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TORTURE

Evangelicals on Torture

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June is the month dedicated to the elimination of torture!
 
 PRAYER TO MARK TORTURE AWARENESS
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God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we give thanks for your abiding presence with our ancestors and pray for your continued guidance to us, to all your children, and indeed to all your glorious creation.
 Help us, gracious God, to act faithfully upon this truth: each human being is made in your image, sisters and brothers to one another.
Help us, gracious God, to teach our children and grandchildren to live together in peace and without fear. May they, like we, be passionate and persistent in ensuring that all forms of torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment are prohibited by law, and that our nation consistently upholds its deepest values.
We confess, gracious God, that we as a nation have permitted the practice of torture. Give us the courage to investigate our nation’s use of torture, to understand our own complicity and to seek healing for both the tortured and the torturer.
 We pray, O God, in the hope that the integrity of our nation and its stature in the commonwealth of nations will be restored. We pledge ourselves this day to work without ceasing for the establishment of an independent, nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry to understand the causes, nature and scope of U.S.-sponsored torture.
May such an inquiry help to prevent the use of torture in the future. O Merciful God, may healing overcome brokenness, hope overcome fear, and action overcome despair. Lead us in your way of truth and justice. And let us say, Amen.  

 

TORTURE. It’s not just something that happened at Abu Ghraib or in secret prison sites

tucked away in distant countries. It’s happening now. It’s happening in prisons on U.S. soil.

Prolonged solitary confinement is torture in your back yard. Learn why this is happening.

Learn what you can do to stop this.

PANELISTS:

Laura Markle Downton, M.Div.

Director of U.S. Prisons Policy & Program, National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Five Mualimm-Ak

Civil Rights Advocate/Organizer, End the New Jim Crow

Tyrell Muhammad

Correctional Association of New York

Megan Crowe-Rothstein

Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project

Nathan Vogel

Legislative Counsel, NY Civil Liberties Union

PANEL MODERATOR:

Jason Starr

Nassau County Chapter Director, NYCLU

A hallway at Eastern State Penitentiary in

Philadelphia. The prison, opened in 1829 and

closed in 1970, pioneered the use of solitary

confinement.

HEALING A CULTURE OF TORTURE

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST Congregation at Shelter Rock

48 Shelter Rock Rd. Manhasset, NY 11030

www.uucsr.org | 516.627.6560

Co-Sponsored by the Social Justice Committee & Shelter Rock Forum of UUCSR

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

UUCSR Social Hall - 7:30 p.m.

FILM: “Solitary Confinement: Torture in Your Backyard”

 



Hunger Strike – Emergency Response

We will gather for action in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities domestically and internationally next week to denounce the barbaric practice of torture and indefinite detention and to demand justice for the men at Guantanamo.

Joined by allies worldwide, Witness Against Torture members will fast for 7 days — Sunday, March 24 through Saturday, March 30– in solidarity with the men in Guantanamo on hunger strike.

Some of us will continue fasting every Friday until President Barack Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo is fulfilled.

We will try to reach the men at Guantanamo, their families, and men formerly detained to let them know that we have not forgotten their suffering.

We will continue to organize, agitate and witness in defense of human rights and the U.S. Constitution.

NYC

Sunday, March 24th – 2-4pm: Vigil beginning in Times Square at 2pm. March to Rockefeller Center @ 3pm.
Monday – Friday, March 25-30: Daily 1 hour public presence. Details TBA.
Contact Matt with any questions by email or phone: 201-264-4424 .

Other Actions You Can Take

Join the Fast
Skip a meal & Send a Letter

Flood the prison with mail by downloading and sending this letter to a man detained in Guantanamo.

Skip a meal and use that time to send it, or donate the food cost to sending the letters.

Organize through social media

Take a photo of yourself in an orange jumpsuit and black hood in a public place and send it to  witnesstorture@gmail.com 

Change your facebook photo to this photo for the week of March 24-30 and post to your friends and networks about your protest.

Follow Witness Against Torture on Twitter.

Call the White House and U.S. Military

Call the White House and insist that President Obama fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo.
202-456-1111  or submit a comment online.

Call the U.S. Southern Command to decry the conditions at Guantanamo. 305-437-1000 

E-mail or write Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel and demand that he rapidly resume the transfers of all the men the Obama administration does not intend to charge.

Write: Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel, 1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301

Where Is the World?

Where is the world to save us from torture?
Where is the world to save us from the fire and the darkness?
Where is the world to save the hunger strikers?
from “Hunger Strike Poem” by
Adnan Latif, 37 – found dead in
Guantanamo on Sept. 8, 2012

What would you do if you were imprisoned for more than ten years, without ever being charged with a crime? You were tortured and abused. You could not see your family. Your only visitors were interrogators and lawyers. And then you were cleared for release — deemed by your captors to be no threat — and told that the prison would close. But you remained locked up, with no end in sight. Who would hear your cries? What resistance could you mount?

This is the situation for dozens of men at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo. Fed up with their treatment and spurred by a new wave of abuses, they launched a hunger strike in February that is just now gaining attention in the U.S. press. Read more.

More Info About the Hunger Strike

New York Times Article About the Hunger Strike

Attorney Letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

How Long Can the Government Pretend that the Massive Hunger Strike at Guantánamo Doesn’t Exist?

Guantánamo hunger strike grows

Guantanamo: By the Numbers, Center for Constitutional Rights

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Witness Against Torture formed in 2005 when 25 Americans went to Guantánamo Bay to protest the detention facility. Since then, the group has organized vigils, marches, nonviolent direct actions, and educational events calling for the close of Guantánamo, an end to U.S. torture, accountability for the torturers, and justice for the victims.



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Catholic teaching about the dignity of life calls us to oppose torture, unjustwar, and the use of the death penalty; to prevent genocide and attacks against noncombatants; to oppose racism; and to overcome poverty and suffering. Nations are called to protect the right to life by seeking effective ways to combat evil and terror without resorting to armed conflicts except as a last resort, always seeking first to resolve disputes by peaceful means. We revere the lives of children in the womb, the lives of persons dying in war and from starvation, and indeed the lives of all human beings as children of God.             

                                                                                                   ~ Faithful Citizenship USCCB

                                                                                                              

Building the Moral Consensus That Torture is Always Wrong
 

The Metro New York Religious Campaign Against Torture (MNYRCAT) is joining forces with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) to help build the consensus within faith communities that torture is always wrong. NRCAT has produced an 18 minute video, Ending U.S. Sponsored Torture Forever: A Study for People of Faith, that builds the case for why torture is, without exception, morally indefensible and harmful to our national interests.  The DVD includes a study guide. If your congregation or organization would be interested in screening this DVD, and perhaps having a member of MNYRCAT present for the screening, please contact Rev. Mark Hallinan, S.J. at hallinan@nysj.org or 212-774-5500. Thank you!

 

Rev. Mark C. Hallinan, S.J.

Asst. for Social Ministries

Society of Jesus, N.Y. Province

39 East 83rd Street

New York, N.Y.  10028

212-774-5500

Fax: 212-794-1036

hallinan@nysj.org

 

VIRUS ALERT

Prayer for an End to Torture

TASSC International
TASSC International Newsletter
August 2009
In This Issue
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Issue: # 8 August/2009  
2009 TASSC Survivor Gathering Calls Out: "Torture Never Again!"

For the 12th consecutive year, the Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition (TASSC International) gathered in the halls of Congress and the streets of Washington DC to call out to the U.S. government and governments of the world: "Torture Never Again!" the theme of this year's gathering.
More than 75 survivors of torture from 27 different countries - including the United States - gathered from June 24-28 to act together for an end to torture throughout the world. Survivors called for truth, justice and accountability in their testimony before the Congressional Human Rights Commission, just days before Attorney General Eric Holder announced his intention to name a special prosecutor to investigate the use of torture during the Bush Administration.
TASSC Testifies Before the Congressional Human Rights Commission  
On June 25, TASSC joined human rights advocates from a dozen organizations at a noon rally to call on Attorney General Eric Holder to name a special prosecutor to investigate the justification and practice of torture by the United States during the Bush administration.
 
Later that day, Demissie Abebe, from Ethiopia, and Sr. Dianna Ortiz, OSU, from the United States - current and past Executive Directors of TASSC - joined two other survivors to testify before the Congressional Human Rights Commission, chaired by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA). Mr. Abebe declared:
"Only when the most powerful are prosecuted for torture will those coming after be dissuaded from practicing this crime against humanity."
 
Click Here To Read More:
UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture  
On June 26, to commemorate the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, more than 100 people gathered at the Columbus Law School on the Catholic University of America campus to hear survivors from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East testify.
 
The first panel, "Torture in Our Backyard," set the tone for the day as human rights lawyers and human rights activists - including School of the Americas Watch founder Fr. Roy Bourgeois and TASSC lawyer and activist Jennifer Harbury - called on the Obama administration to investigate and hold accountable officials of the Bush administration who ordered, justified, and practiced torture in clear violation of both U.S. and international law.

TASSC 24-Hour Vigil in Front of the White House

 

The Survivor Gathering concluded with the annual 24-hour vigil in Lafayette Park, directly in front of the White House. Two to three hundred survivors and their supporters gathered to honor the victims of torture, and to speak the truth, as survivors and supporters, that torture is a crime against humanity.
 
Human rights, solidarity activists, lawyers, and cultural workers joined survivors of torture from around the world to celebrate, commemorate, protest and to challenge the Obama administration to live up to the promise of a break from the violence and abuse of the past, holding accountable those who tortured, and offering hope to future generations for a world based on justice, human dignity, and the eradication of torture.
 
 
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MNYRCAT

June 26th  (Friday) – Public Witness at 2:30 p.m. at Union Square – Interfaith Service at 3:30 p.m. at 15th Street Friends Meeting House

Please don’t forget the MNYRCAT witness against torture on June 26th. We will be gathering at Union Square on the 26th at 2:30 p.m. near the Gandhi statute to stand in witness against torture and to call for a Commission of Inquiry. We’ll have volunteers collecting signatures on a petition calling for a Commission of Inquiry. At 3 p.m. we’ll process over to the 15th Street Friends Meeting House for our inter-faith service of prayer. Please join us on Friday, June 26th at 2:30 p.m. for the public witness to be followed at 3:30 p.m. with the interfaith service. Flyer attached.

Thank you!!

Mark Hallinan, S.J.

For MNYRCAT

Rev. Mark C. Hallinan, S.J.

Asst. for Social Ministries

Society of Jesus, N.Y. Province

39 East 83rd Street

New York, N.Y.  10028

212-774-5500

Declaration of Principles for a Presidential Executive

Order on Prisoner Treatment, Torture and Cruelty

 

Though we come from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life, we agree that the use ofrture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against prisoners is immoral, unwise, and un-American. In our effort to secure ourselves, we have resorted to tactics which do not work, which endanger US personnel abroad, which discourage political, military, and intelligence cooperation from our allies, and which ultimately do not enhance our security. Our President must lead us by our core principles. We must be better than our enemies, and our treatment of prisoners captured in the battle against terrorism must reflect our character and values as Americans.

Therefore, we believe the President of the United States should issue an Executive Order that provides as follows:The “Golden Rule.” We will not authorize or use any methods of interrogation that we would not find acceptable if used against Americans, be they civilians or soldiers.

We will not authorize or use any methods of interrogation that we would not find acceptable if used against Americans, be they civilians or soldiers. One national standard. We will have one national standard for all US personnel and agencies for the interrogation and treatment of prisoners. Currently, the best expression of that standard is the US Army Field Manual, which will be used until any other interrogation technique has been approved based on the Golden Rule principle.

We will not authorize or use any methods of interrogation that we would not find acceptable if used against Americans, be they civilians or soldiers. One national standard. We will have one national standard for all US personnel and agencies for the interrogation and treatment of prisoners. Currently, the best expression of that standard is the US Army Field Manual, which will be used until any other interrogation technique has been approved based on the Golden Rule principle.
The “Golden Rule.” We will not authorize or use any methods of interrogation that we would not find acceptable if used against Americans, be they civilians or soldiers.
We will not authorize or use any methods of interrogation that we would not find acceptable if used against Americans, be they civilians or soldiers. One national standard. We will have one national standard for all US personnel and agencies for the interrogation and treatment of prisoners. Currently, the best expression of that standard is the US Army Field Manual, which will be used until any other interrogation technique has been approved based on the Golden Rule principle.
We will not authorize or use any methods of interrogation that we would not find acceptable if used against Americans, be they civilians or soldiers. One national standard. We will have one national standard for all US personnel and agencies for the interrogation and treatment of prisoners. Currently, the best expression of that standard is the US Army Field Manual, which will be used until any other interrogation technique has been approved based on the Golden Rule principle.
We will in no circumstance hold persons in secret prisons or engage in disappearances. In allcases, prisoners will have the opportunity to prove their innocence in ways that fully conform to American principles of fairness.

We will acknowledge all prisoners to our courts or the International Red Cross. We will in no circumstance hold persons in secret prisons or engage in disappearances. In all cases, prisoners will have the opportunity to prove their innocence in ways that fully conform to American principles of fairness. Duty to protect. We acknowledge our historical commitment to end the use of torture and cruelty in the world. The US will not transfer any person to countries that use torture or cruel, inhuman,or degrading treatment.

We will acknowledge all prisoners to our courts or the International Red Cross. We will in no circumstance hold persons in secret prisons or engage in disappearances. In all cases, prisoners will have the opportunity to prove their innocence in ways that fully conform to American principles of fairness. Duty to protect. We acknowledge our historical commitment to end the use of torture and cruelty in the world. The US will not transfer any person to countries that use torture or cruel, inhuman,or degrading treatment.

The US will not transfer any person to countries that use torture or cruel, inhuman,or degrading treatment.We acknowledge our historical commitment to end the use of torture and cruelty in the world. The US will not transfer any person to countries that use torture or cruel, inhuman,or degrading treatment.

Checks and balances. Congress and the courts play an invaluable role in protecting the values and institutions of our nation and must have and will have access to the information they need to be fully informed about our detention and interrogation policies.

All US personnel—whether soldiers or intelligence staff—deserve the certainty that they are implementing policy that complies fully with the law. Henceforth all US officials who authorize, implement, or fail in their duty to prevent the use of torture and ill treatment of prisoners will be held accountable, regardless of rank or position.

All US personnel—whether soldiers or intelligence staff—deserve the certainty that they are implementing policy that complies fully with the law. Henceforth all US officials who authorize, implement, or fail in their duty to prevent the use of torture and ill treatment of prisoners will be held accountable, regardless of rank or position.

www.nrcat.org www.evangelicalsforhumanrights.org www.cvt.org

Please mail completed petitions to:

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

316 F Street NE, Suite 200

Washington, DC 20002

American Voices for American Values

www.campaigntobantorture.org/

Name Zip Code Email Address

Quotes from our Catholic faith tradition on which to reflect:
"Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions, in their highest ideals, hold dear.  It degrades everyone involved--policymakers, perpetrators and victims.  It contradicts our nation's most cherished values.  Any policies that permit torture and inhumane treatment are shocking and morally intolerable.  Nothing less is at stake in the torture abuse crisis than the soul."  USCCB, June, 2007
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The thought of Jesus being stripped, beaten and derided, until his final agony on the cross should always prompt a Christian to protest against similar treatment of their fellow beings.  Of their own accord, disciples of Christ will reject torture, which nothing can justify, which causes humiliation and suffering to the victim and degrades the tormentor."  John Paul II
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"Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity."  The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2297
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"In times past, cruel practices were commonly use by legitimate governments to maintain law and order....  In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person.  On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading.  It is necessary to work for their abolition.  We must pray for the victims and their tormentors." 
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2298
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LET US PRAY FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL, FOR THE VICTIMS OF TORTURE, MAY THEY FIND HOPE IN THE WOUNDS OF JESUS. FOR THE CONVERSION OF THOSE WHO WOULD TORTURE, MAY THEY SEE IN THEIR VICTIMS THE SUFFERING OF CHRIST.

LET US PRAY TO THE LORD

 "War destroys. And we must cry out for peace.
Peace sometimes gives the idea of stillness, but it is never stillness.
It is always an active peace.
I think that everyone must be committed in the matter of peace,
to do everything that they can,
what I can do from here.
Peace is the language we must speak."
Pope Francis

 

 

 
                                            ~Pope FRANCIS