Monday, June 26, 2006  

TODAY IS International Day in Support of Survivors and Victims of Torture (as designated by the UN)

Today is International Day in Support of Survivors and Victims of Torture, please devote some spare time to meditating on torture, its uses, and the harm it does us all, be we the tortured, the torturer, or those in whose name it is done.
You can check out the Bloggers Against Torture (see link) sites for local events and actions.

Some may ask why I have chose to put the majority of the emphasis on the US today. The answer is simple. I have already mentioned Latin America and North Africa, areas I have either studied and/or lived in. I have spoken of the School of the Americas and the disappeared of Argentina. But today, I look closer to what is presently home, the US. And I see that everything I learned as a child and in school, has been compromised: the US as moral beacon, the US as safe haven, the US who doesn't do that. And I feel particularly betrayed by this administration. We have a covert history of torture both direct and third party, but this administration has enshrined torture as a mode of behavior. And worse, they has preyed upon the worst tendancies of certain countries by making them complicit in this charade of a "war on terror" and invigiled them into allowing rendition, and persuading them to torture those rendered. And so we have become both pusher and user.

So, today, I'm putting the spotlight on my country. If we truly believe that this is a country of "we the people," then we the people need to take a stand. We cannot say, I didn't know, I didn't see, it wasn't me - we do know, we do see, it is us, and we the people need to say no!. And tell the people who are our servants- the White House and the Congress.
Green indicated the countries that have ratified the Conventiona Against Torture:
The Convention has received new attention in the world press because of the Stress and duress interrogation techniques used on the detainees by United States military personnel, most notably at the Abu Ghraib prison and Bagram prison. The United States ratified the Convention, but declared that "... nothing in this Convention requires or authorizes legislation, or other action, by the United States of America prohibited by the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the United States." [1], footnote #11).
the rest

"From Brazil to Saudi Arabia, from Russia to Indonesia, from the USA to Cameroon, state parties to the Convention are falling short of their obligation to take the necessary steps to prevent and sanction torture," Amnesty International said. "Torture should be confined to the history books. Instead, it is still widely used to extract confessions, to intimidate opponents or to punish, discipline or humiliate prisoners," the organization added.

Torture methods range from severe beatings -- such as the one suffered in April this year by Chinese labour activist Gu Baoshu after his arrest in connection with workers' demonstrations -- to electric shocks, sexual abuse, and deprivation of food and sleep.

"To put an end to all this, states should ratify the Convention against Torture without reservations and as a matter of urgency, and adopt concrete measures to turn the commitment to eradicate torture into real, measurable change," Amnesty International said.
Amnesty International
Watch this from AI Denmark

Zazou, thx for the reminder! I totally spaced out on it that today was 'the day'. Also, my reply email to you is still in the works (!!), so I haven't forgotten about you. Great post and i like the layout of your blog!
Peace girlfriend!!
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