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ACTION ALERT: Sign a Petition to End US Torture


September 27, 2007
End Torture '08.org

More than three years after the shocking revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib, we have an important decision to make: will we be a torturing nation? You are one click away from being heard by the presidential candidates. 100,000 voices united against torture. Join this extraordinary movement. Add your voice today!

http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/etn/elect08/index.aspx

End Torture '08

The Bush Administration has made the wrong choices, undermining our national security and our commitment to human rights. Now, as presidential hopefuls start building their platforms, we have a chance to make the right choices.

That's why Human Rights First is launching a major campaign – Elect to End Torture '08 – to make sure the presidential debate includes a discussion of how to put an end to torture and cruel treatment, stop secret and indefinite detention, and restore the rule of law.

Our petition to the candidates needs your signature. Starting today, we are uniting 100,000 voices against torture - can we count you in?

Sign the Elect to End Torture '08 petition to presidential candidates today!

The presidential candidates are looking to the American people to tell them what we want in a leader.

Despite the broadcast of the Abu Ghraib images in the midst of the 2004 campaign, torture wasn't even discussed by the candidates. It's up to us to make sure that doesn't happen again. Human Rights First is already making progress in starting a serious conversation about U.S. interrogation policies.

In April, we brought several presidential candidates together with 19 retired generals and admirals, including three retired four-star officers, for a discussion of how policies of official cruelty undermine our values and jeopardize our security. We will continue this conversation with the other candidates in the coming months.

The candidates are listening – and they need to hear from you, too.

Much work remains to be done. In July, President Bush signed an executive order that leaves the door open for torture and cruel treatment by the CIA.

Abusive interrogation practices, "outsourcing" torture to other countries, secret detention of prisoners... We have a critical opportunity with the 2008 elections to address this shameful legacy. Speak out today!

Sign the petition to presidential candidates.

We'll continue our efforts on the ground and in Congress, but we can't do this without you.

Tell the presidential candidates that you are committed to human rights at home and abroad, and you expect to hear about their commitment, too!

Thank you,

Sharon Kelly
Campaign Manager – Elect to End Torture '08
Human Rights First

Human Rights First is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3), international human rights organization based in New York and Washington DC. We do not favor or oppose any candidate for public office.

The Petition Letter: Restoring America’s Honor

Five Steps to Put an End to Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment


Dear Candidates for U.S. President,

In order for United States national security policy to be strong and effective, it must be consistent with the laws and values of our nation. The Bush Administration’s detention and interrogation policies have led to torture and other abuses, undermining American values, staining our reputation in the world and compromising our global leadership, jeopardizing our national security, and increasing the danger to members of the US military serving abroad.

The next president will have the opportunity to get the United States back on track. I am asking you to pledge that if you are elected President you will ensure that detention, interrogation and trial procedures adhere to international and domestic law so that the United States can reclaim the authority to enforce these standards to protect our own troops abroad and promote the values that define our nation.

As a candidate for the highest office of the land, you must let the American people know what actions you will take to:

• Put an end to torture and ensure a single standard of humane treatment for all interrogations conducted by U.S. personnel — including by the CIA and private contractors.

• Halt the "extraordinary rendition" of detainees to countries known to torture prisoners.

• Close Guantanamo and try detainees suspected of committing crimes in accordance with international and U.S. law.

• Urge Congress to restore the right of habeas corpus to non-citizens – including longtime permanent residents of the U.S. – to ensure that courts can oversee the decision to detain anyone as an "unlawful enemy combatant."

• Ensure that trials of detainees are full and fair. Any trials by military commissions will be conducted consistent with the Uniform Code of Military Justice and in compliance with the procedures set forth in the Manual for Courts-Martial.

Having a plan to end torture and cruel treatment is not only a necessary part of a credible national security platform for a candidate, it is the very essence of what is required of a president who is committed "to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." I thank you for your devotion to your country.

Sincerely yours,

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