Denounce Torture

Six months ago, Congressional leaders and administration officials intervened to block legislation that would stop torture and ill-treatment from occurring in U.S. detention centers around the world. But last night we achieved a significant milestone: passage of the Anti-Torture Amendment introduced by Senator John McCain. President Bush has indicated he intends to sign this vital piece of legislation into law.

This victory would not have been possible without vocal support for the Anti-Torture Amendment across the country. Over the past several months, tens of thousands of Amnesty International activists have contacted their Members of Congress advocating in favor of the Anti-Torture Amendment. Your work has resulted in meaningful change:

* Thanks to you the U.S. government has reaffirmed the absolute prohibition on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

* Thanks to you there will now be unified standards for the treatment of detainees being held by the Department of Defense that conform to the U.S. Army Field Manual.

* And thanks to you Congress has made clear that all U.S. government agents must operate in a manner consistent with the best of American values and in accordance with U.S. and international law.

While this victory is significant, there is still much work ahead to ensure that we stop torture and ill-treatment in the "war on terror" once and for all. Along with the Anti-Torture Amendment, the Senate also passed the Graham / Levin / Kyl amendment that would allow Military tribunals to consider evidence obtained by torture, and limit the rights of detainees to challenge their detention and conditions in custody. Amnesty International looks forward to working with you to address these issues and secure more human rights victories.

For more on today's good news, see "Amnesty International hails senate passage of Anti-Torture Amendment ."



Eric Sears
Project Manager, Denounce Torture Initiative
Amnesty International USA


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Dezember 2005

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