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Few human actions are more morally abhorrent than torturing those over whom you hold power. Yet, as violence continues to rage in Iraq and elsewhere, there are those who would justify behavior that defiles God’s image. The steering committee of Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice is asking you to read the information from the Fellowship of Reconciliation about investigating torture allegations and sign their petition. Members of our committee and other volunteers will personally delivery signed petitions to Respresentatives Lantos and Eshoo.
FROM FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION:
There is sufficient evidence that the United States has sanctioned, or at least turned a blind eye, to abuse and torture of captives – in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and according to Amnesty International, in nameless “secret” prisons maintained by the United States around the world. There people are being “disappeared”, held in indefinite detention, incommunicado, without access to any judicial system.
Because of the wealth of accusations and testimonies about torture, the Fellowship of Reconciliation is calling on Congress to initiate an independent investigation into torture. Please print and sign the Petition to Investigate Torture and mail it to FOR headquarters. The petitions will be presented to Congressional representatives in the states of those who sign.
FOR is initiating this campaign as part of the Call to Resist the War in Iraq. The Call was issued by Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice and endorsed by FOR.
The right not to be tortured is one of the oldest American values and principles. Our founding fathers regarded torture as an immoral and embarrassing relic of the Old World, not to be imported to the new republic where liberty and justice were to reign.
Apart from being morally repugnant, the abuse and torture of captives are also serious crimes: They violate the International Convention Against Torture, the U.S. War Crimes Act of 1996, and the U.S. Torture Act of 2000.
But the chief objection to torture is that it violates the most fundamental of human rights and undermines the very values that the “War on Terror” is supposed to defend. If fighting the “War on Terror” means sanctioning acts of terror, which is what torture is, then those who practice torture on their suspects are no better than the terrorists they seek to conquer.
The Fellowship of Reconciliation condemns all forms of torture or, as some euphemistically label it, “coercive interrogation.” The FOR condemns direct torture, at the hands of U.S. agents, or “torture by proxy” in which the actual torture is carried out by others.
Torture degrades us all. Please sign and circulate the petition!
Click here to visit FOR site.
Deadlines: In order to exert as much pressure as possible on Congress, we are staggering deadlines for receipt of the petition. The first deadline is July 21, 2005. The deadline for the next round of lobbying will be August 21 and the final deadline, September 21 – in time to be presented in Washington during the lobbying days following the Sept. 24 march.
NOTE: The image used at the top of this article is by Innosante Nagara and the team at Design Action, developed for CIVIO, A Civil Rights Game.