are commonly abused by the security and law enforcement forces and other armed forces such as Basij (paramilitary volunteer militia) supported or tolerated by the Iranian government. 

Present Campaign : Ratification and Implementation of the Convention Against Torture in Iran

Petition Letter to:

Grand Ayatollah Khamenei

Supreme Leader of Iran

Subject:   Ratification and Implementation of U.N. Convention Against Torture

Your Holiness Ayatollah Khamenei,

We are writing this letter to request support from your Holiness for speedy ratification and passage of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Convention Against Torture) in Iran. 

Iran lacks a specific domestic law to address cases of torture. Considering that one of the reasons for the Islamic Revolution of Iran was to end the practice of torture by government officials, to date the Islamic Republic of Iran has not passed a single law that defines, prohibits and punishes torture by the government and/or its officials. While trusting government officials to do the right things is a noble presumption, it is simply insufficient to prevent torture. Establishing laws that clearly define torture based on the established international law will provide the government officials with guidance on human rights.

Prior to the 1979 revolution, your Holiness became a victim of torture by Shah’s security forces. We urgently seek your support of this cause to end torture by ratification and implementation of the Convention Against Torture in Iran.

Yours Sincerely,

Board of Directors

International Coalition to End Torture