17
Jun
2004

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CALLS FOR SPECIAL INVESTIGATION

Amnesty International today called for the immediate appointment of a special counsel to investigate the torture and ill-treatment of prisoners in United States custody, citing leaked memoranda from the Departments of Justice and Defense as evidence that the independence of current investigations is critically compromised.

The leaked documents contain strong evidence that Bush Administration officials in both departments sought to wiggle out of prohibitions on torture contained in US law and international treaties ratified by the US, making senior officials in those departments legitimate subjects of inquiry.

"Only a special counsel can scrutinize the role of senior officials in countenancing and possibly permitting the use of torture. Current investigators report to officials tied to the attempt to permit torture, which puts the foxes in charge of determining who broke into the hen house," said Dr. William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.

The Attorney General should recognize this conflict of interest and immediately appoint a special counsel to conduct an independent investigation into the torture and ill-treatment of prisoners detained or interrogated by the United States, including whether administration officials are criminally liable for acts of torture or inhuman treatment.

Read more:
//takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ctt.asp?u=677776&l=9075

Learn more about Amnesty International's concerns:
//takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ctt.asp?u=677776&l=9076

Do more: What You Can Do to Stop Torture
//takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ctt.asp?u=677776&l=9015

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SIGN UP TO "DENOUNCE TORTURE"
Around the country, Amnesty International members are organizing to denounce torture. Join with others and urge the US government to take action to end abuses in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere and to hold accountable those responsible for torture.

Take action, organize an event, or attend the day of demonstration in your area. Sign up to receive periodic e-mail updates AND help us track participation. Our power is in our numbers - so make sure you're counted!

Sign up now:
//takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ctt.asp?u=677776&l=9078

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SUPPORT AMNESTY'S LIFE-SAVING WORK
The crimes committed against Iraqi prisoners are un-American. Please join Amnesty International in standing up for the dignity of all people in every nation on earth. Your membership or donation today sends a message - that you abhor these crimes, stand up for justice, and believe that our nation can still serve as a beacon of liberty and hope for all.

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HUMAN RIGHTS IN BRIEF

Amnesty International is mobilizing its global membership to take action and combat homophobic violence in Jamaica, where LGBT people are at risk of verbal abuse, torture and ill-treatment at the hands of individuals and police.

Read more:
//takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ctt.asp?u=677776&l=9056

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While recent international attention necessarily has been focused on the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan, scant attention has been paid to the numerous incommunicado detentions, unfair trials and torture that underpin the country's lesser-known human rights crisis.

Read more:
//takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ctt.asp?u=677776&l=9081

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As many as half of all Turkish women are estimated to be victims of physical violence within their families, where they are beaten, raped, or even killed or forced to commit suicide, Amnesty International has revealed in a new report, Turkey: Women Confronting Family Violence.

Read more:
//takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ctt.asp?u=677776&l=9020

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GOOD NEWS! LEYLA ZANA AND THREE OTHER PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE RELEASED
Amnesty International welcomes the decision of Turkey's appeals court to release from jail prisoners of conscience Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak and Orhan Dogan. Hundreds of Amnesty groups across the US and around the world campaigned intensively for the release of Zana and her colleagues.

Read more:
//takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ctt.asp?u=677776&l=9083

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TAKE ACTION

A US military court sentenced Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia Castillo on May 21, 2004, to the maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment for desertion. He had refused to return to his unit in Iraq, citing moral reasons, the legality of the war and the conduct of US troops toward Iraqi civilians and prisoners. Amnesty International considers him to be a Prisoner of Conscience, imprisoned for his conscientious opposition to participating in war.

ACT NOW:
//takeaction.amnestyusa.org/ctt.asp?u=677776&l=9084
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