Skip to main content

Witness Against Torture praises Obama's initial steps toward justice during its 100 Days Campaign, demands rapid implementation


WASHINGTON -- Witness Against Torture (www.witnesstorture.org), an organization formed from a march to Guantanamo in 2005 to protest the prison there, applauds President Barack Obama's executive orders to shut down Guantanamo and the CIA "black sites," and to end the "enhanced interrogation techniques" used by the CIA at Guantanamo and other prisons.

"President Obama has taken important first steps to undo much of what was the worst Bush administration policies," said Matthew Daloisio, one of those who marched to Guantanamo.
According to the Guantanamo order, "The detention facilities at Guantanamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order."

Witness Against Torture joins other human rights groups in insisting that the facility can be closed much sooner than one year. "While pleased with these developments, we are disappointed that Guantanamo will stay open another year, allows for a new system of detention without charge, and does not adequately address other facilities, such as that in Bagram, Afghanistan, that share the problems of Guantanamo," Daloisio said.

Today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Witness Against Torture will hold a vigil in front of the White House. It will feature reading of detainees' letters, and calling for their rapid release or initiation of fair trials in the Federal Courts.

Witness Against Torture also demands that the Obama administration live up to its promises of transparency and accountability. The group is asking that those responsible for authorizing torture practices be investigated and prosecuted for crimes, and applauds Obama's selection for attorney general, Eric Holder, for his statement that no government official is above the law.

"We need more transparency in holding the responsible parties accountable for the immoral and illegal policies that have, in fact, made America less safe," said Frida Berrigan of Witness Against Torture. "We cannot reliably prevent the crimes of the future unless we fully understand, account for, and appropriately punish the crimes of the past. We fear that efforts to move forward without a process of justice, truth-telling, and reconciliation are doomed to fail."

http://www.100dayscampaign.org/

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Gays and Lesbians Opposed to Violence (GLOV) Reforms

As appeared in Metro Weekly...

Stirred to Action
Viciousness of recent anti-gay attacks spurs community reaction
by Will O'Bryan
Published on September 18, 2008

Perhaps a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to motivating a community, a picture -- far more than flow charts of crime statistics or bullet points in a report -- may actually be invaluable. Add to that picture a compelling online essay, and you have the start of a community movement.

With a number of publicized attacks against local gay people in recent months, from Nathaniel Salerno's attack on a Metro train in December to Michael Roike and Chris Burrell being beaten to the ground near the 14th and P Streets NW intersection in August, the viciousness Todd Metrokin suffered in Adams Morgan in July -- written about on The New Gay blog by his friend Chris Farris in late August -- may have been a tipping point.

''There are the anecdotal stories you hear from your friends,'' says Pete Perry, a loca…

A Proposal for We The People to Institute Positive Change

Hello sisters and brothers, subjects of the United States Empire, it has become clear the elected representatives on Capitol Hill no longer truly represent us and our best interests, but rather are serving their elite major campaign contributors. They serve the interests of the extreme rich and large corporations, certainly not the average American worker, student, or retired individual.

In order to improve our government, we, a collective of dedicated social justice activists, propose three demands to those who have power to legislate within the Federal Government. We list those demands here, and will then discuss how to make sure they pass into the law of the land:

1) Universal single payer health care, something that nearly all other developed nations of the world already possess for their citizens. We, as human beings, have a right to good health and to never be financially crippled in this pursuit of our own well-being. We demand that Congress pass House Resolution 676 and a Sen…

A week ago I was in DC Jail -- This is a reflection

A week ago, I was spending my third and last night in DC Jail. A loud, violent and cruel place. A place populated by young black men, as a white inmate I was an extreme minority. And as a gay white man of somewhat slight build, I elected to get the protective custody order from Judge Lynn Liebovitz upon my sentencing. My sentencing, in retrospect was not that severe, and this is because my pre-sentencing officer had recommended probation and I admitted that my days of being arrested for expressing my moral and ethical beliefs (which put me in complete opposition to the U.S. Government’s foreign policy) were over. Perhaps someday, when I am retired and close to my friend Eve Tetaz’s age I may resume nonviolent civil resistance against the moral bankruptcy and downright evil policies of the U.S. Empire, but for now I choose a different life for my lifetime partner and myself.

Many of you have expressed an interest in discussing my experiences further, and I am open to accepting questions…