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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, April 15, 2005

Torture matters

"On March 16, the US House of Representatives, in a stunning 420-to-2 vote, passed an amendment to the emergency Iraq supplemental appropriation by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) forbidding the use of any funds that violate the legal obligations of the international Convention Against Torture, which this nation signed. Congressman Markey has led the charge against the CIA's practice of sending terrorism suspects to countries cited by our own State Department for torturing their prisoners."

"The media took little notice of this bipartisan move to try and end the administration's outsourcing of torture - which President Bush continually says is not happening, despite mounting evidence from human rights organizations, freed tortured detainees, and journalists worldwide."

This startling development, reported by Nat Hentoff in The Decatur Daily Democrat, has been ignored in Australia. Once again, we should demand whether Guantanamo Bay detainee, David Hicks, and recently released Mamdouh Habib, were sent by the US to countries in the Arab world to be tortured. Our government's silence speaks for itself.

Write to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Attorney General Phillip Ruddock to demand answers.

UPDATE: The Washington Post reports: "A detainee at a U.S. military prison alleges that U.S. military guards jumped on his head until he had a stroke that paralysed his face, nearly drowned him in a toilet and later broke several of his fingers, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday in a US federal court.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Loewenstein:
The out-sourcing of torture - who would have ever thought, in our times, this was even possible? I feel as though I must go through the grieving process over and over again as I realize how naive I have been. Silly for me to have thought, my country would not torture, would not lie, would not start a war and occupy a people - but here it is. I was wrong. It is difficult to understand how those in power, to really do something, to save lives - remain silent. I have started to write many letters and have deleted them because I feel so helpless in my efforts, my words mean nothing. It is hard for me to understand those in power who keep silent. It would seem to me if ALL leaders stood together it would make a difference. I understand fear in one individual standing up - but if ALL stood up and demanded justice it might bring about change. More naive thinking on my part. Just plain sad.

Saturday, April 16, 2005 6:16:00 am  

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