Redoubling our efforts to abolish torture


We've weathered a lot of human rights storms together over the past year, many of them the result of U.S. policy in the "war on terror." And there undoubtedly will be more storms to come.

But don't despair. As bad as the outlook for human rights may seem right now, Amnesty is not about to back down from our demands that this country honor its obligations to human rights under U.S. and international law.

Please join Amnesty with your strongest support, to ensure we have the resources to go full-steam ahead in demanding that President Bush immediately...

-- Proclaim his complete and unalterable opposition to torture.

-- Halt the use of techniques on prisoners in U.S. custody that amount to torture or other degrading treatment, including allowing U.S. intelligence agencies to "render" detainees captured in the war on terror to undisclosed locations for "interrogation."

-- Call for the establishment of an independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate all allegations of torture by U.S. personnel in regard to detainees.

-- Appoint a Special Counsel to prosecute everyone responsible for torture, including those at the highest level of command who allowed torture to occur either by creating the climate conducive to torture, failing to act or by turning a blind eye to it.

-- Modify his destructive, unilateralist policies and begin to regain the trust of our allies and to re-establish America's moral leadership on human rights in the world.

I realize this agenda is a daunting one, but it as critical today as it was on November 1. And Amnesty is more determined than ever to see it fulfilled.


Believe me, I'm not being naïve in taking on this fight. With a President who claims he would not change one aspect of the way he has waged his "war on terror," and who also seems truly to believe that his unilateralism will keep us safe, I'm fully aware of what we're up against.

But I ask you to remember that much of Amnesty's work transcends U.S. politics and election results. Our recent mission to Sudan is a prime example of our ability to work with the U.S. government no matter how it is constituted. In other instances, our work reflects the global nature of our movement to protect human rights across the world.

So the bottom line is this: The election results make Amnesty's mission and presence more important than ever in this country and in the world. Our commitment to justice is, and will continue to be, a very potent and extremely important countervailing force to power used wrongly or destructively by the U.S. government or any other.

As a key Amnesty supporter, I think you understand intuitively that at times of greatest stress, human rights advocacy can be at its most effective.


William F. Schulz

P.S. I believe we share a common commitment to a world in which the basic rights of every human being are respected and protected, and this has made Amnesty International the recognized guardian of human rights throughout the globe.


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November 2004

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