OSPC’s Stephen Rickard Testifies on the “Leahy Law”

July 15, 2014

Washington, D.C.—Stephen Rickard, the executive director of the Open Society Policy Center, testified last Thursday before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa on the importance of the Leahy Law vetting to prohibit the U.S. Government from providing military assistance to security forces abroad who have committed gross human rights violations.

The Leahy Law bars U.S. assistance to foreign military units where there is evidence of gross human rights violations, including murder, rape, torture, kidnapping, and prolonged detention.

“Even though less than one percent of proposed units failed the standard, it is still pretty shocking that over the last three years the U.S. Government probably would have trained 2,516 units containing murderers, rapists, and torturers without the Leahy Law,” Rickard said.

He proposed that one percent of President Obama’s new $5 billion counter-terrorism fund be set aside for Leahy Law vetting and implementation.



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