Whose human rights deserve to be safeguarded?
Consider recent reports that inmates have been suffering “heat-related” deaths and severe illnesses in America’s crowded prisons. Or recall the continued controversial detention of suspected and known terrorists at Guantanamo Bay (see, e.g., this 2006 or 2007 NPR news broadcast). Lastly, consider the treatment of child migrants who have unlawfully entered the United States (New York Times article available here). Do these examples raise concerns about human rights violations?
In other words, do members of such groups—here, for example, criminals, individuals with suspected ties to terrorist organizations, and illegal immigrants—whether in the United States or abroad, deserve greater protection of their human rights? If so, then why? And what would some of the foreseeable consequences be of implementing policies that would improve the treatment of such groups? If not, then what justifies treating these groups differently? And to what extent is it justifiable to relax (if not suspend) the safeguard of their human rights?