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Sen. Durbin Introduces Torture Amendment

Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) has introduced a bill to Reaffirm US Commitment to Uphold Prohibitions on Torture in International Law:. It needs your support:. We received this by e-mail:

Senator Richard Durbin (IL) has introduced an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill to reaffirm US commitment to the Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture, and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and to affirm unequivocally the prohibition against torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The notorious photos taken at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq demonstrate that U.S. personnel have been responsible for acts of torture and other forms of abuse, in violation of the US commitments under domestic and international law. It is imperative that the Durbin Torture Amendment receives strong, bipartisan support to send a message around the world that the U.S. opposes such abuse and will uphold international standards for human rights.

Please call or fax your Senator immediately to urge him/her to support the Durbin Torture Amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. If you do not know the number for your Senators’ offices, call the Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121. We urge you to call your two Senators, given that the Defense Authorization bill is currently under consideration in the Senate.

Here's a sample letter you can send your Senators. Here's the text of the bill. Here's why we need this bill. The main points are:

• The Durbin Torture Amendment makes clear that the U.S. abhors torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and stands by its commitments to international law.
• The United States ratified the Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibit torture.
• The U.S. Constitution prohibits cruel, unusual, and inhumane treatment or punishment in the 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendments. In addition, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Army’s Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation make clear that torture and other forms of inhumane treatment are illegal.
• At this time in history, the world needs to know that the US supports the international standards for human rights and abides by international law.
• It is imperative – for world security and for human rights – that this amendment passes with overwhelming, bipartisan support.

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