June 26th is the date that the United Nations has marked as the International Day in Support of Survivors and Victims of Torture. This year a coalition of human rights, civil liberties and faith organizations have joined TASSC International, a leading survivors organization, in declaring June “Torture Awareness Month." This awareness raising month is an effort to respond to the growing evidence that the United States government is engaging systematically in the use of torture and inhuman treatment as part of the “war on terror.”
This campaign was started by Torture Awareness Month:
American Civil Liberties Union
Amnesty International USA
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Victims of Torture
Council on American Islamic Relations
Human Rights First
Human Rights Watch
No2Torture, The Presbyterian Initiative Against Torture
Physicians for Human Rights
Torture Abolition Support and Survivors Coalition (PDF)
Also, this past weekend there was a conference in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was organized by the Quakers to work on stopping torture by the US government and US agencies in various parts of the world. I could not attend this conference because I was at another conference, the Progressive Summit. I will blog on that one in a few days.
The Quakers in the USA have moved to take up the issue of torture and work to abolish it. They are also totally opposed to war. And in the history of the USA, they worked to end slavery and helped run the underground railroad. They also worked to stop the genocide on the Native Americans and walked with them on the Trail of Tears.
Slavery was wrong, so is war and torture.