When Governments Attack - last chance to match

Your help is needed more urgently than ever.

In its 40-odd years speaking truth to power, Amnesty International has incurred the wrath of many despotic governments -- whose human rights violations, political prisoners and other abuses came to light through Amnesty's painstaking field research.

But few assaults by governments have been more disturbing than Washington's attacks on our recent Annual Report findings about widespread use of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by U.S. troops and federal officers. This reaction is especially troubling considering our nation's long-standing history as a champion of human rights.

Recent revelations of abuse by our own government of detainees in Iraq and Guantanamo are simply shocking.

They violate bedrock American values.

They violate the Geneva Convention.

These actions are destroying U.S. credibility in the world.

When the United States helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the U.S. was a beacon of hope and justice for millions struggling against tyranny. Our leadership - in word and deed - is no less important today.

Amnesty is in the final stages of launching one of the most ambitious mass mobilizations in our history - to demand, as American citizens, an end to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by our own government.

This mobilization is taxing our already stretched resources. Please consider making a substantial donation right now using our secure Web page.


And this month only, your donation will go twice as far. Thanks to generous anonymous donors, all gifts to this emergency mobilization will be matched dollar-for-dollar.

The facts are ugly. Witnesses to abuse of detainees in Iraq and Guantanamo report hooding, beatings, placement of lit cigarettes into prisoners' ear canals, and sleep deprivation. Amnesty has compiled a list of 60 techniques authorized or used by the U.S. during the "war on terror."

Eyewitness reports from FBI agents read like the stuff of horror films. One agent described coming into an "unventilated room probably well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night."

And these are not the acts of a few bad apples, as U.S. officials have claimed. Evidence is mounting that officials at the highest level of the U.S. government approved brutal interrogation techniques.

Under the Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, torture and cruel inhuman and degrading treatment is NEVER permissible. We need to send the Administration an unmistakable message - that Americans did not give the government a mandate last November to violate international law by engaging in acts of barbarism. Nobody voted for that.

Amnesty USA is determined to mobilize a vocal, diverse and massive constituency throughout this country that will stand with our 320,000-strong U.S. membership in demanding an end to the use of torture by all agencies at all levels of government in the United States.

Thanks to years of grassroots activism, Amnesty has a corps of volunteers ready to carry out this urgently needed mobilization. And it's the most motivated and inspired citizen force you could hope to find.

But mobilizing people also takes money. And that's why I'm asking you for your help. Please donate now using our secure Web page and have your gift matched dollar-for-dollar through June 30th.


If we're to rescue our country from the taint of being branded a practitioner of torture, then we must confront the Bush Administration head-on with this issue. With your help, I believe justice will prevail.

Thanks for all your help.


Bill Schulz
Amnesty International USA


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Juni 2005

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