On the 59th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed on December 10, 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, human rights leaders gathered for a private meeting with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. The group’s conversation was frank and warm as they discussed Darfur, Pakistan, and Burma, while also talking about Guantanamo Bay. In particular, the group praised Secretary Rice for her leadership regarding the recent protests in Burma. All agreed that a healthy democracy is the best means available to protect human rights and that the discussion itself, despite differences, reflected the health of America’s democracy.

This was Chris Seiple’s second meeting with the Secretary in six weeks, having recently met with her to discuss Israel-Palestine. Monday’s meetings participants included:

    Ariela Blatter of HRLC,Amnesty International;

    Salih Booker of Global Rights;

    Larry Cox of Amnesty International U.S.A.;

    Gary A. Haugen of International Justice Mission;

    Monika Kalra Varma of RFK Memorial Center for Human Rights;

    Elisa Massimino of Human Rights First;

    Robin Phillips of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights;

    Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch;

    Len Rubenstein of Physicians for Human Rights;

    Karin Ryan of The Carter Center; and

    Jennifer Windsor of Freedom House.

Please click here to read Amnesty International’s International Statement on the Human Rights Discussion with Secretary Rice.