18
Jun
2004

Senate joins 12,000 Americans in Affirming U.S. Commitment to International Law

This week the Honor the Legacy petition exceeded 12,000 signatures. Initiated and hosted by EPIC, the petition calls on President Bush to support international law.

EPIC is now excited to report the U.S. Senate has passed an amendment that strongly affirms America’s support for international law and makes clear the U.S. will not use torture against prisoners or detainees.

Offered by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), the measure requires Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to issue guidelines to ensure that treatment of detainees meets standards established by U.S. and international law. It would also require Mr. Rumsfeld to report any suspected violations to Congress.

Upon passage of this important legislation, Senator Dick Durbin declared: "I hope that this overwhelming support for this amendment at this moment in time will say to us across America who feel it is important to send this message, and to those listening around the world, that the United States still stands strong by its commitments to oppose torture and the cruel and inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees (VOA 6/16/04)."

The amendment was attached to an overall defense bill and passed the Senate by a unanimous voice vote one week after government documents surfaced saying the administration may not be bound by international anti-torture principles in the war on terrorism.

EPIC commends the Senate for passing the Durbin amendment and sending such a powerful bipartisan message to President Bush that America must uphold the Geneva conventions and other prohibitions against torture.

HOWEVER OUR WORK IS NOT OVER.

U.S. Representatives have not passed a similar amendment, and thus the Senate anti-torture measure could be removed or watered down when the House and Senate meet to decide on the final version of the Defense Authorization bill.

Ask your Representative and Senators to urge their Congressional leadership to ensure the Durbin language emerge from the House-Senate conference committee on the Defense Authorization bill IN TACT.

Take Action via the EPIC Anti-Torture Action Page at:

//www.epic-usa.org/Default.aspx?tabid=230
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