Tag Archives: Human Right

Take back the torture “debate”

Amnesty International

Help give a torture survivor his life back.

During the height of the “war on terror” in 2002, the US government allowed Maher Arar — a Canadian citizen and father of two children who was held and later released without charge — to be tortured in Syria. And even now, the US government won’t even deign to apologize to Arar for its terrible actions.

Come on. The United States can do better than this.

Torture is wrong under any circumstances. Urge President Obama and Congress to stand for human rights and apologize for the terrible mistreatment that Maher Arar suffered in Syria under its watch.

Asking the US government to do what’s right for Maher Arar is just the beginning. The torture debate is back in the headlines. And this is one debate we can’t afford to lose.

Torture survivors — and future victims — are counting on Amnesty to ensure that recent attempts by torture apologists like Dick Cheney to reopen the torture debate are roundly defeated.

Torture’s “comeback” must end now. Let’s start with a simple apology.

Thousands of people — including author Stephen King and former US senior military interrogator in Iraq Matthew Alexander — have already signed the petition demanding an apology for Maher Arar. But we need more voices willing to speak out in support of a torture survivor.

Can we — and Maher Arar — count on your voice?


Zeke Johnson
Security with Human Rights Campaigner
Amnesty International USA

P.S. Help us reach our goal of 50,000 petition signatures by the end of Torture Awareness Month in June. After you sign the petition, will you share this action with your friends on Facebook and Twitter?

“I Still Have Nightmares”

© Bud Schultz

Don’t let Congress and Obama sweep torture under the rug. Demand an apology for Maher Arar.

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Life, randomness


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Torture comeback? Not on our watch.

Amnesty International

Don’t stay silent, or they win.

Torture proponents are gaining ground.

Over the past month, we’ve watched overzealous torture advocates in the U.S. seize on the killing of Osama bin Laden to justify torture.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney called waterboarders heroes. Former CIA director Michael Hayden wrote in The Wall Street Journal that to deny that waterboarding provided important intelligence information is the equivalent of denying that President Obama was born in the U.S.

Become a member of Amnesty International and give the human rights movement the boost of energy it needs.

Amnesty has exposed the case of Canadian citizen Maher Arar, who was beaten with a shredded electric cable by Syrian interrogators with the full blessing of the US government. He has yet to receive an apology for this outrageous violation of his human rights.

In Europe, Amnesty members are speaking out against governments that turn a blind eye to the illegal sale of gruesome torture tools such as electric shock weapons, chemical sprays and spiked batons. Even though these sickening instruments were banned by the European Union in 2006, torture businesses have found shameful ways to exploit loopholes.

Behind every torture device, there is a story of abuse.

A woman in Zimbabwe – a human rights activist – with massive purple bruises on her back. Police beat her with a truncheon.
A man in Nepal blinded when police hit his face with iron-spiked sticks.
A woman in South Africa sjambokked (whipped) in the street for no reason.

Recently on our blog, Adele Welty and Marianne Stone of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows had this to say about torture:

“We oppose torture because of its illegality, moral repugnance and ineffectiveness as a method of interrogation. In the post 9/11 world, the torture debate has shifted from whether torture is right to whether it is justifiable. Taking a firm stand against torture, even in the most difficult of circumstances, is the right side of the debate and the one that most accurately reflects the values on which this country stands.”

If torture proponents win we ALL lose. We lose our rights, our dignity and our core values. They are counting on our silence and complacency to ensure that torture continues.

I know you won’t let this happen. You’re a part of Amnesty International. For 50 years we have been the world’s human rights defender, speaking out against governments who commit, condone or ignore torture.

Please become a member today to keep torture proponents from launching a comeback and to make sure we are ready for whatever threats to human rights may come.

In Peace,

Zeke Johnson
Director, Security with Human Rights Campaign
Amnesty International USA

Raise the volume against torture.

Torture proponents feed on silence and inaction. When determined people like you speak up and fight back, we can take back the torture debate.


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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in randomness


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