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Thursday
Aug042011

Obama Bars Human Rights Violators from Entering the US

Dan Barnes/Getty(WASHINGTON) -- In an effort to strengthen America’s response to mass atrocities, President Obama issued a proclamation Thursday barring human rights violators and persons who commit war crimes from entering the country.

“Before today, the United States did not have an explicit bar to admission on the basis of participation in serious violations of human rights or humanitarian law...This proclamation fills this gap by expanding the grounds for denial of entry into the United States to cover a broader array of recognized violations of international humanitarian law and international criminal law, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity,” a White House fact sheet states.

The president also announced Thursday he is establishing an interagency Atrocities Prevention Board aimed at detecting and elevating early warning signs to better prevent potential atrocities.

The president notes that, “66 years since the Holocaust and 17 years after Rwanda, the United States still lacks a comprehensive policy framework and a corresponding interagency mechanism for preventing and responding to mass atrocities and genocide.”  The board, which will be created within 120 days, will coordinate a “whole-of-government approach to engaging early, proactively, and decisively.”

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